Living in the middle of a country it’s not often we get to the seaside, so whenever we go away I always try and make sure we book somewhere near enough to visit a beach at least once. A trip to York meant we had the choice of beaches and seaside towns within an hour’s drive. I decided on Whitby beach in the hope that I would persuade N to visit the Abbey. This wasn’t the case but we certainly made the most of the morning with the weather being perfect for a morning on the beach.
Trying to find parking in Whitby was interesting as my sat nav kept sending me around the houses and up backstreets that I’m sure cars shouldn’t really have been driving up. But we eventually found a way to the West Cliff car park that I was aiming for.
As we got there around 10 there was plenty of parking on the street and lots in the car park. You need to make sure that if you’re parking on the street you watch out for disc parking areas. The parking isn’t cheap as it doesn’t always give you the hours parking you want. We ended up having to pay for 7 hours because the options were 1, 2 or 7 hours although I’m sure if we parked on the road they would have been smaller intervals and I wouldn’t have had to a paid so much. I was pleased that everywhere we went around Yorkshire we were able to pay by card where some towns you visit you still have to pay by cash.
Activities in Whitby
We parked up by West Cliff in the hope that the beach lift was open but unfortunately it doesn’t open until May. Being at end of Whitby did mean that there were few activities for children on top of the cliff and it wasn’t busy. I imagine that around by the harbour it was a lot busier.
Wherever we go on holiday we always have to play mini golf and Whitby didn’t disappoint. I think we were probably the first on the golf course that morning and it’s got to be the cheapest we’ve ever paid for a round of crazy golf. At only £2.60 a person N even persuaded me to play second game after we’d been on the beach.
We had a fun round with a couple of challenging holes and a hole in one for each of us on different holes. The guy will even let you leave extra bags in his hut if you need to, which was handy.
N also spotted the pedal go-karts and wanted to go on those. But after a quick walk around he noticed that there where petrol go-karts that he could go on on his own rather than going on the little children’s ones. There were also trampolines you could pay £1.60 to go on and jump across from one to the other, but he decided he would prefer the proper go-karts.
Over 6s can go on the petrol go-karts or on the bumper boats on a waterfall but N preferred the karting. He was quite happy just to drive round and round the track and there was another boy and his dad having a go on their boats which looks fun as well. These were around £3.40 so much cheaper than if you see them at events down south. N paid out of his own money so I was happy enough with that.
Whitby beach has a fair length of sand from the harbour where there’s a small beach behind it, as well as the main beach stretch moving up the coast. We arrived at low tide which meant there was lots of sandy beach to play on, with good digging due to the still damp sand. And of course pretty brightly coloured beach huts overlooking the sea.
We knew there would be a big ramp or steps to walk down to the beach so we didn’t take too much with us because I knew I’d be the one having to carry the majority back up. If you go in the summer months there is a lift through the cliff and we would have used this if it had been open. We opted for a a route back up with steps and slope so it wasn’t too hard going, but I wouldn’t have wanted to have a buggy to push back up the ramps.
When the sea comes back in it creates channels which made for fun digging and water play for the children on the beach. N just likes to build channels and most so being able to get water to them rather than having to collect it from the sea made him very happy.
He dug for about an hour on the beach while I enjoyed sitting in the sun until he wanted to go down to the sea. While it was warm weather, I knew the North Sea wasn’t going to be very warm so hadn’t packed his swimming trunks. N was able just to paddle, jump and run from the waves which he’s happy enough doing as a child he really gets to see the sea.
Being on the beach and at the seaside really makes you feel summery. The weather played ball while we were away, making it a lovely morning with virtually no wind. Added to that there were virtually no seagulls even when we had lunch, not liking some places on the south coast where they stalk you to steal your food.
We needed lunch before we headed off elsewhere in the afternoon and we’d spotted a kiosk at the top of the cliff selling hot dogs and burgers. N had a frankfurter hot dog and I opted for a burger, with a portion of chips to share. And had a milkshake each. A total treat but hey, we were on holiday and we’d done a fair bit of walking that day. The food wasn’t bad and for less than a tenner you certainly wouldn’t be getting food for that price in most places we usually visit. One of the bonuses is that being up north everything is so much cheaper.
I’d have liked to have headed over to the harbour and walked up to Whitby Abbey but there were signs up saying a lot of the harbour parking was restricted. I didn’t want to be fighting for parking spaces later in the day once it has got busy, so we decided to carry on our exploring on the way back to York.
I wish we had more time to explore other areas of the Yorkshire Coast but maybe that’s for another visit at a later date.
Which coastal towns and beaches do you recommend in Yorkshire?