If you’re looking for a large sandy beach on the Yorkshire coast we can highly recommend Cayton Bay beach. It is located just a short drive south of Scarborough in North Yorkshire. The Cayton Bay holiday park is on one side of the road and parking for the beach is on the opposite side of the road.
We parked for free on the old road which goes alongside the new main road. If you arrive before 10 am you can usually get a free parking place. We parked just before the turning for the Scarborough surf school as this is the shortest walking route down to the beach. You can also park here where there is a £3 charge to park. There are some public toilets here which is some way up from the beach.
The walk down to the beach is steep. It’s not too bad going down but going back up it is pretty tough going. The path is flat but it’s not accessible all the way down as there are steps at the final descent.
There is another path down further up that brings you out by the water pumping station. There is a small shop here selling drinks and beach goods. There is also another toilet here. You can also walk down via the woods although a lot of that walk down is guesswork.
Cayton Bay Beach Beach, Near Scarborough | Visitor Guide
The beach at Cayton bay is really big. One of the biggest in the area. We visited the other day with another 3 hours until low tide and there was plenty of beach. Even then we could walk all the way around the bay with no issues with the tide.
We had a feeling it would get busy so we walked an extra 20 minutes left along the beach. It was well worth the walk as there was only one other family there and they were at least 20 metres from us.
The beach is dog friendly so there were people walking their dogs but we pretty much felt like we had our spot to ourselves. The high tide can cut you off here but you should be able to keep your eye on it. If you don’t you can always walk back up via the forest.
We were glad we walked the extra distance as when we walked back the beach was really busy and to avoid the wet sand everyone was sat in a long line quite close to each other. This part of the beach is excellent for rock pooling but again it was a bit too busy for us.
Along the beach, you will find a few old concrete pillboxes from the second world war. These usually get washed by the sea at high tide so we didn’t find them full of litter like most we’ve found.
Take care if you do swim in the sea as the beach is notorious for strong currents. It’s perfect for paddling in though especially at the north end where there are fewer rocks. Although the beach is popular with surfers there were only small waves when we visited. If it is a calm day they tend to teach stand up paddleboarding instead.
As well as being a great place for rock pooling, SUP or surfing it’s also a good place to do a bit of fossil hunting. We didn’t find any though. We did spot the lifeguard cabin but we didn’t spot any lifeguards.
Important Information about Cayton Bay Beach
Address: Cayton, Scarborough YO11 3NR
Car parking at Cayton Bay Beach – Parking on the road, if you can find a space, is free. Parking in the surf school car park is £5.00 for the day (it may be less in winter).
Facilities at Cayton Bay beach: There is a kiosk selling drinks and snacks and beach goods. We didn’t find the toilets but the surf school is supposed to have them and also near the water pumping station (near the kiosk).
There is usually a lifeguard in the summer.
Opening Times: You can access the beach 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Accessibility – There is no disabled access to the beach, you could get a buggy down with help
Is Cayton Bay beach Dog Friendly: Dogs are allowed on the beach. There is a large fine if you do not clean up their mess.
Category: Beach, suitable for all ages.
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