Having spent most of my childhood living in Brighton, sandy beaches were reserved for our summer holidays in Devon. Understandably, I was in awe when we relocated to Yorkshire (almost 5 years ago now!) and Nick introduced me to the beaches up here. Not only are they quiet, they are beautiful with huge expanses of sand that go for miles.
I’m always amazed by how much Yorkshire has to offer. It’s such a gorgeous county, with both incredible beaches and stunning countryside.
Some of you may be reading this thinking “Yorkshire beaches aren’t quiet – I’ve been to Fraisthorpe on a sunny day and it’s full of people!”… So, to compare a Yorkshire beach to Brighton beach – on a summer’s day in Brighton, it’s often difficult to find space to even put down your towel. It’s insane. It’s also all pebbles until the tide goes out. Ouch.
Anyway, I thought I’d put together a little list of our favourite Yorkshire beaches in case anyone reading fancies exploring the Yorkshire coast over summer (and beyond).
Beach adventures are free and can last all day; we always take a picnic with us, and obviously the essential buckets and spades. From July-ish, the water has been warm enough to swim in the past couple of years too, so it’s worth taking swimming costumes – or at least a spare change of clothing and a towel, just in case. Children (and adults) find it difficult to resist a paddle.
Fraisthorpe is a favourite of ours because it’s dog-friendly all year round. You have to pay to use the car park (£3 for all day in peak season. £1 honesty box if the attendant isn’t there), but the funds are used to keep the toilet facilities running. We went to Fraisthorpe a lot last year when I was pregnant because it has a toilet next to the Cow Shed cafe (which is also very nice).
It’s busier than the other beaches on my list, but you’ll always be able to find a spot. You’ll often see people horse riding and canoeing on the beach too. Busby and H-Bear managed to commandeer a canoe last year for about half an hour, and had the time of their lives.
We tend to go later in the day and have a picnic tea, as it’s quieter then and the sea is a bit warmer from having the sun on it all day.
This is a relatively new find for us (thanks to a recommendation from one of Busby’s school friends), but a definite favourite because of the walk down to the beach… It’s also next to Mr Moo’s ice cream parlour, which certainly adds something to the whole experience.
You can park in Mr Moo’s car park for free (as long as you buy an ice cream before or after your adventure), and follow the trail down to the beach. It’s a beautiful walk through the countryside and farmland.
The beach itself is dog friendly, and has lots of little coves you can sit in for shelter if it’s windy.
Mr Moo’s ice cream is made in Yorkshire (on site I think) and they also have vegan/dairy-free options, which is absolutely brilliant.
We’ve only been to Barmston once, but I’m desperate to go back as it was so beautiful and SO empty! We were the only ones on the beach, bar another family.
Parking was free at the top of the cliff, but there are no public toilet facilities. There’s a path through the caravan park to walk down to the beach.
I think what I loved most about Barmston was the space. It’s such a huge expanse of sand and beach.
Wilsthorpe is just north of Fraisthorpe, and you can easily walk to Fraisthorpe from Wilsthorpe. We like Wilsthorpe because of the sand dunes, which the children can spend hours jumping off.
It’s also very beautiful – with the sand dunes, and the walk through them, providing a different feel to the beach.
Parking is also free, but there are no public toilet facilities.
Danes Dyke is such a different beach to the ones listed above because of it’s incredible white cliffs.
When the tide is out, the sand seems to go for miles. It’s utterly beautiful.
Parking is around £3, but there are public toilet facilities and there’s a little cafe in the car park selling ice creams. The walk down to the beach is a lovely one through the nature reserve, but it is very steep. It’s also worth noting that before you get onto the sand, there is a large patch of rocks and pebbles to overcome.
All of the above beaches are dog friendly all year round.
And of course, beaches aren’t just for summer. We’ve been known to go in the snow (which is retrospect was probably a step too far), but the beach walk on a nice day any other time of the year is a lovely way to get outside and blow away the cobwebs. There’s always something to do – from throwing pebbles into the sea, to exploring rock pools.
Do you have a favourite East Yorkshire beach?