Beautiful beaches in the North of England

From unspoilt sandy beaches and dunes full of wildflowers to dramatic cliffs covered in nesting birds and rocky shores, we look after miles of coast in the North of England. Here are our top tips for a day at the seaside across Yorkshire, the North East and the North West.

Family time on the beach building sandcastles

Druridge Bay, Northumberland  

Druridge Bay is a seven mile beach running from Amble in the north, with its bustling harbour and shops, to Cresswell in the south. As well as the long sandy beach, there are pools and sand dunes teeming with wildlife to be explored. The beach is popular with horse riders, walkers and surfers and is also the perfect spot for picnics, paddling and playing on a summer's day.

Embleton bay with Dunstanbugh Castle in the distance

Embleton and Newton Links, Northumberland  

With the fishing hamlet of Low Newton at one end and the towering ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle at the other, this sandy beach is the ideal place for paddling (or swimming for the brave), taking in Northumberland's historic past and discovering sea birds and wildflowers.

View of St Patrick's chapel

Heysham, Lancashire  

Heysham village overlooks Morecambe Bay and has sheltered, sandy beaches and plenty of history. It's long been a go-to destination, from being a place of pilgrimage in the early medieval period to the holiday hot-spot of the 1950s. Look out for St Patrick's Chapel, possibly dating back to the 8th century, and the unusual rock cut graves on the headland.

Visitors on the beach at Robin Hood's Bay paddle in the sunshine with the cliffs of Ravenscar in the distance

Robin Hood's Bay, Yorkshire  

Robin Hood’s Bay on the Yorkshire Coast is great for rock pooling, fossil hunting and walking. At low tide you can walk all the way along the beach to neighbouring villages such as Ravenscar. The bay sits between the National Trust visitor centres at Robin Hood’s Bay village and Ravenscar, so you can pop in and discover more about the area's history, geology and wildlife while you're there.

A boy rock pooling with a starfish in a net Yorkshire Coast

Saltburn, North Yorkshire  

With eight miles of golden sand, huge cliffs and a promenade full of cafes, Saltburn is a great choice for spending a sunny day by the seaside. At low tide a series of rock pools are revealed, perfect for hunting for hidden sealife, including crabs, periwinkles, starfish and beautifully coloured sea anemones.

Children enjoying rockpooling

Sandcale Haws, Cumbria  

This sandy beach with views across the Duddon Estuary offers loads of opportunities for seaside play, from building sandcastles to shell collecting. Afterwards, take a walk into the dunes and look for wildlife - the vast dunes are home to rare plants and animals, including orchids, dragonflies, curlews and great crested newts, so Sandscale Haws is a National Nature Reserve as well as a great place to visit.

How can I stay safe on the beach?

  • Keep a watchful eye on your family
  • Stay together and don't use inflatables in the sea
  • In an emergency dial 999 for the Coastguard