12 of The Yorkshire Coast’s Best Kept Secrets to Explore This Christmas

Discover these secret spots in the heart of the Yorkshire Coast as Route YC reveals the hidden gems worth visiting this season

Every town, city, or county has its hidden gems. Those little off-the-beaten-track spots which you’ll only discover if you’re ‘in the know’ and the Yorkshire Coast has its fair share of them!

Seaside towns in Yorkshire such as Scarborough, Bridlington, and Whitby are major tourist hotspots in the summer, so, it’s probably a surprise to hear that even these locations have routes less traveled that you need to explore this winter. 

These lesser-known spots on the Yorkshire Coast make for amazing adventures – even on the colder Christmas nights. You’ll uncover historical sights, beautiful scenery and mysterious landmarks along the North’s rugged coastline. 

Get your walking boots on. Here’s Route YC’s best kept explorations the countdown to Christmas

Patrington near Withernsea 

The quaint village of Patrington sits perched on the edge of the Yorkshire Coast – get right back to nature at this picturesque village. Go for miles along beautiful Blue Flag beaches and coastal Nature reserves. It’s also home to some of the Yorkshire Coast’s most historic locations, including St Patrick’s Church – otherwise known as The Queen of Holderness.

May Beck and Failing Foss, Whitby

Seeking a moments peace among the Christmas madness? Never fear, May Beck and Failing Foss is for you. Stroll beneath the trees that line the paths of this 2-mile woodland walk, leading you to the Failing Foss Waterfall, which spills from a huge 30-foot drop into the brook below. You’ll be in good company with the serene trickling from the May Beck flowing along the path. The peaceful nature of the running and wonderland appeal will give you a well-deserved break from the dreaded Christmas crowds, too!

South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough

The next spot is South Cliff Gardens in Scarborough. Take a walk through the wooden slopes and have your pick from relaxed terraced walks to spectacular sea views. The gardens are filled with unseen treasures, and if you’re lucky enough to witness snowfall at the South Cliff Gardens – the views are an even more magical. 

Flamborough Head, Bridlington

Are you an outdoor lover? A foodie? Then Flamborough Head is your touch of paradise. Marked by a stretch of rugged white cliffs surrounding a small village, this coastline is a great base for bird watching and hiking along windswept paths. The lucky find here is The North Star, an absolute must for foodies!

Kilnsea Way, Withernsea

A ramble along Spurn Point could keep you busy for days, but don’t overlook Kilnsea Way! The sandy, shingle banks make the walk flat and easily accessible. Start at the Discovery Centre and head to the East Yorkshire village of Kilnsea – a charming, small settlement that was of major importance during World War I. Before heading back to Spurn Point, pop into the Crown and Anchor – a classic pub to warm up after a brisk stroll in December! It’s sure not to disappoint. 

Hunmanby Gap, Filey

Credit: Thomas Tolkien

Hunmanby Gap is perfect if you are looking for a quieter beach to visit near Filey this Christmas. An all-year round dog friendly beach, this large, sandy expanse is ideal if you and your four-legged friend has had one too many festive treats! Here’s a top tip, too. When walking along Hunmanby Gap, you will see a few intact pillboxes from World War II on the beach if you look in the direction of Filey. 

Forge Valley, Scarborough

Take the time to stop and explore Forge Valley this Christmas. Great for both walkers and cyclists, the River Derwent slices the area in two – creating a fresh and vibrant place for natural flora, fauna and wildlife. 

Not to mention, its home to many different trails. Imagine a geology trail that takes you through the woods, including plenty stopping places and information boards. You can find out more about the area or simply take the opportunity to do some ad-hoc wildlife spotting.

The Cinder Track, Robin Hood’s Bay

Hands-down the most scenic trail on the Yorkshire Coast, ‘The Cinder Track’. Taking you all the way from Scarborough to Whitby. You can join at various points along the coast, but it’s recommended to join at Robin Hoods Bay to take in some of the lesser-known sights. From the Station car park at Robin Hood’s Bay simply follow the track North, taking in some fantastic sea and country views on the horizon. 

Ravenscar, Scarborough 

Admiral Von Trump

Where do you go for that Insta moment? Ravenscar, of course. Explore the gardens and rugged coastal path. The area feels luxurious with the regal looking Raven Hall hotel perched on top of the clifftop. Whether you want a leisurely walk or a longer ramble, there’s something for everyone. Not to mention, the rocky beach coves are a great place for the fossil hunters among us who need a break from Christmas shopping.

Filey Brigg

Introducing Filey Brigg, an extraordinary natural landmark and should be at the top of your Christmas to-do list. Its steep cliffs are 20 metres high and are made from pure sandstone and pure limestone. The biology and geology of Filey Brigg place is among Sites of Special Scientific Interest in North Yorkshire. Legend has it, you may even stumble upon the bones of a dragon on the long narrow peninsula. 

Saltwick Bay, Whitby

At first glance, Saltwick Bay appears to be a majestic, sculpted bay that offers glorious views out to sea – and not much more. However, this could not be further from the truth. Saltwick Bay is packed with history, perfect for walking off those chocolates and mince pies.

From the Saltwick Nab quarries to the wreck of the Admiral Von Tromp, this destination has several curious tales to be told. 

Hornsea South Beach 

Hornsea South Beach is a shingle and golden sand beach without the mayhem. Flamborough Headland is visible to the north, while to the south the Holderness coast can be seen. The charming promenade stretches the whole length of the seafront, with primed landscaped gardens, plenty of parking, and old wooden breakwaters. And guess what? There’s even a Victorian folly, and the spot is perfect for bird watching and dog walking – offering a fun, family filled day out over the festive period.

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