Best beaches in Yorkshire: Four Yorkshire beaches given Blue Flag status

It might sound a little strange, but England now has more beaches with Blue Flag status than Cyprus.

And as most of us can't really go abroad at the moment anyway, now seems like the perfect time to make the most of the beautiful beaches on the Yorkshire coast (well, when the weather gets warmer anyway).

A total of 76 beaches have been given the status, which means they conform to safe and clean standards relating to water quality and the environment.

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So, here's what you need to know about Yorkshire's four Blue Flag beaches.

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

Saltburn-by-the-Sea

The Blue Flag season for this beach is between May 15 and September 30, so it's just getting started.

It has a kiosk, is disabled friendly, has lifeguards on the beach and is free for all members of the public.

The Blue Flag website says: "The picturesque coastal town of Saltburn-by-the-Sea promises its visitors an authentic experience! The Victorian seaside resort offers long stretches of sandy beach with rugged sea cliffs providing breath-taking views. It is home to the Saltburn Cliff Tramway, the oldest water balanced funicular still in operation in Great Britain, linking the town with the only remaining pleasure pier on the whole North East and Yorkshire Coast."

Whitby beach has also been given Blue Flag status

Whitby West Cliff

Whitby's Blue Flag season is the same as Saltburn-by-the-Sea (and the other two beaches for the matter) so kicks off this weekend.

This beach is also free for all members of the public, and also has a kiost, lifeguards and is disabled friendly. However, in addition to that, there is also areas where disabled people can access the water.

The Blue Flag website says: "Whitby is a sandy and rocky beach backed by cliffs, usually favoured by the younger generation. Whitby was the home of Captain James Cook and has welcomed visitors to its sandy shores for hundreds of years. A long stretch of sandy beach with some rocks. Backed by cliffs it is hugely popular with families and children. Whitby West Cliff is accessible via A171 and A174 and is within easy walking distance from the town centre."

Scarborough in the summer

Scarborough North Bay

Again, the Blue Flag season lasts until September 30 and is open to the public for free.

There is also a kiosk and lifeguards, while it is also classed a disabled friendly and has areas where disabled people can access the water. There is also areas where the visually impaired can access the water.

The site says: "North Bay is a sandy beach with rocky outcrops to the north which become isolated at high tide and provide rock pool areas at low tide.To the south, there is a flat sandy area which leads onto rock armour and continues around the headland to South Bay.The main road around the headland runs parallel to the beach with ample parking provided.

Hornsea beach

"The beach is used by a wide range of users, from families through to recreational water sports enthusiasts, with there being a number of beach chalets available for hire.The beach is patrolled by an RNLI qualified lifeguard service during the summer season."

Hornsea

Same season and also free, Hornsea offers slightly less options than the other beaches.

However, it does have a kiosk and is disabled friendly, as well as having lifeguards.

The Blue Flag site says: "Hornsea beach is a traditional family friendly sandy beach with some shingle. The beach has split levels due to groynes which trap the moving sands but there are access points for less able bodied visitors. Adjacent to the beach are a leisure centre, car parking and a number of traditional seaside kiosks and amusements. The bathing beach does have a seasonal dog exclusion zone although responsible dog owners are welcome to walk their dogs outside that zone.

"On the promenade above the beach there are chalets which are available to hire from the Foreshores Office in Bridlington on 01262 608915. The landscaped promenade areas have sheltered seating and there is also a water feature adjacent to the popular seafront cafe."