Walking Whitby to Sandsend - Get Out and Enjoy the Sunshine!
If you're looking for holiday activities that won't break the bank, are suitable for all ages, and always different no matter how frequently you under take them - you can't beat a walk on the beach!
Whitby is home to one of the most wonderful stretches of sandy beach on the Yorkshire coast. Following the coastline north to Sandsend, it's totally covered at high tide, but provides acres of open space at low tide. Perfect for whiling away a few hours - whatever the time of year.
With the weather looking fine for the next couple of weeks at least, it's great to see Whitby's best natural asset in full use. Families, couples, dog-walkers - all wrapped up and out enjoying the early spring sunshine.
Walking from Whitby to Sandsend (and back) is well worth the effort. If you enjoy beach coming you're bound to find some hidden treasures amongst the pebbles.
If you're a fan of wildlife there'll be plenty of sea birds to keep you company, and (mostly in the summer) the occasional seal spotted bobbing about in the water. And if, by any chance, you love digging holes, building sandcastles or dipping your toes in the North Sea, then you're spoilt for space!
Setting off from Whitby's West Cliff, you can follow the footpaths which wind their way down the cliff and end up in Upgang Ravine - with a wonderful view of Sandsend before you:
Wind your way down the gravel path and onto the beach and you'll enjoy breathtaking views in either direction. Back towards Whitby you'll see the piers - jutting out into the North Sea and protecting Whitby harbour and town from the relentless power of the waves.
At certain times of year dogs are only allowed on the beach in between Whitby and Sandsend, so if you're attended by a four-legged friend you'll probably need to turn left and head towards Sandsend at this point. Through the winter you're welcome to simply loop back along the beach to town and find some fish and chips!
Whitby isn't always blessed with fantastic surf - but when the conditions are right the surfers will be out in force. Over the weekend there were plenty of suitable waves, topped with surfers trying their best to stay on their boards.
If you're walking amongst the pebbles further up the beach you're sure to find some little treasures. There's plenty of sea glass in greens, whites, pale blues - turned, tossed and shaped by the abrasive sand and the power of the waves over the years.
And you'll find bits of old pottery too - it's always a challenge to try and work out what they were in a former life! Any ideas what these were?
Once you make it to Sandsend, there are ducks to feed, and coffee to be drunk. We recommend Tides - it's the modern blue hut on the far-side of the beck. The coffee is excellent, and on a cold day their warm box with large windows looking out across the water is a welcome destination.
They also do great ice cream and cakes too - along with bacon sandwiches and other bits and pieces. In the summer they sell beach goods - so if you need an extra bucket or spade, or even a body board or wetsuit then this is the place to come.
And once you've drunk your coffee or eaten your ice cream and hand a wander up and down Sandsend, you've got a choice:
- Get the bus (the X4 runs half hourly throughout the year and will soon have you back in town)
- Head back along the beach
- Follow the road
If you've walked along the beach, doing the same in reverse can feel like a lot of effort, unless it's a particularly lovely day. Often we opt for the road route. The footpath has been widended so it's a fairly safe option even for those with children/push chairs, and you'll get a different view of Sandsend and Whitby as you rise up above sea level.
You'll be walking along the side of the Golf Course - which is a destination in itself if you're so inclined:
And as you get back to town, why not stop in The White House for a refreshing drink? You'll see it across the Golf Course as you get back into town. There's a large public bar, and an excellent beer garden if the sun's still shining - plenty of room for the children to let off some steam and the adults to chat and enjoy the view.
Of course, Whitby beach isn't the only one worth a mention, here are our other favourites within a short drive:
- Robin Hood's Bay
Robin Hood's Bay beach stretches south to Ravenscar, with Boggle Hole in between the two. You'll find an excellent Youth Hostel there with a cafe (complete with log burning stove) home-made cakes, nice drinks and a decent menu too - definitely worth checking out for a lunch or coffee and cake.
Head north and you'll find Staithes - another fishing village with a well-protected harbour, cobbled streets and a small but perfectly formed beach.
- Runswick Bay
Runswick Bay is in between Whitby and Staithes - there's a public car park at the top of the bank, next to the Ciffemount Hotel - park there and wander down to the sandy beach - it's wonderful on a sunny day.
And if the beach isn't your thing - why not stick to the cliff path, or the cinder track? From Whitby you can head north or south along the Cleveland Way - both directions offering spectacular cliff-top views down into the sandy, rocky coastline below. The Whitby to Scarborough Cinder Track is an excellent cycle route - if two wheels takes your fancy. You can hire bikes in Hawsker - make a day of it, take a picnic.
Whatever your route, or mode of transport, get out and enjoy the fresh air in Yorkshire this year!