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5 Secret Beaches Within 2 Hours of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Yorkshire

Fancy a day at the beach? Here are 5 you might not know about.

North Landing

Tucked away on the Moors and hidden in secret coves, these beaches are the go-to for in-the-know sun-seekers…

You can’t beat a good old fashioned day at the seaside. When the sun comes out, us Brits flock to the coast, but what if you want your own secret escape? That’s where these beaches come in. Little known and often forgotten, they’re the perfect choice if you want to avoid the crowds. So pack your sunscreen, roll up your beach towel and start planning your next adventure.

North Landing

North Landing

North Landing is one of the most beautiful attractions in Yorkshire. Wander along the coastline to find this natural cove with a small expanse of sand, white pebbles and small rock pools. There are eye-catching white chalk cliffs either side of you and you can look out across the North Sea, go for a dip in the water or spot the rare wildlife that call this area home. It’s easy to access with a car park at the top of the cliffs and steps down onto the beach.

North Landing, Bridlington, North Yorkshire, YO15 1BJ.

Sandsend

Sandsend

Credit: Robin Horton licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Flanked by famous beaches like Runswick Bay and Whitby, Sandsend is often forgotten. It’s a lovely, long stretch of sand with incredible views over to Whitby Abbey. Two rivers that flow into the sea at either end of the beach and there’s a lovely coastal beach walk to Whitby itself. In the summer, they close part of the beach off for swimmers, so you can paddle around to your heart’s content. There’s a cafe, a gift shop and a pub back at the top, just by the car park.

Sandsend, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3SU.

Cayton Bay

Cayton Bay North Yorkshire

If you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful beach in Yorkshire, Cayton Bay is your best bet. It’s a picturesque spot with a long, sweeping beach that is home to a dose of history due to the WWII pillboxes that remain on the north end. You can even look out across the water and watch as surfers and windsurfers use the North Sea as their playground in the distance. When you’re done, you can pop into The Tow Inn for pint and a bite to eat, before you head back to the car park, which is just 200 yards from the seafront.

Cayton Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 3NJ.

Hunmanby Gap

Hunmanby Gap, Speeton

Credit: Dave Morton licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Just south of the coastal town of Filey, you’ll find Hunmanby Gap. This vast stretch of bright yellow sand is generally empty and surprisingly rule-free, so dogs are welcome and you can even have a barbecue. It boasts spectacular views across the North Sea, towards Filey Brigg and Bempton Cliffs. There’s a car park at the top of the cliffs, where you’ll find the famous Hunmanby Gap cafe – it’s a shabby-looking portakabin, but don’t let that put you off, the homemade cakes are incredible.

Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire, YO14 9QP.

Gadding’s Dam

Gaddings Dam

Credit: Christopher Goggs licensed under Creative Commons for commercial use.

Gadding’s Dam is the highest beach in the UK – and it’s absolutely nowhere near the coast. It’s an earth embankment dam on the top of the Yorkshire Moors, between Todmorden and Walsden. Small but wonderfully picturesque, it feels just like the real thing and you can even go swimming in the water, but make sure you don’t dive in as it’s rocky underneath. You’ll have to make the extra effort to get there, as it can only be accessed via a hilly footpath from the car park in Lumbutts.

Gadding’s Dam, West Yorkshire, OL14 6JJ.