Top Five North-East Coast Beaches to Enjoy this Term


Katy Leverett recommends some of the top beaches along the North East coast to enjoy during summer term

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By Katy Leverett

With third term now well underway and exams fast approaching, it can be difficult to work out when we can find the time to unwind and relax. Temperatures are slowly on the rise and summer is only just around the corner, so looking out of the library window and seeing cloudless blue skies whilst cramming in revision is even harder. However, for the few moments of procrastination you may need whilst gazing out of that window (I know I certainly will!), here are five of the north east’s best beaches to visit on a warm summer’s day once the exam season is done, which, as you look out the library window, you can look forward to and know the end is in sight!

1. Whitby
About a two hour bus journey from York, Whitby is a well-known coastal town boasting quayside arcades, stunning views and its famous fish and chips. Summer is the perfect time to visit Whitby as the cold winds of the North Sea can make it a bit cold at other times of the year. West Cliff beach is its most well-known bay, with sandy shores and brightly coloured beach huts, it is a great spot for a picnic, ball games and paddling in the sea. The town itself is also worth a visit: it is a typical quaint seaside town with independent shops and cafes. For those who aren’t a massive fan of sandy shores, Whitby Abbey can be a fun place to explore and picnic in the summer sun.

2. Saltburn-By-The-Sea
Just over an hour’s train journey from York, Saltburn-By-The-Sea has frequently been voted one of the best beaches in the north for its accessibility, facilities, water quality, lifeguards and dog friendly beaches. The beach is sand-shingle mix and is one of the best surf spots along the north east coast. It is possible to journey down to the beach with a ride on the oldest water-balanced cliff lift in Britain and the only one to survive along the north-east coast. The lift disembarks next to Saltburn’s iconic Victorian pier, which makes for a wonderful place to enjoy some fish and chips in the salty sea breeze.

3. Filey
Accessible by train or bus, Filey is less commercial than some of its neighbours, boasting long uninterrupted stretches of sandy shores. The beach is perfect for a post-exam summer stroll or for the keener walkers, head to Filey Brigg to find the beginning of the Cleveland Way coastal walk which has stunning views of the North Yorkshire coastline. Filey is also a great location for surfing and other water-sports, like windsurfing and sailing. If you’re an avid rock pool enthusiast, at low tide, Filey has plenty to explore.

4. Scarborough
How could I do an article on north-east beaches and not mention one of the country’s most popular seaside resorts? Scarborough is a hotspot for York students trying to enjoy the sun in the summer as it is by far the easiest to get to, being under an hour’s train journey from the city. The beach is divided by a rocky promontory on which the remains of Scarborough Castle stand. South Bay is the livelier side of Scarborough, with plenty of cafes, ice cream parlours, shops and arcades. The sandy beach makes for a great sunbathing and picnic spot, and the gentler waves compared to other beaches are perfect for a paddle in the summer sun.

5. Bridlington North Beach
And finally, Bridlington North Beach is a lovely spot to soak up some summer sun. Just under a two hour train journey from York, the beach is a sand and shingle mix, with stunning views of the chalky cliffs of the Flamborough Headland. A range of traditional seaside activities are available to visitors and there are plenty of rock pools and land structures to explore. Kite surfing is a popular sport on the beach, and it is known to be good for surfing too.

These are just a handful of the many beaches lining the north-east coastland. There is so much to explore along the coast and a trip to any of these beaches is well worth it, especially as a post-exam treat! So in a moment of procrastination, plan a trip with friends to one of these sunny seaside spots and give yourself something to look forward to amidst the exam stress.