Things To See Beside the Sea: The Incredible North Yorkshire Coast

There are so many things we are proud of in Yorkshire, and our coastline is at the top of the list. With dramatic sea views and sandy beaches, fantastic hikes and inspirational heritage landmarks, there is something for everyone to enjoy at the coast.

Stunning Places to Visit

Whitby is one of the most famous towns along the coast, providing inspiration for a whole host of authors, poets, artists, and musicians. The most notable is Bram Stoker’s famous novel Dracula, where the titular character runs up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey in the form of a dog after his ship is wrecked on Tate Hill Sands.

Scarborough is a tourist spot with fun and entertainment for everyone and it’s perfect for a day out by the sea, whether you’re looking for something relaxing or a little more action-packed. With plenty of shops, restaurants, and sandy beaches, you’ll be entertained all year round.

Robin Hood’s Bay is a gorgeous and exciting fishing village with a rich cultural history of fisherman and smugglers. Park at the top of the hill and make your way down the steep slope around the labyrinth of quirky cottages and quaint shops. When you reach the quay, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the sweeping bay.

Filey boasts 2018’s ‘Beach of the Year’ award, and it’s easy to see why. A little quieter than other coastal destinations, it’s perfect for nature lovers and hikers. The long, sandy beach leads to Filey Brigg, which has plenty of rock pools for little ones to explore and is the starting point to the Cleveland Way Circular Trail for hikers.

[Whitby Abbey Image Credit: Great British Life]

Rustic Rambles to Explore

Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay is a trail that is packed with incredible variety. Traverse along the former Scarborough-Whitby railway line cinder track, stop off at Robin Hood’s Bay along the way and even complete an 11-mile detour into the moors if you’re looking to stretch yourself – and your legs.

Beach lovers might enjoy walking along the seafront from Sandsend to Whitby, where you follow the beach to your destination. Perfect for warm, sunny weather, you can stop at your choice of cafés and restaurants along the three-mile route. 

The coastal walking route that takes in Scarborough, Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Whitby and Sandsend is just part of the 109-mile Cleveland Way, a National Trail. If you’re enjoying the terrain and the scenery, why not push on beyond Sandsend towards the former fishing village and artist colony of Staithes, another maze of cottage-lined narrow alleys, and then the resort town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea.

[Image Credit: The Whitby Guide]

Get Wild In The Natural World

Along the Ravenscar coast you may be able to see the biggest colony of grey seals that resides along the coastline. Grey seals are the biggest seal breed in the UK; they are distinguished from the common seal by their dark spots around their head and their sloping nose – their Latin name translates to Hook-nosed pig.  They are most likely to be seen in autumn during the breeding season, when they are tending to their young.

In Robin Hood’s Bay, if you and the kids venture into the rock pools, you may find a squat lobster, which are much smaller than normal lobsters and tend to be found squatting in the crevices of rocks waiting for food to pass by. You might also discover barnacles, periwinkles and limpets clinging to the rocks while sea weeds in green, brown and red reveal butterfish, velvet swimming crabs and more.

Curlews are best seen in autumn and winter digging for invertebrate food along the sandy shorelines. The ones you will see in the colder months migrate to Scandinavia to nest, but in spring and summer, our moors are also full of nesting curlews. This clever little wading bird is mostly known for being a loudmouth, its call is instantly recognisable within the coastal chorus. It’s a bit like a seagull’s, but slower and much higher in pitch.

[Grey Seal Image Credit: English Heritage]

If you want to explore more of what Pickering and the surrounding area has to offer those of us who love to explore the outdoors, you can find everything you need at our outdoor adventures page, which you can find here.