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The Yorkshire Coast - a guide for visitors to the resorts of the Yorkshire Coast

Whitby harbour The Yorkshire coast offers an amazing variety of scenery and resorts, varying tremendously in character and type. I've listed them from South to North, and as a general rule the southerly resorts are more suitable for beach holidays with young kids, while the Northerly resorts are more suited to those wanting an outdoors holiday.

Apart from the coast itself, the scenery inland varies. In the South, Filey and Bridlington back onto the Wolds, a beautiful area of undulating farmland, while Robin Hoods's Bay and Whitby are on the edge of the North York Moors, one of the most beautiful National Parks in the UK. In the middle is Scarborough, ideally situated to explore both areas. It's very difficult to recommend one resort over another, each caters to very different tastes as outlined below.

From a transport point of view, Filey, Brid, Scarborough and Whitby all have train stations, and there are buses up and down the coast linking all the resorts. So, without more ado, here's the overview.

Yorkshire Coastal Resorts (from South to North)

View of Bridlington


Brid was a bit of a dump in the 1980's, but has now been considerably smartened up and is rather nice. There are two magnificent beaches, and the whole place is very flat indeed, so an excellent choice for those who have trouble getting about. A little bit downmarket with cafes and chip shops on every corner, but nice for kids and plenty to do on a rainy day.

View of Flamborough


Flamborough head is a spit of land sticking out to sea. Ideal for those who want a rural type of holiday, and there's great walking round the cliffs. Brid is walkable to the South and Filey  to the North - though that's a fair step. There's no great beaches here, but the whole place has a lovely quiet rural feel, and the many campsites are well hidden so don't spoil the character of the place. Flamborough village itself has a good selection of pubs and a couple of decent takeaways. Highly recommended for a quiet holiday.



Filey is by far the best resort for small children, with a lovely calm and pleasant atmosphere. Much smaller than Brid or Scarborough, it's a gentle place with a magnificent sandy beach that's family friendly in the middle and dog friendly at the ends. To the North of the bay is Filey Brigg, a rocky outrcrop going out to sea which is full of rock pools that kids love to poke about in, and possibly the lumpiest path ever. There are parks, lots of small shops, fishing cobles, camp sites, donkey rides and a pure 1950's atmosphere. Not a place for those seeking excitement.

view of Scarborough


Right in the middle of the coast Scarborough has the ideal position. Set astride two bays, with the dramatic Scarborough Castle in between them, it's a far busier, livelier sort of a place than Brid with more amusement arcades and pubs. As much a working town as a holiday resort it has surprises around every corner. It's very hilly and wouldn't be my first choice for a beach holiday, but ideal as a base for exploring the wider area.

Robin Hood's Bay

Robin Hood's Bay

Bustling but romantic, the bay is an amazing place, built on the side of a hill that makes the place in the Hovis advert look flat. And cars are pretty much banned, so if you're staying near the bottom of the hill, travel light. The beach is rocky but very interesting, and the whole place is incredibly quaint. Three pubs, a couple of small cafes and a chip shop is about all for facilities, but lots of great walking round about, and it's even got a youth hostel at Boggle Hole.

view of Whitby


At the top of the North York Moors Whitby has so much going for it, it's unbelievable. It's old world, bustling, has the ruined abbey, the Dracula connection, long sandy beaches (bit bleak though), sea fishing, wonderful scenery just inland, Captain Cook, The Endeavour, the best seafood in Yorkshire, more Goth shops than anywhere else on the planet and a wonderful Folk festival every August. On the downside, the town can get very very crowded, especially on bank holidays.

view of Whitby

Yorkshire Coast Holiday Accommodation

There's a million places to stay on the Yorkshire Coast, from the humblest B & B to the Grandest of Hotels. Google is a great place to look for individual hotels and cottahes, but I've added this page to bring together some of the major players.

Comments (3)
Would like to be able to get a brochure or guide for this year by post, but dont see that on your site.
posted by Helen 20/02/2010 15:28:47
For more information check out www.yorkshire-coast.com and www.whitby-town.co.uk websites (no printed brochures available, though)...
posted by Roger 21/02/2010 16:39:38
Whitby is a very nice place to visit when ever i am bored we jump in the car and have days out, people are very friendly and there is always a warm welcome where ever you go, we also have had our last 3 holidays in whitby we rent an apartment right on the river Esk fantastic views,we even see the old steam railway engines daily so we would highly recomend Whitby for days out or even an holiday a must place to visit is Goathland were Heartbeat was filmed, great day out for all the family..
posted by Anthony Bentham 23/05/2010 09:29:00
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