Yorkshire undoubtedly boasts some of the country’s best coastline, with scenic sandy beaches, excellent seafood restaurants and many historic attractions to discover. If you’re planning a weekend away in Scarborough, Whitby or the surrounding area, here are some great places to stay, eat and explore.
Where to eat:
You can’t visit the Yorkshire Coast without tucking into some delicious, freshly caught fish. Sitting next to the small beck that runs into the sea at Sandsend, Fish Cottage is a cosy and characterful seafood restaurant that offers traditional fish and chips along with a few more adventurous options. You can start a meal here with grilled oysters kilpatrick, topped with breadcrumbs, cured ham, comte and tabasco, and served on a bed of raw samphire. You can then move on to a trio of fish, prawn and curried cauliflower tacos, or splash out with a Whitby lobster thermidor. Fish Cottage has a relaxed atmosphere and on warmer days you can dine outside on its sunny benches. Another excellent eatery on this stretch of the coast is Restaurant Number 20 in Port Mulgrave. This family-run restaurant serves a constantly changing menu of unfussy fish-centred dishes, many of which have a Mediterranean twist. Previous mains have included a Sterling White halibut fillet with braised porcini potato, swiss chard, gremolata and lemon oil, or sea trout with jersey royals, pea, asparagus and a spring onion braise. If you have any room left afterwards, you can sample tempting desserts such as burnt cheesecake with pomegranate or chocolate truffle cake with espresso mascarpone cheese. If you’re in Scarborough, a trip to Seafood Social provides a chance to enjoy some tasty food while helping a worthy cause. This fish and chip restaurant works in partnership with the Rainbow Trust to tackle homelessness by offering employment and training opportunities to those in need. At their modern cafe, you can try bubble bobble prawns – a street-food style serving of juicy prawn pieces in a crispy bubble coating, accompanied by lettuce and chilli jam. You can also treat yourself to a ‘posh’ fish finger sandwich, featuring hand-cut cod or haddock goujons and shredded rainbow slaw in a sliced white bloomer. Seafood Social’s prices are modest, but its customers can add a little extra to ‘pay it forward’ if they wish.
Where to stay:
If you’d like to fully immerse yourself in nature, Meadowbeck Shepherd’s Huts are the perfect rural retreat. These rustic huts can be found near Fylingdales and make a great base from which to explore the town of Whitby or the pretty fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay. The huts sit in a wild meadow with an outdoor campfire area and hammocks to relax in. Depending on the hut you choose, you can be with or without electricity, so you can really get back to basics. Alternatively, the Wrea Head Hall Hotel is a luxurious place to stay that’s within walking distance of the centre of Scarborough. Residing in an elegant gothic mansion, this independent, adults-only hotel boasts a gorgeous, sympathetically styled interior and has its own restaurant that serves an a la carte menu along with cooked breakfasts and afternoon teas. Another great option for a self-catering seaside break is one of the Shoreline Cottages. Shoreline showcases some of the best places to stay on the North Yorkshire Coast and has cottages in Whitby and Port Mulgrave, including the Fossil Hunters townhouse and Greenfingers and Henrietta Cottage in Whitby’s historic Old Town. All of these are beautifully decorated and well-equipped with everything you need for a comfortable stay.
Pubs and bars:
If you’re a beer enthusiast, a day in Whitby isn’t complete without a trip to the Green Dragon. Tucked away down Grape Lane, this tiny beer shop and taproom stocks over 300 different beers and ciders from all around the world. You can pick up intriguing new cans to take away here, or take a seat in the Green Dragon’s taproom, where you can enjoy wines, spirits or choose from a great selection of craft beers. Alternatively, for a drink with a difference in Scarborough, you can hop aboard the Southern Star. This painstakingly restored former survey vessel belongs to SeaGrown – the UK’s first commercial seaweed farm. The boat is moored in Scarborough’s harbour and acts as a visitor centre for the farm with its own cafe and a fully-licensed bar where you can sit in the refreshing sea breeze while sipping a draught beer or local ale. Another atmospheric place to eat and drink is the Bryherstones Country Inn. Located in the village of Cloughton, just outside Scarborough, this delightfully old fashioned pub has a charming interior that’s full of surprising details and pieces of history, from its cobbled floors to the hay rack and horse brasses that adorn its walls. The inn has a large beer garden with a play area for children and you can choose from a wine list curated by Betton Wines of East Ayton here. Bryherstones also serves Timothy Taylor beers, along with a variety of fine cask conditioned ales and rotating guest beers from local breweries.
If you’re planning to explore the Yorkshire Coast on foot, the Cleveland Way is a scenic longer hike that takes you across heathered moorland and through the North Yorkshire hills as it winds its way to the sea. The route is one of the country’s 16 National Trails and is 109-miles long, taking around nine days to complete. It starts in the picturesque market town of Helmsley and passes the Kilburn White Horse at Sutton Bank before looping around and skirting the northern edge of the North York Moors. It then travels through the remote wilderness of Cringle Moor and climbs Roseberry Topping. The Cleveland Way reaches the coast at Saltburn and follows it down through a number of pretty fishing villages and the towns of Whitby and Scarborough as it approaches its end on the wilds of Filey Brigg. If you’d prefer a shorter walk, the Brigg alone is well worth a visit. This rocky peninsula offers spectacular views of the sea and is a great spot for bird watching, with oystercatchers, redshanks and purple sandpipers to discover. Another popular attraction for twitchers is the RSPB’s Bempton Cliffs. These magnificent chalk cliffs comprise five kilometres of coastline and can be found between Filey and Flamborough. Whenever you choose to visit, Bempton Cliffs are always teeming with life. Around half a million seabirds come here each year to nest and raise their young. In the spring and summer time you’ll find gannets, guillemots, kittiwakes, razorbills and puffins, while winter sees the arrival of migrants such as redwings and goldcrests. There are plenty of other things to see too – the reserve is home to a peaceful wildlife garden and you can sometimes spot roe deer and barn owls in its grassland.
History and culture:
One of the Yorkshire Coast’s best-known landmarks, Whitby Abbey stands on the town’s East Cliff, offering incredible views over the surrounding landscape. The 13th century ruins are now cared for by the English Heritage and the site they stand on has a new museum and visitor centre, which brings the abbey’s story to life through a fascinating collection of objects and interactive displays. Whitby is known for its biannual goth weekend and its links to Dracula but another important part of the town’s history is its jet mining industry. Jet became popular in the Victorian times, when it was used to fashion mourning jewellery. You can see examples of items made with Whitby Jet, along with some cheaper alternatives and fakes, at the Museum of Whitby Jet. This unique museum in the historic Wesley Hall houses Albert’s Eatery – a modern British restaurant and cocktail bar where you can eat among cabinets containing jet and other related artefacts. If you’d like to travel further back in time and collect some prehistoric mementos for yourself, you can take part in one of Fossils UK’s fossil hunting tours at Runswick Bay. These two hour guided tours are led by an expert and you’re guaranteed to make some exciting discoveries, like ammonites that sparkle with pyrite. Alternatively, if you’re visiting the town of Scarborough, you can visit the ruins of the 3,000 year old castle that stands on its headland, or soak up some contemporary culture while viewing the current exhibitions at the Woodend Gallery.
Other places to relax and explore:
If you’re looking to relax during your weekend away, Raithwaite Sandsend is just the place. This contemporary hotel sits between the sea and the North York Moors, offering the very best of the coast and countryside. The Raithwaite Estate has a fine dining restaurant, bar and crab shack, as well as a spa with a swimming pool, steam room and sauna. You can also enjoy some pampering time with a range of Temple Spa treatments to choose from. A tour of the Spirit of Yorkshire Distillery is another great way to spend an afternoon. This is where Filey Bay – Yorkshire’s first single malt whisky – is made and you can learn all about the malting and distilling process here or even try a tasting. The distillery has its own gift shop but if you fancy indulging in some more retail therapy, the Whitby Deli sells all kinds of scrumptious goodies to take home with you. Here, you’ll find cheeses, charcuterie and antipasti, along with locally-made preserves, sauces and crackers. You can also grab a cup of coffee and freshly baked cakes to eat on the go. Kipper-lovers also can’t miss a trip to Fortune’s. This famous smokehouse has been selling traditionally smoked kippers since 1872. Their taste is incredible, so it’s no surprise that the shop has appeared on a whole host of TV cookery shows including the BBC’s Hairy Bikers.
Images: https://wreaheadhall.co.uk/rooms-suites/ @thewhitbydeli https://shoreline-cottages.com/