Barmston Sands

Barmston – A Town Falling into the Sea

Barmston as a beautiful Yorkshire town in East Riding, not too far from Bridlington. What was once a wonderful tourist trap, the perfect place to go on holiday without being a big town, has now become well known for its coastal erosion. It’s the worst spot in England for coastal erosion thanks to the soft clay cliffs.

That doesn’t mean tourists don’t still visit, there’s a large caravan park with plenty of facilities for families.

Historic Buildings

The village itself only has one single track road lined by quintessential English brick houses, and a pub. It’s lush, and green. Exactly what you would expect from Yorkshire.

All Saints Church, Barmston
Paul Glazzard / All Saints Church, Barmston

There is evidence of settlements in Barmston dating right back to the Bronze Age, and Barmston got a mention in the Domesday Survey of 1086. Barmston has a historic church called All Saints’ Church, with parts of the structure dating back to the 12th century.

Barmston Beach

The golden sandy beach at Barmston once had Blue Flag status, meaning tourists flocked to the shores to enjoy the clean and unspoiled waters, and enjoy the high-quality sand. Unfortunately, they lost their Blue Flag status a few years later because the constant erosion at Barmston made it a dangerous place to go.

That doesn’t mean the beach should be avoided, it’s an interesting spot with plenty to see. But best not to stay for a long period of time. There’s still a holiday park in Barmston perfect for families to get away from it all. They have an outdoor swimming pool, a restaurant, and plenty of facilities.

The beach still has a Quality Coast award that reflects its cleanliness and facilities. It’s a dog-friendly beach with plenty of space, so if you want to visit the sands without lots of people Barmston is the best spot.

Coastal Erosion

Barmston is lined by towering soft clay cliffs, which are eroding quickly into the sea. In 1967 during a storm, they lost 20ft of coastline into the sea in just two days. Now the rate of erosion is between 4ft and 8ft a year.

There used to be a row of bungalows along the edge of the cliff, and a large car park for access to the beach beside the Barmston Beach Holiday Park, which is quickly getting closer to the edge of the cliffs. In fact, there was once an amusement park there which is no longer accessible because of the constant coastal erosion.

In the year 2000 they set up a Millennium Stone which indicated the stone was 1200 metres from the sea. There have been extensive drainage efforts to prevent the errosion, and people have tried to create a false coastline but so far nothing has stopped the quick erosion of the coast here.

A Quiet Village

All in all, Barmston is a quiet village worth stopping in for a night or two. You can go to the holiday park, or stay in the Black Bull pub. The beach is beautiful for a walk, and you can marvel at the quickly eroding cliffs too. The primary industry in Barmston is still tourism, and it’s an excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle in nearby Bridlington.


Cover image: JThomas / Soft Cliffs Above Barmston Sands