scarborough south bay

The Ten Most Fantastic Beaches in Yorkshire

The United Kingdom is filled with thousands of miles of coastline, and plenty of incredible beaches for tourists and locals to enjoy. From the quintessential British seaside towns of the Victorian era to quiet fishing villages, or busy cities with golden beaches, there is something for everyone.

Yorkshire is filled with some of the UK’s most recognisable beaches. The county has it all. There’s the place that inspired Dracula, right down to the picturesque landscape, and the many fishing villages that hug the coastline. Let’s look at the ten best beaches you’ll get in Yorkshire.

Saltburn Beach

This mixture of sand and shingle beach was voted the best beach in the UK on in 2021. The beach is next to an old Victorian resort town and is a popular spot with surfers because of the excellent waves in the North Sea. The beaches location means it picks up extra swell compared to other nearby beaches. Don’t worry, there’s a lifeguard who patrols when it’s peak season.

There are plenty of attractions, including a Victorian pier and promenade, with cafes and pubs so you can stop for a bite to eat. There’s also a cliff lift which takes people up the dramatic 120ft cliffs that flank the beach.

Staithes Beach

Rugged cliffs and a quaint fishing village hug this small and secluded beach. This beach once featured in a children’s TV series, Old Jacks Boat. The famous North Yorkshire moors meet the coast here, giving the entire place a dramatic backdrop with a cosy feeling. It’s the perfect escape for a couple of days to somewhere quiet, where life moves slower.

However, it is widely known the water quality of the sea at Staithes Beach is bad, so we don’t recommend swimming or surfing at this location.

Runswick Bay

This is another beach that topped a list of the best beaches in the UK, this time by The Times in 2020. It has another tiny fishing village set behind it on the northern side, making it another excellent getaway location for someone who wants a tranquil couple of days beside the sea.

Runswick Bay is a popular spot for tourists during the summer holidays, with plenty of small caves called ‘Hob Boles’. You can paddleboard and kayak, or go hunting for fossils or take part in a shoreline safari.

Whitby Beach

Whitby Beach is one of the busiest ones in Yorkshire, and has plenty of excellent food and drink options, with classic fish & chip shops, or pubs to visit. There’s plenty to do here at this massive tourist trap. Family friendly activities like paddling pools, a skateboard area, crazy gold, trampolines and bumper boats are all accessible during the summer. There’s also a Whitby regatta,

You can travel up the towering clifftop and visit the abbey that inspired Dracula. Or enjoy the scenic views across the bay. Alternatively, you can go donkey riding, or admire the beach huts.

Robin Hoods Bay

This is another beach surrounded by charming cottages and picturesque scenery. Robin Hood’s Bay is a real hidden Yorkshire gem, with a dog friendly beach full of golden sands and ancient fossils. The village is a classic example of an English seaside village with pubs and restaurants for visiting tourists. It’s full of winding and twisting alleyways and country walks nearby.

Near to the beach is Whitby and Scarborough, so you can take a day trip to the busier locations if you want to, while coming back to a quiet village at night. The bay is a beautiful location, and well worth a visit.

Scarborough Beach (South Bay Beach)

Scarborough Beach is Yorkshires busiest seaside resort, and tourists flock from all over the country to get this taste of a quintessential British seaside town. South Bay beach nearby has ice-cream parlours, theatres, donkey rides, and a Victorian promenade that links the south beach to the north beach.

The harbour has good surfing conditions, amusement arcades, and fishing boats nearby. This beach is a great place to stop for a few days.

Filey Beach

This five mile-long beach is full of luxurious golden sands, and is another ‘top beach’ in the UK from a survey conducted in 2018. There’s a historical promenade that lines the street and classic British beach chalets. There’s plenty to do here, including paddling pools, investigating rock pools, and going on the Cleveland Way Walk.

Filey Beach is popular with sailors and is patrolled by a lifeguard service during the summer. While it’s an excellent beach, no dogs are allowed from May–September.

Bridlington Beach North

Bridlington Beach is so big it has to be split up in two, as both beaches have unique identities. The northern side gives incredible views of the nearby towering chalk cliffs that make up Flamborough Headland, and has a Victorian promenade, a lifeguard service, and rock pools.

Nearby, the headland is great for birdwatchers, as it’s the only nesting site on the UK mainland for gannets, and plenty of other sea birds inhabit the cliffs. Bridlington Beach itself comprises of sand and shingle. They have banned dogs from May–September.

Bridlington Beach South

This is the biggest of the two beaches in Bridlington. It stretches on for a mile before turning into Fraisthorpe Beach. It’s a huge beach perfect for the family to enjoy a picnic, or go to one of the nearby cafes for some snacks, or get some fish and chips to enjoy. There’s a paddling pool nearby, and the Bridlington Spa Theatre.

This beach is dog friendly all year round too, although there is one section where dogs can’t go from May until September. The rest of the beach is suitable for dogs.

Fraisthorpe Beach

The last beach on this list, and the furthest south. This beach is quiet and tranquil, making it a pleasant spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the busier Bridlington Beach. There aren’t many activities here, but there is a nearby café and dogs can roam the beach of the year.

Unfortunately, it costs to park here for the day, but it’s not too expensive. But go with that additional cost in mind.