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Runswick Bay
Photograph: cally robin /

This beach in Yorkshire has been named Britain’s best

Runswick Bay is an ‘unspoilt beauty spot’ on the Yorkshire coastline

Ellie Walker-Arnott
Written by
Ellie Walker-Arnott

If there’s one thing our island nation has a lot of, it’s world-class beaches. The UK is edged with sand dunes, soft stretches crying out for buckets and spades, secluded coves only accessible by foot, rugged, rocky havens and pebbled beaches dotted with fishing boats. 

There are iconic ones, often complete with arcades, piers and ice-cream vans, incredibly popular ones (anyone heard of Bournemouth beach? No?) and secret ones that locals proudly keep to themselves. But the best? That’s a hard thing to settle on. 

Runswick Bay
Photograph: Shutterstock

The Sunday Times, though, have attempted to do just that – and its winner? Runswick Bay in North Yorkshire. 

Never heard of it? The list has swerved ‘perennially popular dependables such as Tenby, St Ives, Cromer and Bournemouth’ in favour of ‘less obvious’ and less busy beaches for our socially-distant times.  

The sheltered bay, populated with cute red and thatch-roofed cottages, is just up the coast from Whitby, and just as atmospheric. 

Runswick Bay
Photograph: Phil Silverman/

It has earned the top spot thanks to its rock pools, freshwater streams, fine sand-castle-building opportunities and safe swimming waters. 

Scarborough Borough Council's tourism manager Janet Deacon told the BBC: ‘Runswick Bay is an unspoilt beauty spot that can give any beach resort in the world a run for its money.’

Sounds like the ideal spot for a summer getaway to us. ⛱

More ace sandy spots? Here’s our pick of the best beaches in the UK

Oh, and some lush beaches near London, a few really great coves in Cornwall. Plus some hidden beaches you might not have heard of. 

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