Leeds may be one of the most inland cities in the UK but because Britain is but a small island you’re never far from a beach.
And there are plenty of fabulous beaches within the White Rose County to explore for the remainder of spring as well as this summer.
Yorkshire has a whole host of sand, shingle and pebble beaches as well as water that’s clean and safe to swim in.
Whether you like cafes, rides and amusement arcades near your beach, or you prefer it quiet and secluded, there’s sure to be a beach in our list to suit you.
So as we anticipate some decent weather here are a few beaches to consider visiting, as recommended by The Beach Guide.
They’re all within a two-hour drive of Leeds and some can be reached in little more than an hour.
Hornsea is a classic seaside resort with a large sand and shingle beach.
Its long promenade has newly landscaped gardens and the water quality is excellent for paddling and swimming.
Distance from Leeds by car: 70 miles (1hr 25min)
This traditional seaside destination is a bit rundown but its wide and sandy South Beach still has plenty of appeal.
There are an array of activities to do such as fishing and kite surfing and the quality of the water isn’t bad.
Distance from Leeds by car: 67 miles (1hr 30min)
With its long sandy beach and less commercial feel Filey is a great family spot, ideal for walks and even horse riding.
It has excellent water quality and a promenade decorated with art inspired by local heritage.
Speaking of local heritage, Filey is still a fishing town where you can watch fishermen repairing and casting their nets.
Distance from Leeds by car: 72 miles (1hr 30min)
The town of Whitby needs little introduction.
It also has two beaches on either side of the River Esk: a sheltered sandy beach to the east and to the west a large, sandy beach with colourful beach huts, deck chair and wind break hire and donkey rides.
The water quality is excellent.
Distance from Leeds by car: 76 miles (1hr 40min)
Three miles up the coast from Whitby is Sandsend.
It’s an unspoilt, picturesque bay with a sand and shingle beach and excellent water quality.
Distance from Leeds by car: 77 miles (1hr 40min)
– Runswick Bay
If you’re looking for a beach that offers stunning views, Runswick Bay is the perfect hideaway, around a 20-minute drive from Whitby.
The sweeping, sheltered bay offers a sandy beach dotted with rock pools and it is popular with surfers and sailing fans. The water quality is OK too.
The beach is sheltered from high winds by Lingrow Knowle, which towers over the bay and offers stunning views of the coast and Kettleness.
Distance from Leeds by car: 83 miles (1hr 40min)
A picture postcard village where the North Yorkshire Moors meet the sea, Staithes is one of the prettiest locations on the Yorkshire cost.
If you’re a parent of young children you may recognise it from the CBeebies series Old Jack’s Boat starring Bernard Cribbins.
Sadly the water quality is poor so you’re best limiting the water activities to a paddle.
Distance from Leeds by car: 85 miles (1hr 40min)
Saltburn-by-the-Sea was a popular resort for Victorians and the town retains much of its historic charm.
It has a funicular lift up and down the 40m (120ft) cliff and some formal Italian gardens.
The beach is sand and shingle and is particularly popular with surfers although the water quality isn’t great.
Distance from Leeds by car: 75 miles (1hr 20min)
– Marske Sands
Once Marske Sands was where land speed records were broken in the early 20th century.
Nowadays you won’t hear any roaring engines or much else, other than the crash of waves and the whistle of the wind.
Marske near Saltburn is a great, quiet stretch if you’re after a bit of solitude. And solitude is what you’ll get as there isn’t much else there.
The water quality is excellent.
Distance from Leeds by car: 73 miles (1hr 20min)
With its proximity to the old industrial North East you wouldn’t think of Redcar as a beach resort – but you’d be wrong.
Granville Beach to the south of the town has a large sandy beach and the water quality is good too.
Distance from Leeds by car: 71 miles (1hr 15min)
– Other Yorkshire beaches worth a mention
Barmston – a long sandy beach just south of Bridlington which is rarely busy.
Cattersty Sands Skinningrove – a long sand and shingle beach, not far from Staithes.
Cayton Bay – a large sweep of sand three miles south of Scarborough. It’s not usually busy but very windy, hence its popularity with surfers.
Danes Dyke – a pebble beach, near Flamborough Headland, with rock pools perfect for searching for crabs and other marine wildlife.
Fraisthorpe – a flat sandy beach, near Bridlington, that’s great for dog walking.
Mappleton – a wide, sandy beach three miles south of Hornsea
Reighton – a long, sandy beach just northwest of Flamborough Headland.
South Landing – a sheltered shingle and pebble beach on the south side of Flamborough Head.
Wilsthorpe – a long and sandy, if rather exposed, beach two miles south of Bridlington.