Top things to see and do along the Yorkshire Coast

Thursday 18 May 2023
Tall tower near a beach at sunset. Sun reflecting in sea

With its vast beaches, dramatic cliffs, charming villages and walks by the sea, the Yorkshire Coast has much to offer visitors. With 45 miles of sweeping coastline, it was once home to explorers and smugglers, inspired Dracula and is still home to some of England’s best fish and chips. There are a number of key towns along the coast, and they offer a great way to kick off any exploration.


Scarborough, the first Victorian seaside resort
With its stunning scenery and glorious beaches, Scarborough is considered the oldest seaside in Britain and has been popular since the 1600s. Visitors can immerse themselves in Scarborough's history at Scarborough Castle, the fortress that has endured attacks from Vikings, mediaeval barons, Tudor rebels and a Parliamentary army during a Civil War siege. To learn more about coastal heritage and geology including dinosaur footprints and fossils, visit the Rotunda Museum. There are plenty of outdoor adventures: try boating in Peasholm Park; take a ride on the miniature railway; be daring on the Sky Trail Adventure bridge and beam course; and make friends with the penguins at Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary.


Bridlington, a hidden seaside gem
With its sandy beaches, promenades and historic harbour, a seaside experience is guaranteed in Bridlington. The harbour bustles with fishing boats bringing in the catch of the day. Leisure boats cruise along the coast. Seaside entertainment includes a Funfair, full of amusements and donkey rides on the beach. Include a visit to Bridlington Old Town which successfully mixes fascinating architecture and cultural history with stylish galleries. Dating from 1113 AD, the Bridlington Priory Church was originally part of one of England's leading monasteries. Bayle Museum was once the entrance to Bridlington Priory and is a Grade I Listed Building.


Whitby, not your typical seaside resort
With its connections to Captain Cook and Dracula (visitors have included Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll), Whitby is a must-see stop on a trip to the Yorkshire Coast. Perched high on a cliff, it's easy to see why the haunting ruins of Whitby Abbey were inspiration for Bram Stoker's gothic tale of Dracula. Put on comfortable shoes to climb the iconic 199 Steps made famous by being mentioned in the novel. They lead to the old St. Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey. Whitby has always embraced its Gothic connections, reflected in the town’s quirky streets and shops. Whitby is also well-known for its connections to the famous explorer Captain James Cook. Check out the monument up on West Cliff and learn more about his life at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.


Filey, perfect for sand, sea and relaxation
With its long stretch of golden sand and beautiful views, it’s no wonder that Filey won the Sunday Times’ ‘Beach of the Year’ accolade in 2018. It’s an ideal place for a unique seaside holiday. To the north, Filey Brigg, a site of Special Scientific Interest, boasts rock pools to explore where you may find a fossil or two. The town also marks the start of the Cleveland Way National Trail, which offers a variety of walking opportunities. Follow the Yorkshire Coast stretch between Saltburn and Filey and discover secretive rocky bays, former abbeys and castles, fossil hunting, smugglers passageways, breweries, micropubs and fish and chips.

North York Moors National Park
An ideal place for outdoor adventure, the North York Moors offers stunning landscapes and dramatic moorland. The countryside stretches from just above Scarborough in the south, to beyond Staithes in the north, and inland to Helmsley, Osmotherley and Kilburn. And the National Park includes some of the Yorkshire Coast’s best-loved villages, ancient landmarks and unspoilt woodlands. Additional market towns and moorland villages to explore include Danby, Goathland and Grosmont. Or why not explore the depths of Dalby Forest where you can enjoy a 
wide range of activities including cycling and walking. To find out more discover Ravenscar, the smuggler’s haven of Robin Hood's BayRunswick BaySandsendStaithes and Ryedale's Market Towns.


Spurn National Nature Reserve
Spurn Point is Yorkshire’s very own Land’s End, an iconic and constantly moving peninsula which curves between the North Sea and the Humber Estuary. Located at Kilnsea, East Yorkshire, Spurn is home to one of the best wildlife highlights in the country - the spring and autumn spectacle of bird migration, and the renovated Spurn lighthouse offers spectacular views. Begin your visit at the Spurn Discovery Centre.Top of Form

Best places to sample delicious fish & chips
The Yorkshire Coast is where visitors can enjoy some of the best fish and chips in England. If you fancy a taste, check out these options: Lifeboat Fish Bar and North Bay Fisheries in Scarborough; Inghams Fish and Chip Shop, The Brown Room and C.J.’s Fish and Chips in Filey; and Trenchers or The Magpie Café in Whitby. The Whitby Fish and Ships Festival, held in May, celebrates Whitby’s fishing heritage including live cookery demonstrations featuring local and celebrity chefs.



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