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Bridlington

Bridlington South Bay I used to think Bridlington was a toilet, but then I went to Skegness. That was pretty much the standard joke in the 80's and 90's, but having visited Brid again this year I'm pleased to say it's no longer true. From being a town in decline going much the same way as Morecambe, Brid has pulled itself up by the bootstraps and is once again a fine holiday destination.

The council seem to have spent some years now implementing a regeneration programme, much of which is still in progress, but the town is now clean, pleasant and very friendly for both children and old folk. A massive rebuild of the Spa complex has been completed, and plans are afoot for a marina. I have to give top marks to the people of Brid for such a good job well done.

The Beaches

The great treasures of Bridlington are the two beaches to the North and South of the town. These are massive, just too big to ever become crowded, and are spotlessly clean. As is pretty much de-rigeur nowadays, dogs are banned from the central section in Summer, but for dog lovers that still leaves an awful lot of room at either end.

North Bay

Bridlington North Bay The Northern beach runs up towards Flamborough Head. It's a fine clean sweep of quality sand, and the prom at the back of it has been refurbished with new high quality toilets, beach huts, cafes and all you'd expect.  As you travel North along the beach away from the centre of the town, the prom eventually ends and the beach is backed by low cliffs. Uniquely, I think, these have been planted up by the council and look fantastic. There isn't a great variety of plants because of the salt water issue, but it does look really good. I wonder if it qualifies as the longest herbaceous border in England?

After the promenade ends the cliffs gradually rise to a great height as it becomes part of Flamborough head. The beach becomes wild and rocky with lots of small rock pools and is great for children to poke about in. but with cliffs so high tides have to be taken into consideration. About two thirds of the way along there's an exit from the beach at Dane's Dyke or you can walk further along to South Landing. If you leave the beach at either of these, you can walk back along the cliff top which makes for a nice half-day's amble. There's also refreshments available at both places which is even better.

If you choose to walk out of Brid along the cliff tops instead of the beach, then the walk is nicely landscaped all the way out to Sewerby, laid out in sort of a park style bordering a small golf course. If you're feeling a bit lazy, the Bridlington "land train" goes all the way out to Sewerby Hall. Sewerby is a lovely little village and has two delights: The Ship Inn and Sewerby Hall. The Ship has decent beer and serves basic unpretentious pub food with lots of room to sit outside. It also has a kids play area and there's a model village next door which I've never visited as that sort of thing doesn't appeal, but other folk might like it. 

Sewerby Hall

Cricket at Sewerby hall This is a small stately home, owned by the council and set in delightful gardens. It has a charming little zoo aimed at kids, lots of gardens, Llamas and horses wandering around outside and an adventure playground. The house is now a fairly unexciting museum, but useful to spend an hour or so on a dull day. There's also a cricket pitch on the field by the cliffs and it really is a great setting to while away an afternoon watching the cricket and quaffing ale from The Ship. When there's a match on, they also serve refreshments from the pavilion, so no reason at all not to spend the whole afternoon on possibly the most scenic cricket ground in England. The cliffs here are massive, so if you have young kids keep them well away from the edge.  Of late the council have come up with a quite ingenious solution here, leaving a few yards of field uncut near the cliff edge, thus creating a natural barrier to keep people away from the edge.

Sewerby is a nice easy stroll from Bridlington, or a nice walk from Flamborough, but If you want to drive  there's a car park just round the corner. If you're not feeling energetic enough to walk from Brid, there's a little land train that regularly goes between here and the Brid seafront.

When they were  toddlers my kids absolutely loved the zoo here, and it hasn't changed since then. It has lots of small animals, nothing too fierce, plenty of things you can pet,  and is so much of a time warp you expect to see Johnny Morris appear round the nearest corner at any moment. Definitely worth a visit. I seem to recall the car parking and the zoo are free out of season, but I wouldn't bank on it as councils are always looking for ways to extract another few quid from visitors. Speaking of which, the council car parks round here are appalling. They insist on charging for a set number of hours, and you can't pay for a half-day or full day. That's fine if you're going for a meal or something, but if you're out for a days walk it's utterly useless as you're forever watching the clock. Needs a rethink.

The South Bay

Bridlington South Bay The South beach is very different in character to the North. It is absolutely massive and seems to go on forever into the distance. While the North beach has the magnificent cliffs of Flamborough as a backdrop, the South beach just goes on as far as the eye can see. It's backed by a very nicely rebuilt prom, making it suitable for old folk. The prom has paddling pools, toilets, beach huts, benches, little shops and the land train. It's all new, unvandalised (as yet) and very very pleasant. In fact, the prom is so wide and flat they could use it for Zimmer racing or electric scooter freestyling. There's money in the grey pound if the council would only get inventive.

Behind the prom are masses of typical small seaside hotels and guest houses. This is the quiet end of town and it's utterly peaceful on a night, ideal for families and old folks.

The Town

The centre of Brid is now vastly improved. Well at least the seafront is. The whole thing has been tidied up, posh cafes have been built, the funfair has been made respectable and they were even building a little "Bridlington Eye" when I visited. All in all impressive. The harbour is less impressive, but that's understandable as the marina scheme has yet to start. Going up into the town continues the surprises. It's now clean, partly pedestrianised and nicely paved. It still has more greasy spoons and chip shops per square yard than anywhere else in the country, but Brid was always thus. I don't know where all the customers come from, but the food outlets all seemed to be thriving.

Apart from places to eat, there's quite a good collection of small shops to browse in, a cinema, the usual tatty amusement arcades and the occasional municipal garden.

This is definitely a town on the way up.

Featured Accommodation

Bridlington and the surrounding area is packed with holiday cottages, hotels and guest houses. A Google search will pull up plenty of individual ones, but here's some of the big players:

Pictures of Brid

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Comments (26)
I visited Brid today for the first time & I have to say I was very plesantly suprised, like this article says it was clean with lots of space. I would recommend a visit to anyone thinking about it.
posted by Sandbabe 28/08/2008 22:13:55
Bridlington is a toliet. A small dirty **** on the face of england!
posted by DS9490 21/08/2009 23:39:47
Have visited as a day tripper twice in as many weeks and have found it spotless with excellent parking and good clean fun for all the family. My 9 year old son doesnt ever want to go to Skeg again and as his mum I breathe a sigh of relief! Well done Brid! Excellent!
posted by Sharon 28/08/2009 15:38:11
Visited Brid today with the family, really enjoyable, good atmosphere and beautiful walks along the cliff tops, a must is a pub called the ship inn which had very good entertainment just near to the cricket club off the north beach.
posted by Shaun 31/08/2009 17:54:13
Bridlington is certainly not a toilet, DS9490!! I am a childminder and take the children every year to South Cliff and hire a beach hut. It is a fantastic day out, with cheap parking right next to the beach (handy when you have several children under 5 to walk down to the beach) and toilets and a cafe nearby. The huts are good value for money, with power points so you can take a kettle and microwave and dry the kids off out of the wind/rain on days when the weather is typically British. There are several caravan parks in Brid, and lots of lovely places to eat. I definitely recommend Bridlington!
posted by JJ 01/09/2009 11:10:59
We live in York, and are dog lovers. We go to Bridlington, for a day, as often as we can, probably every other week. It is such a beautiful beach area, with ample areas for the dog. Parking in the town, during the summer, can be difficult, but patience normally works. The many tearooms/bistros are first class, and a good number of shops. We truly love it, and look forward to this week's visit! Talking amongst friend I do believe it is very popular for the grey pound day-trippers!
posted by Arnold MacL 08/09/2009 17:57:30
marknjane, we visited yesterday,13/9/2009 very disapointed dirty and filthy in the town centre,we could not belive it, my advice is give it a wide berth and carry on to scarbourgh its only a few mile down the coast and it is clean and welcomeing, i would not go to brid again if it was all fee ---hole of the east coast
posted by mark 14/09/2009 12:19:52
Spent the day in Bridlington was our first trip there. Didnt know what to expect but were pleasantly suprised. Beautiful beaches and clean walk ways. Had fantastic fish and chips in the Dolphin restaurant. Will definately go again.
posted by Bev and Kev 05/10/2009 15:17:58
I used to live in Bridlington and although the town is advancing into the 21st century, people who live and visit Brid are still in the dark ages!!! The walk along the harbour has rubbish bins about every 20 mtrs, all empty!!! All the litter is on the ground or in the harbour. The council should have anti litter patrols and actually fine people who dump their litter on the ground or the harbour.
posted by S B 05/12/2009 21:54:38
I can agree with most of what has been written here. I've been visiting Brid since my Uncle owned a B&B in the 60's. Now my in-laws live in near-by Bempton, so we visit it often. The council has made some dramatic improvements to the sea front with one huge exception, the Harbour. It is grim. The road by the eateries and tat shops is an open bin. The towm centre is also lacking in any sorty of excitement, although the new shopping centre is a tiny step in the right direction. Overall, it's getting there, but visit Filey instead.
posted by David 01/01/2010 14:33:29
anyone who puts brid down needs to stay at home, its a great place to visit forget comments buy snotty gits who lost their jobs n couldnt afford an over seas holiday go for yourself n make ur own mind up we love it.
posted by mr m.lane 24/06/2010 00:02:54
went to brid this weekend the weather was great as was the place. i have been many times since i was a child. it still holds a magical feel for me.. but a must is flamborough. its a beautiful place. i suppose bridlington is not for everyone. buts it definately a lovely place in my eyes.
posted by emma 28/06/2010 14:01:53
We went to Bridlington on a school trip, the beaches were nice but parts of the town are still a bit of a wreck, lots of drunks when we went (probably down o world cup)and some people from my party even suffered racial abuse!
posted by Shezza 06/07/2010 19:00:27
I visit all the east coast resorts regularly. Whitby, Filey, Scarborough, Bridlington. I like them all for different reasons. Bridlingtons strong points are: By far the best beaches. Great selection of beach/harbour side cafes. A complete mixture of social groups (and therefore more interesting). To understand and appreciate Bridlington you really need to explore. Southcliffe along to Sewerby. Also have a look at the old town. I have travelled widely including many places abroad. I appreciate Bridlington for what it is. A truly typical English seaside town. Snobs won't like it, but in my book it is the best.
posted by Mal 07/07/2010 13:10:38
We have recently bought a flat on the seafront after "passing through" Bridlington for the past 20 odd years, to those who call Bridlington a toilet I say to them, survey the beach and car parks before the day visitors arrive and after they have left, at the end of the day litter, cans, bottles, used nappies left strewn about and that's with men with bags litter picking the area 3-4 times a day, the seafront toilets have all been updated and yet the great British public put them in an unhygienic state within an hour of them being cleaned. It is not the residents who make this unsightly mess but those who visit our town, I beseech anyone visiting to use public amenities as they would their bathroom at home, put litter in the bins provided, take your food scraps home and do not feed the seagulls I agree there are issues, like the Leisure Centre covered with guano,the seagulls bullying people in the Harbour and the restructuring of the South Bay but apart from that Bridlington is a great place with lovely beaches, walks and things to do for people from every walk of life
posted by JTR 11/07/2010 14:40:10
We have just returned from holiday, having stayed just outside of Bridlington and visited the town several times. After reading all the comments here I recognize certain themes running through them. We initially parked next to the harbor and literally our first impression of Brid was two drunks f-ing and blinding at one another whilst trying to start a fight. Hardly what you want with 3 nippers in tow! Unbeknown to us the car park is directly behind one of the less salubrious sea front pubs. However, the sea front was the usual British mix of arcades, ices, beach tat and chippies, no surprises to anyone who holidays in the UK but in reasonable condition, and can't be classed a "toilet" by any stretch. Scarborough seemed busier, dirtier and cheesier. However, once we realised our mistake we then started parked on the South Bay prom, which was much more quiet, and exceedingly clean. The beach was superb, the sand looked like it had been scrupulously swept of all litter and was fine digging, unlike Filey which seemed to have a layer of shingle quite close to the surface. All in all I would say Brid is a fine UK seaside destination with many amenities nearby.
posted by RossG 09/08/2010 16:32:37
We walked the great stretch of clean, sandy beach from Skipsea to Bridlington and back again with our dogs. Then along the prom as you can't take dogs on that stretch of beach. The prom has really been improved over the years and still in progress. There are rides and paddling pools on the south prom for smaller kids and ones for the older kids around the harbour. I have to admit that the shops are full of tat but then again, aren't most seaside resorts? Anyway we didn't go to shop, you can do that anywhere.
posted by Vanessa 01/09/2010 13:53:06
Having visited brid for the first time in a few years i was greatly surprised it was clean,the beaches are very flat.there are alot of places to eat but if you need somewhere a little less of the greasy spoon variety i wouldnt hesitate but to recomend fairways good homemade food and a very good price just up from the harbour all in all a great day out i will return
posted by John 03/12/2010 10:08:09
For those people who want to walk and enjoy the wonderful fresh air,and fantastic beaches,cliffs that stretch out in front of you.Come to bridlington. Avoid the harbour, it adds nothing to a day that clearly will be every everything you need.
posted by Yvonne 27/01/2011 17:33:01
On our first trip to Scarborough,we stopped of in Bridlington, and I must say what a smashing place it was! This was in mid March 2010, and it was a beautiful, sunny day which really made it very pleasant. We stopped of again on the way home two days later. I really cant understand why folks knock it, I loved the place!
posted by John1951 13/03/2011 18:13:56
Rachel's Guest House Bridlington B&B brid.me.uk
posted by Rachel 29/04/2011 15:48:08
i live in Brid and run a guest house , and all our guest come year after year , as for it being run down , tell which town is,nt . In Brid we have a lot of nice places and some where its not so good , no different from any other town or city . TRINITY GUEST HOUSE .
posted by carol 27/05/2011 19:58:54
www.aboutbridlington.co.uk everything you need to know about Bridlington Bridlington is a wonderful Seaside town
posted by aboutbridlington 03/06/2011 13:41:07
I live in bridlington and have for the last 7 and a half years and am very glad to say that im moving in 3 weeks. I moved here from west yorkshire and hoped for a pleasent change to life but found that it has rapidly crumbled which i find dissapointing because for a small town has such great oppertunity with 2 beaches full of unused potential and been in possetion of the official uks best chip shop which has seems to have lost its mojo since winning the award i personaly would recomend jacks chippy located on Hilderthorpe road near the coach park and tescos. for those comments about Scarborough i pitty you as Scarborough is a larger smelly and scruffy Bridlington i personally would recomend keep on going up the coast till you reach Whitby which has never let me down in the 7 and a half years living on the coast and the years i visited previously. If you insist on visiting Bridlington i would reccomend such establishments such as Notrianies homemade ice cream parlor for a choice of multiple flavours and variaties of ice cream and coffees. Also a refreshing pint at the Sterling Castle which overlooks the harbor. The only real talent in the town is the local tattoo shop Identity (www.identitytattoos.co.uk) i have received many high quality tattos from 'tunny' and jan moat. So i guess that the moral to this review/rant/moan/b***h about Bridlington is if you want more than ice cream alchahol body art and supposed award winning fish and chips id go to Whitby, York or stay at home. Adios Brid sadly you will not be missed!
posted by luke 27/09/2011 00:07:36
BUT HOLE
posted by BOOB 10/11/2011 09:35:34
Shouldn't that be butt, Boob? Or is it Bob? Never mind, will be going to see for myself in June. Thanks for this very informative site by the way to whoever it concerns, it's a veritable gem.
posted by kitty 24/01/2012 18:35:06
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