It has been announced this week by Keep Britain Tidy that Yorkshire’s beaches are amongst the cleanest in the world. In total fifteen beaches received the Quality Coast Awards (QCA’s) for high standards of beach management, including Bridlington North and South, Robin Hoods Bay, Sandsend and Runswick Bay , giving Yorkshire a higher concentration of QCA’s than any other region in the UK. Five have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag because they have the highest standard of water quality, cleanliness, environmental management and safety (Scarborough North Bay, Whitby, Filey, Hornsea, Withernsea).
Yorkshire’s beaches are known for their Victorian towns perched on dramatic cliff tops, with winding streets tumbling down to the North Sea – dark and dramatic in winter, and picturesque in the summer.
With summer already making a much-longed for appearance, a record number of visitors to Yorkshire and the school holidays fast-approaching we take a look at our favourite beaches in Yorkshire:
Whitby evokes so many things to so many people. Bram Stokers Dracula, Captain Cook and the Endeavour, a traditional Yorkshire seaside town, a fishing port, and an artists haven. It is all of these things, and more. A true Yorkshire gem, you can read more about Whitby on a post by Drew Jardine here. Alongside all those favourites, it has a stunning beach, making it a great all-round destination for a day trip or a holiday. There is lots of accommodation in Whitby, including the quirky La Rosa. Don’t leave Whitby without sampling the famous Magpie Cafe fish and chips.
Cayton Bay, near Scarbrough
Locals will tell you on a good day that the surf here can rival Australias. It’s certainly a popular place to surf and it’s wide sweeping bay is popular with all types of holiday-makers. A bit of a hidden-gem, it is still close-enough to Scarborough and all that it offers. There are a couple of good campsites in the area (Cayton Village Caravan Park and Browns Caravan Park) and , it’s a lovely village to explore and a good local pub offering bar meals, The Star at Cayton.
Sandsend is a beautiful sand and pebbled beach and village with lots of rockpools in low-tide, making it a perennial favourite with families. It’s becoming a somewhat fashionable destination now with the luxury Estbek House and the Woodlands Hotel. It’s only a short hop from Whitby, making it an idea day trip if you are staying in or around Whitby.
Scarborough is a pleasing mix of old and new, it’s one of Yorkshire’s best-loved resorts and was Britain’s first seaside resort. There is the splendour of the Grand Hotel and a burgeoning cultural and artistic scene. There is always something interesting on at The Stephen Joseph Theatre, as well as the new Open Air Theatre opened by Her Majesty The Queen last year. The town also hosts two festivals; Coastival in February and Seafest in July (celebrating folk and shanty music).
Staithes only has a small beach, but is a gorgeous and atmospheric place to visit, with winding narrow streets offering unbeatable views of the sea. Captain Cook’s old hometown, and also a real draw for geologists to the Dinosaur Coast, Staithes today has a thriving population of artists, inspired by the North Sea light, with seagulls whirling over head and the waves crashing down. The Staithes Gallery showcases local contemporary art. Stay at Endeavour House (which used to be a restaurant).
Please do let us know your thoughts, have we missed any hidden gems?