Robin Hoods Bay is our "Best seaside destination" but what is it like to buy and live there?

It’s easy to see why Robin Hood’s Bay was ranked the best seaside destination in Yorkshire in a recent report by Which?

Its beautiful, fossil-rich beach, historic buildings, coastal scenery and its shops, pubs and cafes earned it top marks.

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“This small Yorkshire village is a classic collection of old fishermans’ cottages and cobbled lanes. In the 18th century it was a hotbed of smugglers and swashbucklers but now tourism is its main industry,” say Which?

Tourists are the reason why most of the cottages in the characterful lower half of the village are now second homes and holiday lets. As buyer demand for these properties is usually greater than supply, prices hold firm and, of course, there’s a premium attached for a sea view.

Natalie Locker, sales manager at Astin’s estate agency, says: “I’d say about 90 per cent of the homes in the bottom part of ‘the bay’ are not permanent residences. Only a small number are lived in full-time. There is a huge demand for them and always will be.”

Marion Hall, manager of Bridgfords estate agents, adds that while many buyers come from other parts of Yorkshire, there is a growing number from further afield thanks to property portals. “Eighty per cent of people who buy here are from outside of our local area. Many of them want cottages in the lower bay but we also get a lot of people who were brought up here moving back and they tend to buyer the bigger houses at the top of the village.”

The lowest priced home for sale in the lower part of Robin Hood’s Bay at the moment is Sunny Cottage, a Grade II listed, one-bedroom property on the market with Bridgfords for £190,000.

Cliffroyd is on the market with www.carterjonas.co.uk

A three bedroom, two bathroom cottage on Covet Hill in the lower bay is £490,000 with Carter Jonas. Its price reflects the sea views from its private roof terrace.

The period houses and post-war semis at the top of the village can offer better value.

Fern Lodge, Laburnum Avenue, £525,000, www.bridgfords.co.uk

The highest priced home on the market there is a detached, period property on Laburnum Avenue with four bedrooms, sea views and an annexe. It is £525,000.

The Which? report mentions just two negatives in its assessment of the village. It says that parking is hard to find and warns: “Be aware that the steep walk back up to the top of the village is very tiring.”

For those who have hauled themselves up that hill from the beach and wondered why anyone would want to retire to a cottage there, Marion Hall explains: ““There are secret steps and trails that avoid that steep slope and take you to the top gradually. People who live there know where they are.”

Holly Gray, 31, has lived in Robin Hood’s Bay almost all her life and runs The Old Drapery shop selling clothes, wellies and walking boots. She says that, unlike many villages that have a lot of second homes, “The Bay” has a friendly and active community.

“There are pub quizzes, various committees plus a football club and a tennis club. If there’s a wedding or funeral the whole village comes together.

“We could do with more parking but I can’t think of any other negatives. This is a wonderful place to live and I don’t mind sharing it with visitors. The reason this is a thriving village is because of the tourists. They are why we still have our pubs, two general stores and shops.

“I wouldn’t live anywhere else. When I met my husband who is from down south, I said: ‘if this relationship is going to work you have to move to Robin Hood’s Bay’, and he did.”

For those who love “The Bay” but don’t want the hustle and bustle of summer crowds, Natalie Locker and Marion Hall suggest that would-be buyers look at Fylingthorpe.

Park View, Fylingthorpe, £395,00. It has four bedrooms and a one-bedroom maisonette that could be let. For sale with www.astin.co.uk

“It’s a ten-minute walk away. It’s quieter, it has sea views, two shops, you can park and there is a state primary school and a private school,” says Natalie.