Saltwick Bay

  • Saltwick Bay - Yorkshire
    © David Martin and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Saltwick Bay - Yorkshire
    © Michael Jagger and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Saltwick Bay - Yorkshire
    © Peter Johnson and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Saltwick Bay - Yorkshire
    © Anne Burgess and licensed for reuse under this Licence
  • Saltwick Bay beach is a wonderfully secluded stretch of golden sand just over a mile to the south of Whitby. The beach is backed by high cliffs and flanked by flat rocky ledges running out into the bay.

    Being a little off the beaten track access isn’t quite as easy as it could be. There is a path down to the beach but it is quite steep and uneven with a number of steps, meaning it isn’t suitable for anyone with mobility issues.

    Saltwick Bay also lacks any facilities with no cafe, toilets etc and fairly limited parking. In fact, one of the most pleasant ways to get to the beach is on foot with the clifftop walk being less than a mile from Whitby Abbey.

    Not just a place of beauty, Saltwick Bay is positively brimming with history both ancient and modern. Up until the end of the 18th century Alum was mined here. There is also some evidence the bay was used as a harbour in earlier times.

    The bay is quite notorious for shipwrecks and there have been three notable ones over the last century or so. In 1914 a hospital ship on its way to Dunkirk was grounded near the nab resulting in the loss of nearly 80 lives. Also during WWI the SS Brentwood went down in the bay after hitting a German mine.

    The most recent wreck was the fishing boat, the Admiral von Trump, which sank here in 1976. The remains of the wreck are still visible on the beach today.

    On the more ancient side of things, Saltwick Bay is well known for its fossils. Whist you may have some look finding some scattered across the beach they tend to come from the cliffs. As with many fossil hunting spots the best finds occur after rock falls, which should be acknowledged as a warning that the cliffs are unstable in places - so keep away!

    Keep your eyes peeled for ammonites, fossil shells and you may even find jet - the black gem which Whitby is known for.

    Type of beach


    Lifeguard service


    Dogs friendly beach?

    Dogs allowed

    Dogs are allowed on Saltwick Bay all year round

    Yorkshire dog friendly beaches »


    • Rock pooling
    • Surfing

    Nearest town



    YO22 4JU

    OS grid ref.

    NZ 9167 1083

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