Two Yorkshire Coast beaches named among The Times and The Sunday Times Best UK Beaches list

The Times and The Sunday Times have released their annual list of top UK beaches - and two of them are based in Yorkshire.

This is the first year the list has been nominated by readers of The Times and Sunday Times, who put forward their favourite beaches for a detailed review.

Weymouth is the UK’s beach of the year in the annual The Times and The Sunday Times Best UK Beaches guide, which has been published today (July 14) online and will be published in print on July 16. It is the definitive and most comprehensive list of the UK’s 50 best beaches.

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Chief travel writer at The Times and Sunday Times, Chris Haslam, has assessed the beaches using an elaborate 11-point checklist and each one of the coastal spots listed has been visited within the past eight weeks.

Walkers on the beach at Sandsend make the most of the good weather. (Pic credit: Bruce Rollinson)Walkers on the beach at Sandsend make the most of the good weather. (Pic credit: Bruce Rollinson)
Walkers on the beach at Sandsend make the most of the good weather. (Pic credit: Bruce Rollinson)

The guide highlights the incredible importance of the British seaside and provides readers with a description of the scenery and setting, as well as all of the practical information needed to plan a beach day, including car parking, toilets, refreshments and shops and water quality.

Mr Haslam said: “As families flock to the British coastlines this summer, and tourists migrate to more northerly latitudes, beaches in Britain could be on the cusp of a new golden age.

“This is the most comprehensive and detailed beach guide available, and the only one in which every stretch of sand, pebbles or shingle has been physically inspected within the past eight weeks. The weather was magnificent throughout, and when the sun is shining - our beaches are the most beautiful on earth.”

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Head of travel at The Times and Sunday Times, Claire Irvin, said: “The Times and Sunday Times Best UK Beach 2023 is a highly anticipated annual guide, informing and inspiring our readers’ much-loved coastal trips throughout the year. And from the winners, it’s easy to see why, as a nation, we still love to be beside the seaside. See you on the beach!”

Steampunk Weekend in Filey. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)Steampunk Weekend in Filey. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)
Steampunk Weekend in Filey. (Pic credit: Tony Johnson)

On this year’s list for the northern region are two Yorkshire beaches: Filey and Sandsend, Whitby.

For Whitby Sandsend Beach, the loos, cafe, dog-friendly facilities, accessibility, water quality are rated as ‘excellent’.

Stephen Gregson from Wetherby writes: “Flanked by cliffs at the north, extending all the way to views of Whitby in the south, Sandsend is backed by a delightful village and woods that extend up into the hills of the North York Moors.

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“From just below full tide, the beach is wide enough for sports, sunbathing and the damming, with some effort, of the two streams that cross the sand. Ice creams, cream teas and sandwiches are available in the village. On bank holidays there can be a lot people there, proof of its delights, but the beach is so long that it’s never crowded.”

A review of the beach from the guide states: “There’s little I can add to that save to mention the approach along the A174 from the north. In what is one of the England’s great beach reveals, the road passes through Lythe, with its charming tea garden, and begins to steepen as it drops past St Oswald’s Church. Suddenly an aerial view reveals the North Yorkshire coast as far as Nab Head. In between there’s Sandsend, Upgang and Whitby beaches, and then Whitby Abbey.”

Filey beach was also rated as ‘excellent’ for its loos, cafe, dog-friendly facilities, lifeguards, accessibility and water quality.

Helen Salmon from Bristol found her first starfish in the teeming rock pools of Filey Brigg, the finger of sandstone pointing seawards at the northern end of Filey Bay.

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Wendy Sinclair, who grew up in Filey, recalled: “Making sand sculptures for tourists who threw down money”, while David Wake from Rotherham praised Filey’s “safe bathing; miles of golden sand that are perfect for beach cricket; and donkeys. Even at its busiest in the summer there is lots of room,” he said.

The review for Filey in the guide states: “The Regency town of Filey sits above and slightly removed from the beach, and as you drop down from the Crescent you’ll see first the children’s paddling pool, then a gentle half mile of seafront, where the crazy golf is the wildest attraction, leading up to the Coble Landing: a slipway for pleasure boats, fishing craft and the Filey lifeboat.

“With an amusement arcade, a shop, a bar, a tea shack and a couple of chippies, this the heart of Filey’s throbbing downtown. “What more does a child need?” the starfish hunter Helen asks: ‘Filey is a quiet, unassuming resort with good fish and chips, great ice cream and fishing boats. Marvellous.”

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