Northern beaches

The North has some of the best beaches in England, here’s our top pick

by Northern Life

We do love to be beside the seaside and the North has some of the best beaches in England. Here we’ve picked 7 of our favourite Northern beaches.

Runswick Bay

With its sweeping, sheltered bay and charming red-roofed cottages, Runswick Bay is one of the Yorkshire coast’s prettiest destinations. Runswick Bay is less popular than its neighbours Staithes and Whitby, but it is just as stunning. The beach is in front of a charming village which plays host to a sailing club as well as a number of pleasure and fishing boats. A perfect place to visit for families and walkers. Great for rock pooling, fossil hunting, coastal walks and sandcastle building. If you’re brave enough to face the North Sea temperatures, Runswick Bay has pretty good surf too.

Find cottages near Runswick Bay from just £238 for 7 nights.


best beaches in England

Photo by Paul Zdanowicz

If you’re looking for a leisurely day out, how about visiting the elegant promenades of bright and breezy Bridlington? With its sandy beaches, award-winning promenades and historic harbour, this is a hidden seaside gem awash with kitsch traditional entertainment. Visit the funfair, amusements and donkey rides on the beach for a traditional British day out with seaside in spades!

Also, whilst you’re in this neck of the woods, why not go and explore Bridlington’s wonderful Old Town.

Find places to stay near Bridlington from only £320 for 7 nights.

Walney Island

best beaches in England

Photo by martinmillar6

Across Jubilee bridge from Barrow-in-Furness sits Walney Island, an 11-mile long island in the Irish Sea, at the tip of the Furness peninsula; it is the eighth largest island off the English coast. It has two recognised nature reserves, North Walney and South Walney, both run by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The north side of the island has plenty of sandy beaches. To the west of the island, Sandy Gap Beach offers a wide expanse of sand, and is a perfect place to come for long windswept walks and beachcombing. The nearby North Walney Reserve is administered by the Cumbria Wildlife Trust. The dunes, salt marshes and grasslands here are home to many interesting species of plant and wildlife.

Find places to stay near Walney Island from £45 a night.

Rossall Beach

best beaches in England

Photo by Curryfan

The area around Rossall Beach and Cleveleys has a great community spirit and every month members of the Rossall Beach Resident & Community Group get together to clean litter from the beach front. The residents clearly love their beach dearly. The beach is comprised of sand and shingle which acts as natural sea defence. Rossall Beach gets a lot of flotsam and jetsam washed up and you can often make some interesting finds including mermaids purses, shells, and small creatures, plus of course the ever present plastic waste.

Find places to stay near Rossall Beach from just £384 for 7 nights.

Robin Hood’s Bay

best beaches in England

Photo by Bev Cappleman

Robin Hood’s Bay takes a bit of effort to access with its steep descent into the bay, but it is well worth the effort. It is Yorkshire’s coastline at its most raw and elemental. You’ll be leaving your car on the cliff top and then begin the meandering descent through the gorgeous red roofed fishing cottages that spill right down to the beach surrounded by the ominous cliffs. If you just want to get away from it all, Robin Hood’s Bay is the perfect place to do just that.

Find places to stay near Robin Hood’s Bay from £252 for 7 nights.


best beaches in England

Photo by Bev Cappleman

Staithes village feels like a town that is lost in time, with its higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets leading you down to the seafront. It’s has a small sandy beach which is great for beachcombing and rock-pooling. The wave-cut platform from Staithes all the way round to the beautiful, old, decaying Port Mulgrave is exposed at low tide. Potter among the rock pools and if you’re lucky you might spot seals. You’re also very likely to find fossils.

Find places to stay in Staithes from just £78 per night.

Morcambe Bay

best beaches in England

Morecambe Bay stretches from the south west coast of Cumbria to Fleetwood in Lancashire, taking in coastal towns such as Grange-over-Sands, Morecambe and Heysham. The Bay is one of the best places in the UK for high adrenalin outdoor activities from sailing, to powered paragliding, parachuting, windsurfing, mountain biking, horseriding, and kitesurfing. Morecambe Bay offers miles of scenic walking and cycling routes and with its vast expanse of sandy beach it is popular with families who want to relax, explore and enjoy.

A word of warning though, Morecambe Bay is also one of the most treacherous beaches in the UK. The combination of fast tides, quicksands, draining rivers, shifting channels and sheer unpredictability has trapped the unwary for centuries. Many vehicles have been trapped in the past and subsequently sunk into the sand never to be seen again.

Find places to stay near Morecambe Bay from only £37 a night.