5 Secret Beaches Within 2 Hours of Leeds

· Joseph Sheerin · Yorkshire

Has the sun come out? A day at the beach is in order!

North Landing, Flamborough

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

Can you beat a good old-fashioned day at the seaside? No chance! Brits flock to the coast as soon as the sun appears, but what if you want to find a quieter sandy spot? That’s where these secret beach escapes come in! Little known, out the way and hidden in the most unusual places, they’re the perfect choice when you want to avoid the crowds. So grab your towel, dig out the sunscreen and plan your next sunny seaside adventure just a few hours from Leeds.


Sandsend, Whitby

Neighbouring Yorkshire beaches at Whitby and Runswick Bay might be more famous, but the quiet Sandsend has plenty offer. It’s a lovely, long stretch of golden sand offering views in the east towards Whitby Abbey, a chance to see the two rivers that flow into the sea at the end of the beach and coastal pathways that offer a lovely beach walk into Whitby. Part of the beach is closed off in the summer for bathing, so you can swim to your heart’s content. When you’re done, there’s a cafe, gift shop and pub just by the car park.

Sandsend, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3SU.

Cayton Bay

Cayton Bay

Looking for a peaceful hidden beach in Yorkshire that has a few stories to tell? Head to Cayton Bay. This is a picturesque spot with a long, sweeping beach that is still home to a series of World War Two pillboxes that remain on the north end. Away from the display of the sands of time, you can look out across the water and check out the surfers and windsurfers using the North Sea as their playground. When you’re done, your 200 yard trip back to the car park can be interrupted with a visit to The Tow Inn pub.

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

Hunmanby Gap

Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire, UK

Filey’s an ever-popular seaside destination, but just south, you’ll find Hunmanby Gap. This expanse of bright yellow sand is usually quiet and surprisingly rule-free, so you can let the dogs stretch their legs and even enjoy a barbecue in the sunshine – just take your rubbish home with you! There are spectacular views across the North Sea, towards Filey Brigg and Bempton Cliffs. The car park at the top of the cliffs gives you easy access and is also home to the famous Hunmanby Gap cafe – the home-made cakes could just make your trip.

Hunmanby Gap, North Yorkshire, YO14 9QP.

North Landing

North Landing, Flamborough

North Landing is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Yorkshire. You can wander the coastline to reach this natural cove with its own small expanse of sand, white pebbles and small rock pools. The eye-catching white chalk cliffs surround you as you look out across the blue of the North Sea, go for a dip in the water or catch sight of the rare wildlife that calls the area home. It’s easy to access too, with a car park at the top of the cliffs and steps that lead you down on to the beach.

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

Gadding’s Dam

Gaddings Dam

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

Gadding’s Dam is the highest and maybe the most secret beach in the UK – and it’s absolutely nowhere near the coast. This is your chance to check out an earth embankment dam on the top of the Yorkshire Moors, between Todmorden and Walsden. It’s only small, but very picturesque, so it feels just like the real thing – you can even go swimming in the water! Careful though, the rocky floor means it’s a no-go for diving. It does require a bit of effort to get to, from a hilly footpath via the car park in Lumbutts, but it’s well worth it.

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