Best beaches in Yorkshire

Places to Go

Best beaches in Yorkshire

Famed for its untamed moorlands and rolling countryside, Yorkshire is a favourite holiday destination for those looking to escape into the wild. Lining the rugged interior and providing even more spectacular scenes, Yorkshire’s coast boasts a sweep of amazing beaches that promise an eclectic mix of waterside vistas, from pretty seaside villages to coves hidden beneath towering cliffs.

Oh yes, with over 90 miles of epic coastline, Yorkshire is home to a fabulously varied collection of beaches, with every waterside activity well and truly catered for. You can spend your days embarking on grand walks with panoramic views around every dramatic corner, lazing on sun-warmed sands, and enjoying a veritable boatload of watersports, including surfing, kayaking, and boat trips.

Itching to dip your toes in the North Sea? Here are some of the best beaches in Yorkshire to add to your wanderlist…


Cayton Bay

An arch of golden sand with cliffs in the background at Cayton Bay in Yorkshire

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (May to September)

Parking: There is a car park by the beach

Accessibility: Access to the beach from the car park is via a steep concrete path

Facilities: Cafés, toilets, and a surf shop

With a lush, green backdrop and some of the cleanest waters in Yorkshire, Cayton Bay is a firm favourite with many a beachgoer thanks to the stunning location and giddy selection of things to see and do. The beach is popular with surfers due to consistently good swells, while families love searching the golden sands for fossils.

Cayton Bay is one of Yorkshire’s best dog-friendly beaches, with furry friends welcome year-round – with so much space on offer, it’s ideal for sandy zoomies! The beach sits between Scarborough and Filey, giving you easy access to two of Yorkshire’s top seaside towns. Fill your day with activities aplenty or simply lie back and soak up the beautiful scenes that surround you, from the wooded cliffs to the reaching ocean beyond.


Runswick Bay

Looking across boulders at pretty houses on a cliff and the sea in the background at Runswick Bay

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (July to September)

Parking: There is a car park a short walk from the beach

Accessibility: There is a slipway, but paths down to the beach can be quite steep

Facilities: Café, toilets, and a pub nearby

Often celebrated as one of the most beautiful places in Yorkshire, Runswick Bay boasts a charming mix of honey-hued sands and historic cottages topped with russet roofs. The beach itself arcs across the bay in a golden sweep, providing plenty of space for all, whether you love taking part in some traditional beach games or building sandcastles.

Another great dog-friendly beach, Runswick Bay is perfect for dog walks, with a mix of sand and stone providing plenty of places for curious noses to explore. The slipway and clear waters make the beach popular with watersports enthusiasts, with everything from canoes and kayaks to surfboards appearing in the waters. The former fishing village is well worth exploring too, with winding streets hiding pretty cottages and a fabulous local pub.


Scarborough Beaches (South and North Bay)

A bird's eye view of the seaside town of Scarborough with South Bay running alongside one side of the headland

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (May to September)

Parking: There is a car park next to South Bay, as well as a park-and-ride in the summer months, and North Bay has a car park with disabled spaces a short 5-minute walk from the beach

Accessibility: There is a 3.5-mile-long flat path that leads along the back of the beaches, with ramps leading down to the sand at South Bay

Facilities: Cafés, toilets, shops, and lots of restaurants and pubs nearby

With two big beaches on offer, and a whole host of activities along the waterfront including crazy golf and arcades, it comes as little surprise that Scarborough has long been celebrated as one of the best seaside towns in Yorkshire. South Bay is popular with bathers and surfers alike, with the sandcastle-ready sand providing oodles of entertainment for the kids. The beach is lined with ice cream parlours too, so you can partake in the most sacred of beach day traditions.

North Bay packs an equally entertaining punch, but with a much wilder feel, with sprawling hills providing a wonderful backdrop. Colourful beach huts line the back of the beach, while rockpools appear at the rocky, northern end of the beach at low tide. Scarborough is home to some great family-friendly activities and things to do, including the charming miniature railway that rides along the back of North Bay, the famous Scarborough Open Air Theatre, and the 11th-century castle that perches high above both beaches.


Filey Beach

Looking across the big sandy beach at Filey in Yorkshire with dramatic cliffs in the background

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (May to September)

Parking: There are several car parks along the beach, including ones at Country Park, Coble Landing, and Station Avenue

Accessibility: Disabled parking and toilets at Coble Landing, as well as sloped access to the beach

Facilities: Café, toilets, shop, and deck chair and beach hut hire

Boasting 5 miles of glorious sand, Filey Beach shows once again that Yorkshire doesn’t do things in halves when it comes to epic seascapes. At the Bempton end of the beach, an RSPB nature reserve makes for an excellent birdwatching spot, while rockpools open up at low tide, providing lots of opportunities for little ones to learn about life beneath the waves.

Dogs are welcome at some points along the beach, while the area between the slipway and the Royal Parade has a seasonal restriction between May and September. Stroll along the lovely promenade where various artworks dot the walkway or head onto the paths for the famous Cleveland Way coastal walk. Hunmanby Gap, which is often considered one of Yorkshire’s best hidden gems, lies to the south of Filey Beach, offering even wilder seascapes for your beach day.


Saltburn Beach

Golden sands and dramatic cliffs at Saltburn Beach in Yorkshire

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (May to September)

Parking: There are various car parks close to the beach

Accessibility: There are disabled spaces in the car park, and a level promenade along the beach, with ramps leading onto the sand

Facilities: Cafés, restaurants, toilets, shop, and deckchair hire

With its roots firmly planted as a Victorian holiday destination, Saltburn Beach continues to wow visitors to this day, with a giddy mix of expansive sands and waterside entertainment. From the historic pier and the funicular lift and tramway behind to the lovely Italian Gardens, there is much to see and do before you even step foot on the beach.

The beach itself is a sand and shingle haven, with plenty of space for beach games and sprawling out on the sun-warmed sand. North-facing, Saltburn Beach has some of the best surf in Yorkshire, with many avid surfers coming to enjoy the waves. Beachgoers can rejoice, as despite the excellent surf, the beach is often perfectly sheltered thanks to the headland at Huntcliff.


Sandsend Beach

Golden sands and cliffs at Sandsend Beach in Yorkshire

Lifeguard cover: Seasonal (May to September)

Parking: Car park next to the beach

Accessibility: There is a slipway at the north end of the beach

Facilities: Café, toilets, shop, and a pub nearby

Nestled on North Yorkshire’s stunning heritage coastline, Sandsend Beach promises a lovely stretch of sand with incredible views along the cliffs to the dramatic visage of Whitby Abbey. You can even walk all the way to the famous seaside town along the beach if you fancy a sandy trek with the promise of fish and chips at the end!

The beach is great for families, with rockpools appearing at low tide and a section of the beach dedicated to swimming in the summer months – not to mention the miles of fossil hunting opportunities. The welcoming Sandside Café sits next to the beach, and offers a mouthwatering assortment of goodies, from homemade cake to fresh seafood.


North Landing Beach

Looking down the cliffs at beautiful North Landing Beach in Yorkshire

Lifeguard cover: No

Parking: There is a car park by the beach

Accessibility: Access to the beach from the car park is quite steep but there are no steps

Facilities: Café and toilets

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful beaches in Yorkshire, North Landing basks under the iconic white cliffs around Flamborough Head, creating a breathtaking spot to enjoy a beach day. Although there are no lifeguards here, the small beach is a favourite amongst swimmers and snorkellers, with the surrounding waters boasting much to see and do.

The cliffs offer up their fair share of draws too, with a myriad of birdlife calling the area home, from cormorants and razorbills to kittiwakes and even puffins. Pack a picnic (we recommend a fabulous local farm shop for some proper Yorkshire fare) and head out on the surrounding coastline for one of the best walks in Yorkshire. It’s worth noting that while this beach is completely dog-friendly, there are no dog waste bins, so you will need to take used bags home with you.


Robin Hood’s Bay

The almost red sands at Robin Hood's Bay in Yorkshire

Lifeguard cover: No

Parking: Two car parks near the beach

Accessibility: It’s a steep walk from the car park to the beach but cars can drop-off/pick-up from the slipway

Facilities: Toilets and a pub nearby

Known for its striking setting, which has been captured time and time again by photographers, Robin Hood’s Bay packs a visual punch, making it popular with visitors and locals alike. Low tide reveals a series of fascinating rockpools for curious eyes, and the beach’s intriguing history with smugglers makes it a fun spot to ponder myths and legends as you trail the coastline.

Dog-friendly year-round, Robin Hood’s Bay is a favourite for dog walking, as the long expanse of dramatic beach has plenty of space for the pooch to let loose. The sweeping bay is also a hotspot for fossil hunters, with a variety of fossils often found along the shore – it is the Dinosaur Coast after all!


Ready for a beautiful beach day along Yorkshire’s dramatic coastline? Browse our wonderful holiday cottages and start planning your next adventure. 

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