Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay, about 9 miles north of Whitby, is widely regarded as one of the prettiest spots on the Yorkshire coast. Come here in the summer months for sandcastles, beach games, rock pooling and maybe even a dip in the waters. Come here out of season for hearty cliff-top walks along the Cleveland Way or maybe a little fossil hunting.  You may be lucky enough to spot seals at any time of year.

The former fishing village of Runswick nestling under the cliffs at the top end of the beach is picture-postcard pretty, with its whitewashed or natural honey-hued stone cottages topped with red roofs.  It’s not surprising that the place has been a hotspot for artists since Victorian times.  There are no cars allowed in the village and it makes a great place for a stroll through the narrow, winding streets, although don’t expect the usual tourist shops, arcades and restaurants here.  In winter the place can feel pretty empty. 

The beach itself is a mix of sand, with scattered rocks and stony areas.  It’s probably the best stretch of sand that can be found along this part of the coast.  When the tide is out, the rocks which are exposed near the shoreline are frequently found to contain interesting fossils. 

The bay is quite popular with canoeists and other water-sport enthusiasts including surfers when the conditions are right.  In winter Runswick Bay is popular with sea-anglers as the bay has some of the best cod fishing in the area.

In recent years access to the beach has been greatly improved with the previously steep, single-track road being widened to allow traffic in both directions. There is a reasonable sized car park towards the bottom of the hill plus one further up.

Runswick Bay beach is dog-friendly and there are no restrictions at any time of year.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No dog restrictions at any time

Yorkshire dog friendly beaches »


  • Good fishing
  • Sailing
  • Swimming/bathing
  • Surfing


  • Slipway

Nearest town



TS13 5HT

OS grid ref.

NZ 8113 1588


Parking is available a short walk from the beach.

Water quality

Water quality star rating

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Runswick Bay Reviews

Dogs r us

Alan Tucker
Jul 10th 2019

Fantastic place to let your dog run wild and enjoy the sea…fellow dog lovers love the interaction it brings…come and see for yourself.

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