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Whitby Beaches, Your Beach By Beach Guide to the Whitby Area

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Here is our detailed Whitby beaches guide. There’s nothing like sea air in your lungs and the feeling of waves crashing around your feet to help you unwind from the stresses of modern life. 

Let’s face it – everyone loves a day at the beach. One of the best places to go in search of a little seaside fun is one of the many beaches of Whitby and the surrounding villages.

The trouble is, though, Whitby has so many great beaches available that it can get a little confusing. So, we put together this guide to tell you everything you need to know to find the perfect Whitby beach for your next family outing.

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Whitby Tate Hill Beach

Tate Hill Beach in Whitby.

Beach Type: Sand and Shingle | Lifeguards: No | Dog-friendly: Yes

Tate Hill is a small, sandy beach within the sheltered harbour entrance. Dogs are allowed on Tate Hill Beach year-round, and it’s a popular spot for campfires, picnics and metal detecting.

It’s also close to the East Pier and backed by fashionable Church Street, with its independent shops adding character to this part of Whitby. The 199 Steps that lead up to Whitby Abbey start from the end of Church Street, and nearby Henrietta Street is home to the world-famous Fortunes Kippers.

The best place to stay for easy access to this beach is one of these excellent Whitby holiday cottages

Click here for directions to Tate Hill Beach.

Whitby West Cliff Beach (Whitby Sands Beach)

Whitby Sands Beach

Beach Type: Sand | Lifeguards: Yes (May-September) | Dog-friendly: Dogs not permitted from May-September

Whitby West Cliff Beach is a large sandy beach with some rocks that runs from Upgang Beach to the mouth of the River Esk. It is also known as Whitby Sands Beach. It is the most popular beach in the area, located on the northern edge of Whitby town, only a few minutes walk from the town centre.

There are numerous access points along Cleveland Way, North Terrace, and North Promenade, where visitors have to walk down fairly long access ramps to reach the beach at the bottom of the cliffs below. During the warmer months, a lift operates from North Terrace. Paid parking is available at the West Cliff and Pavillion Top car parks.

Whitby Beach Huts.

On summer days, this stretch of sand between Upgang Beach and West Pier is alive, with families soaking up the sun and enjoying life. In true Yorkshire style, a line of colourful beach huts is available for hire, as well as deckchairs and windbreaks near the slipway at West Pier, so you can make the most out of your time on Whitby West Cliff Beach.

A seasonal dog ban is in place between May and September, but they are welcome all year round at Tate Hill Beach.

Click here for directions to West Cliff Beach

Upgang Whitby Beach

Upgang Whitby Beach.

Beach Type: Sand and Shingle | Lifeguards: No | Dog-friendly: Yes

Upgang is a small, flat beach backed by cliffs between Sandsend Beach and Whitby West Cliff Beach. The access point is next to the Whitby Golf Course via steps and steep walkways built into the side of the hill overlooking the beach. Upgang Beach doesn’t get as many visitors as Sandsend or Whitby West Cliff Beach, so you won’t see the usual sunbathers or picnickers in this area. However, it is well-known in the surfing community and is a popular summer fishing spot. Dog walkers also use it year-round as there are no restrictions in place.

Click here for directions to Upgang Beach

Saltwick Bay Beach

Beach Type: Sand & Rock | Lifeguards: No | Dog-Friendly: Yes

Saltwick Bay is a northeast-facing bay about 1 mile east of Whitby. Access to the beach is via a footpath that starts near the Whitby Holiday Park on the cliff above the bay.

The path has suffered erosion damage over the years and is quite steep in places. Its stairs are also very slippery when wet. The path leads down to the sandy beach, and while swimming isn’t recommended in this area, it is a great place to search for fossils such as ammonites and belemnites.

Saltwick bay shipwreck.

Whitby Jet can be found amongst the rocks and shale at either end of the beach. The bay is also a popular fishing spot, and dogs are permitted here ― just make sure they don’t disturb any of the wildlife that calls this secluded cove home.

Click here for directions to Saltwick Bay Beach

Sandsend Beach

Starfish on Sandsend Beach.

Beach Type: Sand and Shingle | Lifeguards: Yes (during high season) | Dog-friendly: Restrictions in place from May-September

Sandsend Beach runs from Sandsend Village to Dunsley Beck in the south. This clean, sandy beach is perfect for families, so make sure your children bring their buckets, spades, swimmers and crab nets. Paid parking is available at Sandsend car park off Lythe Bank and to the south of the village along Sandsend Road. You can access the beach from both of these car parks, as well as many other places in between.

During summer, part of the beach is zoned off for swimming and is a great place for a refreshing dip. If you have children, though, just be aware that strong tidal rips flow parallel to the beach and could drag them along. A large area of Sandsend Beach is exposed at low tide, and there is no shortage of rock pools for children to explore.

Sandsend beach.

As you walk south along the beach, the village of Sandsend is left behind and replaced with stunning grassy cliffs by the time you reach Dunsley Beck. It’s possible to walk to Whitby along this beach when the tide is low, and for most people, it’s a one and a half hour walk. And it’s also somewhat of a surfing mecca in the U.K.

Dogs are not permitted on the main part of the beach from May to September (refer to signs for exact locations).

Click here for directions to Sandsend Beach

Robin Hood’s Bay Beach

Robin Hood's Bay Beach.

Beach Type: Sand and Rock | Lifeguard: No | Dog Friendly: Yes

Visitors to Robin Hood’s Bay will first be awestruck by the view. The glistening golden sand stretching out to Ravenscar is a joy. You’ll be well inside your ‘Comfort Zone’ stepping out onto the sandy beach of the ‘Bay, as locals call this beautiful part of the world. Passport magazine – an online travel blog – said: “There’s no evidence to indicate that Robin Hood ever visited Robin Hood’s Bay. No one knows where this lovely Yorkshire village and the surrounding beach got their name.”

Robin Hood's Bay Beach

Myth and legend aside, the beach at the bay is dog-friendly. Take a ball or find a decent stick for your four-legged friend to make the most of the low tide. The beach stretches to Ravenscar for a brisk and rewarding stroll.

Click here for directions to Robin Hood’s Bay Beach (Please note: You cannot park close to the beach. It is accessed via a steep walk down through the town. You must park your vehicle in one of the car parks above the village.)

Runswick Bay Beach

Runswick Bay Beach.

Beach Type: Sand & Rock | Lifeguards: No | Dog-friendly: Yes

Runswick Bay is 9 miles north of Whitby, and many say it is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Yorkshire coast. Visitors must travel to the former fishing village of Runswick, nestled under the cliffs at the beach’s northern end, to get there. Although cars aren’t allowed in the town, there is a pay-and-display car park at the end of the steep access road where you can leave your vehicle while you explore the bay.

The beach is mainly sand, although some rocks and stony areas are scattered. It’s a great place to visit during summer, especially for families. Children can build sandcastles, play their favourite beach games, explore rockpools, and even enjoy a dip in the North Sea when conditions are right.

Runswick Bay beach.

The bay is also popular for water sports enthusiasts, including canoeists and surfers, when the conditions suit. In the off-season, there are still plenty of things to do, like exploring the cliff-tops along the Cleveland Way walking trail or hunting for fossils. Ammonites (prehistoric shellfish) are quite common, and the best way to find a specimen is to search for it amongst the rocks and beach rubble around low tide. Wildlife species call Runswick Bay Beach home, and seals can be seen year-round.

During winter, Runswick Bay is a popular fishing spot for sea anglers and one of the region’s best cod fishing locations. It’s also a great place to take your pooch for exercise because Runswick Bay Beach is dog-friendly, and there are no restrictions at any time of year.

Click here for directions to Runswick Bay Beach

Staithes Beach

Lobster Pots on Staithes Pier.

Beach Type: Sand & Rock | Lifeguards: No | Dog-friendly: Yes

Staithes is located only 10 miles away from Whitby. To visit from Whitby, it takes around 22 minutes by car. It was once one of the busiest fishing ports on the North East coast and was home to the renowned Royal Navy captain and explorer, Captain James Cook.

The sandy beach here is small, and features areas made up of pebbles and rocks. Visitors should exercise caution around the cliff face, as falling rocks can be dangerous. During low tide, there are plenty of rock pools between Staithes and Port Mulgrave. If you’re lucky, seals can also be spotted sunning along the shore.  

Dogs are allowed on the beach without any restrictions, and parking is available in the town, only a five-minute walk from the beach.

The water quality at Staithes is notoriously poor. Recently, discussions have occurred about removing it from the UK’s official list of bathing beaches. We don’t recommend swimming in the water here.

Click here for directions to Staithes Beach.

Water Safety

Learn valuable tips on ensuring your safety and that of your loved ones while at the coast or in the water. 

Float to live signage.

Float to live

Remember to float to live if you ever find yourself in trouble in the water. Lean back, extend your arms and legs, and control your breathing. Then, call for help and share this vital skill with your loved ones, as it could save someone’s life.

Get advice

Are you planning to kayak, fish, surf, or walk by the coast? Learning to have fun while staying safe in the water and on the beach is essential. The RNLI’s team of sea safety experts has designed activity guides that cover a broad range of watersports and hobbies, enabling you to prepare yourself effectively for the challenges of your chosen activity.

Click here to get further information.

Paddle Safe.

Know the risks

While the sea can offer great opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment, it is important to note that it can also pose potential risks. Knowing these risks can help you avoid them and ensure your safety. The RNLI’s water safety guides can provide useful tips on identifying hazards in the water and along the coast so that you can stay safe and avoid any potential danger.

Call for help

It’s crucial always to carry a means of calling for help when visiting the beach. If you plan to go in the water, it’s recommended that you hold your mobile phone in a waterproof pouch. This way, if you find yourself or someone else in an emergency, you can quickly call for help. 

If you have a coastal emergency in the UK, dial 999, or if you’re in Ireland, dial 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Click here for beach safety tips and learn how to keep you and your loved ones safe at the seaside.

So, there you have it—your complete guide to all the beaches near Whitby. If you found this article useful, let us know in the comments.

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If you enjoyed this article, please consider sharing it with your friends.

2 thoughts on “Whitby Beaches, Your Beach By Beach Guide to the Whitby Area”

  1. Six adults and five dogs arriving in Whitby for a week. June 12th.
    Looking forward to searching out the dog friendly beaches as our last two visits were day trips so we only saw the main beach and the town centre. Terry Carroll

  2. Whitby West Cliff Beach (Whitby Sands Beach)
    Beach Type: Sand | Lifeguards: Yes (May-September) | Dog-friendly: Dogs not permitted from May-September


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