Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

We stumbled across Runswick Bay beach by accident before it was even awarded the title of Britain’s Best Beach. The beach took the top spot in The Times’ ‘Britain’s 50 best beaches for 2020’. Runswick Bay is located north of the popular seaside resort of Whitby and just a short drive south of Staithes.

The day we visited was the day we were actually heading for Staithes. But when we arrived and realised you could only park at the top of a very steep hill we decided to try somewhere else, that somewhere was Runswick Bay.

The beach is breathtakingly beautiful. Its beauty comes not just from its size and its setting but from how unspoilt this sleepy former fishing village is. I truly hope that despite its award it won’t change and it won’t become overcrowded. Although the beach is big enough to accommodate lots of people its car parking isn’t.

Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

We parked in a very small car park very close to the beach. It was just a short and slightly steep walk down. There are only around 80 spaces with a charge to park in the spring and summer. If this is full you will have to park much higher up the hill meaning a more strenuous walk up and down.

There is a general lack of facilities with limited toilets and a small hotel which serves food and drinks. The views of the village once you are down on the beach are simply idyllic. There is a launching area with lots of canoes and a few small boats. The red-roofed houses are full of character and they line the hill on a number of different levels.

Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

The beach is perfect for fossil hunting. We spent around 15 minutes looking and we found one of the best fossils we’ve ever found on the Yorkshire coast. The cliffs next to the beach are very loose and crumbly so don’t hunt too close to the bottom of them.

While this is a good place for fossil hunting there is usually plenty of stones and pebbles to look through a little way from the base of the cliffs.

Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide

We visited when the tide wasn’t even fully out and the expanse of sand was huge. It is one of the biggest sandy beaches we’ve visited on the Yorkshire coast. It’s perfect for building sandcastles and digging holes. It’s also a great beach for a long walk but do check the tide times before you set off.

Runswick Bay North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
Runswick Bay

We visited in the winter and spent a good couple of hours there walking and exploring. It would be a lovely beach to spend a few hours in the summer and the holiday cottages in the village would be a perfect base.

Important Information about Runswick Bay

Address: Runswick Bay, TS13 5HT, North Yorkshire

Car parking at Runswick Bay – There is a small car park near the beach and a larger car park further up the hill.

Runswick Bay Prices – The beach is free to visit. There is a charge to park.

Facilities at Runswick Bay: The beach has no facilities. There are toilets and a hotel that serves food.

Opening Times: The beach is accessible all year round, please pay attention to tide times before you visit.

Accessibility – The beach is accessible (so long as your wheelchair can move on the sand once at the beach). The sand is usually compact.

Is Runswick Bay Beach Dog Friendly: Dogs are permitted all year round.

Category: Beach, suitable for all ages.

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