While many might be craving that feeling of getting off a plane in a hot country, we’re simply craving a trip to the stunning Yorkshire coast. Our diverse coastline is peppered with hidden gems – and we’re here to uncover them all with our huge Yorkshire beach guide. From the popular seaside resorts that take us way back to our childhoods to the quieter spots that are perfect for dog walks – here are some of the best seaside spots in Yorkshire to visit this summer.
1. For history: Whitby
If there’s one place in Yorkshire that’s completely steeped in history, it’s Whitby. The stunning seaside spot has long been a place of curiosity for visitors, with spooky stories aplenty and, of course, the legend of Dracula looming over the town. Its red roofs hold fisherman’s secrets we’ll probably never hear and by the sounds of it, the abbey has seen things we’d never want to see. But hey, at least today, in 2021, we can enjoy both its beauty and its myths as the popular seaside resort that it now is (rather than the spooky death trap it used to be!).
Where to eat 🐟: It’d be wrong for us to write about where to eat in Whitby without mentioning the famous Magpie Cafe. The chippy collects awards like it’s going out of fashion and garners queues around the corner – and we can see why. Their generous portions, for one, are a real treat, but what we also admire about them is the use of their location – using locally sourced fish to craft their menu.
It’s not the only fantastic spot in town, either, with The Fisherman’s Wife, Abbey Wharf and more serving gorgeous fish and chips. Because what other cuisine are you going to have when visiting the British seaside?
Must-sees 📸: A day in Whitby isn’t complete without climbing the 199 Steps, checking out the historic abbey and taking a stroll up the pier. Run along the beach, take part in the Dracula Experience, take photos of the lovely Whalebone Arch, or simply potter around its quaint streets filled with shops, cafes and more.
2. For nostalgia: Scarborough
Scarborough might not be an example of sweeping white sands and clear blue waters, but to us, it’s childhood in a bottle. Consisting of a long stretch of beach with a bustling seafront complete with delicious fish and chip shops, ice cream stops, sweet shops and amusements, Scarborough is a wonderful place to visit if you fancy a large dose of nostalgia.
What it is an example of, however, is the traditional British seaside resort at its finest. It was the first one in the country, after all, so expect the scent of frying fish travelling through the fresh sea air, the bright colours of seaside rock gracing many of the storefronts, and the sound of laughter from the open doors of the arcades.
Where to eat 🐟 Fish and chips while you stroll down the beach, of course! Scarborough is home to a number of great chippies (serving Yorkshire catch!), naturally, with the Life Boat Fish Bar, Papa’s and Mother Hubbard’s, in particular, ranking high with locals and visitors alike.
Must-sees 📸 A trip to the arcade is the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Scarborough, and strolls on the South Beach with a chippy in hand come highly recommended by us here at The Yorkshireman.
3. For peace and quiet: Saltburn-by-the-Sea
Known for its charming Victorian heritage, which still shines through in its modern day, Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a truly stunning location – which, while busy in the summer months, offers a little slice of tranquility in comparison to its more popular Yorkshire counterparts.
The resort offers far less in terms of attractions, but what it’s rich in is friendly local businesses, coastal beauty and bags full of beautiful nature. From the historic cliff tramway, to the lovely Valley Gardens, there’s plenty to take in on a summer stroll around Saltburn.
Where to eat 🐟 Guests love The Seaview restaurant for its lovely fish and chips offering, however, those looking for a little something different can tuck into some tasty pie at Yorkshire Pie and Mash, or delicious Neapolitan pizza at No. Twenty Three – which also boasts fantastic decor, alongside its authentic pizzas.
Must-sees 📸 The Victorian cliff-lift is one of the most unique features here in Saltburn, but nothing beats a walk down the pier with some chips while taking in the sea views and watching the local surfers.
4. For charm: Robin Hood’s Bay
Just six miles South of famous Whitby, Robin Hood Bay shares the same red-roofed charm as Whitby, but offers a quieter, quainter experience. The fishing village has long been safe from development, meaning that each cottage is as charming as the next, with cobbled streets at every turn making it a photographer’s dream.
Sure, there’s much less variety in comparison to other seaside resorts, however, Robin Hood’s Bay offers a unique view of a fisherman’s life in Yorkshire, with a number of cafes, pubs and a couple of fish and chip shops to try our while you’re there.
Where to eat 🐟 Enjoy coffee at The Cove with sea views, grab a chippy at the Fish Box or take a seat at the Bramblewick Fish & Grill. Wherever you pick, you’ll be supporting a fantastic local community.
Must-sees 📸 A walk around the village is highly recommended, just to take in all the charm Robin Hood’s Bay has to offer. Aside from that, visitors can also enjoy a clifftop stroll, or the nearby North York Moors.
5. For nature: Spurn Point
A highly unique place to visit not only in Yorkshire, but in the UK. Spurn Point is extra special. The sunsets it attracts are unbeatable, and the constantly moving peninsula continues to fascinate us to this day. On high tide days, the point is completely cut off from the mainland, however, on low tide days, visitors can walk over to the point – where they’ll be greeted with soft, sweeping sands, a lighthouse, and beautiful views out to sea.
The point has long been one of Yorkshire’s biggest victims of coastal erosion, however, luckily for us, the location has continued fighting to stay attached to our island. Home to grazing sheep and even longhorn cattle, the point is a curious place to visit during the summer months.
Where to eat 🐟 The Crown and Anchor pub on the way to Spurn Point in Kilnsea is a great spot to fill up after an explore.
Must-sees 📸 A walk down Spurn Point in itself is extra special, but we’d recommend walking down to the lighthouse area. The whole scene is like something out of a movie, and pretty stunning at dusk.
6. For all the family: Bridlington
Good old Bridlington screams childhood memories for us. It’s just as classic a seaside resort as Scarborough is, with all the key elements of a family day out that you’d expect. Home to a huge stretch of beach, which stretches from the main seaside resort to just South of all the hustle and bustle, families can enjoy the arcades, fairground rides, ample sweet shops, proper fish and chips, ice creams and more, with the beach, of course, attracting hundreds over the hotter days.
There’s a number of shops and pubs throughout the town, and for those looking for a little slice of Yorkshire history, the old town – which has remained largely untouched for a good few centuries now – is home to tea rooms, antique shops and ‘Olde Worlde’ pubs, which are great for a post-walk pint.
Where to eat 🐟 Fish and chips on the pier, obviously!
Must-sees 📸 Similarly to Scarborough, a trip to Bridlington isn’t complete without unleashing your inner child at the beachside funfair and in the arcades. After that, head to the pier for some fish and chips, potter around the sweet shops for some proper fudge, and enjoy the promenade before heading off home.
7. For great photography: Staithes
Here at The Yorkshireman, we’re guilty of over-enthusiastically describing Staithes as Yorkshire’s own Amalfi Coast. And while, if you visit on a grey day, you’ll probably think we’ve gone nuts, it’s those bright summer days that really bring out the best in Staithes. From the tiered red-roofed cottages, to the picturesque countryside sitting just metres away from the seafront – it really is a charming little place.
But true Yorkshire folk know that days like this are few and far between, and that’s why we love Staithes’ grey, cloudy moods just as equally as its blue-skied and glistening sea days. The location features a similar fisherman’s charm as Robin Hood’s Bay, albeit, with its own unique landscape and a harbour filled with mesmerising fossils and rock pools just crying out to be explored.
Where to eat 🐟 After exploring the seafront, take a seat at the Cod & Lobster, which overlooks the gorgeous coast.
Must-sees 📸 Potter around the harbour, take some snaps down Cowbar Lane, and enjoy a seaside pint at the Cod & Lobster pub (which is probably one of the most Instagrammed pubs in Yorkshire!).
8. For summer walks: Hornsea
One of the more peaceful beaches on the Yorkshire coast, which is perfect for a morning or sunset stroll, Hornsea Beach is one of the country’s Blue Flag beaches, with a lovely promenade and soft, golden sand.
While Hornsea is definitely one of the less popular seaside resorts in Yorkshire, its quieter atmosphere is perfect for those looking for a little escapism, and there are a few little shops in the town that are great for a quick potter about.
Where to eat 🐟 There is, of course, fish and chips for those looking for something a little more traditional, however, for sit down meals, Med Mex is a popular spot within the town.
Must-sees 📸 The beach is the real highlight here in Hornsea, like we need to bang on about its gorgeous golden sands any more than we have already.
9. For relaxation: Filey
Frequently considered as one of the best beaches in the UK, Filey Beach is a stunning stretch of golden sand, with gorgeous views out to sea and what seems like miles and miles to explore. The location is a stark contrast from the busy family-friendly resorts like Scarborough and Bridlington, however, it’s a fantastic spot to get a breath of fresh sea air and a stretch of the legs, with rock pools at Filey Brigg, the Cleveland Way running across the cliff tops, and, of course, the North Sea peacefully lapping up the shore.
Where to eat 🐟 There are some fantastic restaurants to try in Filey, including the lovely Charlottes of Filey, San Marco, the dog-friendly Hen House and an array of chippies just off the sea front.
Must-sees 📸 Filey is acclaimed year-after-year for its stunning, clean beach – so a trip in that direction would be pretty wasted without letting your feet touch the sand. We’d also recommend a stroll across the Cleveland Way, too, which connects Filey to a number of other fantastic coastal spots.
10. For fantastic scenery: Flamborough
Flamborough Head undoubtedly offers one of the most beautiful natural wonders in the UK. It’s like our very own Jurassic Coast, thanks to its rugged white clifftops, unusual arches and unbelievable sunsets. The perfect spot to settle down and watch the sun as it falls below the horizon, Flamborough Head is a favourite of local photographers.
Canoe around the bay, relax on the sun trap of a beach between the cliffs, look out to sea from atop the cliffs, or brave the cold sea to explore the fantastic arches of Flamborough’s chalky structures.
Where to eat 🐟 Grab ice creams from the Boathouse Burger and Grill, which is right by the cliffs, or grab a beer and a bite to eat at the North Landing Cafe & Caravel Bar.
Must-sees 📸 The cliffs (or the drinking dinosaur, as one is known) are the stars of the show at Flamborough Head. Visit at sunset, and you’re onto an absolute winner.
11. For dog walks: Mappleton
Another of the quieter seaside spots on the Yorkshire Coast, Mappleton Beach is dog friendly all year round, making it the perfect place to take your pup for a summer stroll. The beach is perfect for locals thanks to the pebble and sand beach that deters sunbathers, and where it lacks in attractions, it gains in beauty – with stunning wildflowers blooming on top of its cliffs, vast views out to sea and dramatic looking cliffs edging the beach.
Where to eat 🐟 While there isn’t much in the village, visitors can enjoy the lovely Old Post Office Tea Rooms, which has a gorgeous garden that you can enjoy a cuppa in on a sunny day.
Must-sees 📸 A dog walk along the beach is highly recommended, particularly on a glorious, sunny morning.
12. For avoiding the bigger crowds: Withernsea
Withernsea is definitely one of Yorkshire’s underrated gems, home to a striking inland lighthouse, 19th-century pier towers, a long promenade and a sandy beach. A wonderful spot for keen walkers looking to take in those coastal sights, the long stretch of beach provides the perfect leg stretch.
Locals are particularly proud of Withernsea’s refurbished promenade, which gifts visitors with undisturbed views out to sea.
Where to eat 🐟 Withernsea is home to a number of quaint cafes, including the colourful Sunshine Caf, The Rosy Leaf, and of course, a few proper chippies for good measure.
Must-sees 📸 The unusual inland lighthouse is one of Withernsea’s most fantastic sights, as well as its medieval-looking pier towers, which mark the former entrance to the resort’s now-destroyed pier.
13. For kitesurfing and sunbathing: Hunmanby Gap
Hunmanby Gap is undeniably one of the prettiest beaches of the whole bunch. In the spring, you’ll find meadow-style cliffs towering over the wide stretch of sandy beach, with clean waters, golden sands and even WWII pillboxes.
The perfect place to sunbathe on a hot summer’s day, the beach is popular with those visiting Primrose Valley, and even attracts kite surfers when the wind is right. Aside from that, the area around the beach is lovely and quiet, meaning those looking for a break away from the busy resorts will hit the jackpot with this one.
Where to eat 🐟 The Beach Cafe is a popular spot thanks to its beach-side location, with cakes, brekkies, ice creams, coffees and so much more on the menu. If that wasn’t all, the cafe is also home to a wonderful deck, which overlooks the spectacular seafront.
Must-sees 📸 Here at Hunmanby Gap, the beach is the most special part. The gorgeous sands are just crying to be walked on, with inviting wildflowers leading the way down.
14. For clifftop walks: Skipsea
Some of my favourite memories are those spent strolling along the Skipsea clifftops on a Sunday morning, walking the miles to Mr Moo’s for a big old ice cream. But in addition to the long cliff-top paths (many of which can be safely followed on foot), Skipsea is also home to a long stretch of quiet beach, which is mostly used by the nearby campsite visitors and locals.
The beach is a fantastic place for kids to play and grown-ups to sunbathe, with beach walks leading down to Hornsea, and in the opposite direction, right up to Fraisthorpe.
Where to eat 🐟 Mr Moo’s should most definitely be high up on the list for anyone visiting Skipsea, with the ice cream, in particular becoming a popular treat across East Yorkshire. The counter serves more than 30 homemade flavours, with both indoor and outdoor seating available. Elsewhere, the Board Inn has a brilliant beer garden, with a fab pub lunch menu and plenty of beers on tap.
Must-sees 📸 Not to repeat ourselves too much, but Mr Moo’s is one of Skipsea’s best attractions. The ice cream parlour has become renowned for their delicious ice cream, and the parlour has long-served locals and visitors alike at its dairy farm and cafe.
15. For golden sands: Fraisthorpe
A beach that has grown in popularity over the years, Fraisthorpe was formerly a local secret, but thanks to its long stretch of soft sands, it quickly become pretty popular with the out-of-towners. It’s a great spot for parking your butt for the day and soaking up the sun, with dogs also permitted to join in on the fun.
Many visitors enjoy a dip in the North Sea while relaxing here in the summer, although, we have to warn, it’s usually pretty freezing.
Where to eat 🐟 Located right by the sea front, The Cow Shed is a popular place to eat when visiting Fraisthorpe, with breakfasts, cakes, coffees, sandwiches, ice creams and more on the menu.
Must-sees 📸 The golden sands are Fraisthorpe’s biggest pull, but we’d recommend getting there early during heatwaves to avoid disappointment.