Saltburn-by-the-Sea is an enchanting little seaside town. Booming in popularity as a staycation spot thanks to its Victorian charms, great watersports, and endless sandy Blue Flag beach, there’s plenty to see and do in Saltburn on Sea.
- The 20 Most Beautiful Towns in Yorkshire
- What to Pack for a Trip to Yorkshire
- A Wonderful Weekend in York
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that I may earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you buy something through my site. This helps me run my website and produce the articles that I hope you find helpful.
PS Be sure to save this guide to the best things to see and do in Saltburn on Sea to Pinterest. Just click on the image below!
The 8 Best Things to See and Do in Saltburn
There’s nowhere else in England with an original water-balanced cliff lift, a Victorian pier, a thriving art and crafts scene, and incredible watersports, all within a tiny town with just six thousand residents. It’s no surprise that pretty little Saltburn-by-the-Sea has become such a draw for visitors.
1. Ride the Saltburn Cliff Lift
No trip to Saltburn would be complete without seeing Britain’s oldest water-balanced cliff lift. Since 1884, the cliff lift has transported passengers up and down the 120 ft high cliff between the town and the pier in just 55 seconds.
The pair of 12-person cars run on a 207 feet long track from March and October each year, carrying around 150,000 passengers every year.
Pro Tip: Before you travel, check whether the cliff tramway is operating (it was closed throughout the 2021 summer season due to the pandemic). The alternative route to the beach involves over 170 steep steps in each direction!
Location: Lower Parade TS121HQ
Related Post: Discover the 20 Most Beautiful Towns in Yorkshire.
2. Take A Stroll on the Victorian Pier
When it opened in 1869, the pier was 1,500 feet long, with a steamer to Middlesborough landing at the head; however, part of the pier was destroyed in a gale in 1875.
Today, the remaining 681 ft pier is the only remaining pier in Yorkshire, winning the coveted title of Pier of the Year from the National Piers Society.
3. Saltburn Beach
The beach at Saltburn on Sea is a photographer’s dream and a dog walker’s paradise. The wide sweeping sands and shingle stretch into the distance, bordered by soaring cliffs and the clear (but oh-so cold) waters of the North Sea. Bertie the Sprocker loved it here – dashing in and out of the waves!
Sunrise and sunset are incredible here – with shots of the pier particularly popular as they really show off Saltburn at its best.
4. Rent One of the Candy Coloured Beach Huts
The cheeriest parade of pristine beach huts lines the eastern end of the promenade, mere moments from the beach and the cliff lift at Saltburn.
Each one of the Saltburn beach huts comes with electricity, running water, indoor and outdoor seating, and basic kitchen utensils. Discover how to hire a beach hut for a day, a week, or even a month here.
5. Take a Trip on the Saltburn Miniature Railway
Cute little Saltburn Miniature Railway is a volunteer-run 15-inch gauge railway that runs along a 1km track from the Cat Nab car park to Forest Halt. The route passes along a wooded valley next to Skelton Beck, where you can stop off to visit the Italian Gardens or have a cuppa and a cake at the Victorian Tearoom.
It’s not a long journey (about 20 minutes return), but it’s great fun to see the cheery steam locomotives and the volunteer staff are super friendly. It’s also a good way to save your legs from the very steep climb up from the beach, and it’s dog-friendly too!
Related Post: 15 Sensational UK Heritage Railways You Will Love
6. Have a Go at Watersports
With such an outstanding, clean beach, Saltburn excels in water sports. Paddle-boarding, kayaking, and surfing are very popular, and you don’t need any previous experience (or kit) as there are two excellent surf schools where you can take a lesson and get out on the water quickly. You can also hire a wetsuit!
7. Discover the Cleveland Way
The 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail starts inland at Helmsley and ends on Filey Brigg; however, the coastal section of the route starts at Saltburn. For keen hikers, the 17.5-mile stretch of the Cleveland Way from Saltburn on Sea to Sandsend, via the picturesque harbour village of Staithes, is exceptionally scenic.
Heading south from Saltburn, the path rises quickly onto the clifftop, where you will find several art sculptures, including “The Ring” – a metal circle with ten objects hanging and clanking in the breeze!
There’s also Boulby Cliff – the highest cliff on the eastern coast of England, and plenty of pubs and cafes to enjoy along the way.
8. Wander Through the Valley Gardens
The promenade along Marine Parade towards the cliff lift is lined with beautifully manicured flower beds and accessibility-friendly paths. Further into the town, along Skelton Beck, the Valley Gardens provide a scenic, and tranquil retreat perfect for nature strolls through the Valley and along the river banks.
One of the best routes to follow is the trail to the Viaduct – preferably finished off with a trip to the Valley Gardens Tea Rooms for a slice of their unbelievably good cake.
3 Tips For Visiting Saltburn on Sea
- Take a jacket: This is North Yorkshire – even on the warmest days, it’s best to have a jacket with you. Check out: What to pack for a trip to Yorkshire
- Pack sun protection cream: The beach can be quite breezy, even in high summer, and it’s easy to underestimate the power of the sun’s rays here.
- Wear comfortable walking shoes: The beach is too tempting not to take a stroll along – and there are 176 steps back up to the town if you choose not to take the cliff tramway.
How to Get to Saltburn
By Train: Saltburn has its own train station and is well connected. Travel time from London stations is about 3 1/2 hours, while trips from York take about 1 1/2 hours.
By Car: There are several places to park:
- Cat Nab car park, Saltburn Bank, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1HH (Payable Mon-Sun 08:00 – 18:00, from £2.50 per hour)
- The Pier car park, Saltburn Road, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1NY (Maximum stay 2 hours at £4)
If you’re happy to walk for a few minutes, head for Marine Parade ( postcode TS12 1DP ), where you can currently park for free.
Where to Eat in Saltburn
Fish and chips is a hugely popular British meal, once regarded as the national dish. Traditionally eaten on a Friday, it was one of the few foods in the UK that wasn’t rationed during the First and Second World Wars as the British Government safeguarded the supply of fish and chips.
By the 1950s there were more than 35,000 fish and chip shops (“chippies”) across the United Kingdom, but tastes change, and there were about 10,000 by 2009.
A trip to the coast is one of the best times to enjoy really tasty fish and chips, and Saltburn on Sea has good chippies located right on the seafront. The Seaview Restaurant, Saltburn is particularly good.
Related Post: The 17 best things to eat and drink in Yorkshire
Places to Stay Saltburn by the Sea
Brockley Hall Hotel is a stunning boutique-style hotel with stylish rooms, a great breakfast, and helpful staff. The decor is marvellously quirky, and the restaurant serves excellent evening meals. The location is perfect too for the valley gardens, the cliff lift, and the beach.
If you’re planning a trip to North Yorkshire, visiting the charming town of Saltburn on Sea is highly recommended. For such a small town, there are plenty of memorable things to do in Saltburn.
Before you go
If you’re ready to explore Saltburn at its best, be sure to bookmark this page or pin it using the link below so you can revisit this guide!
And if you love Yorkshire as much as I do, sign up for my weekly newsletter for even more Yorkshire adventures and tips!
Until next time
Find all of our posts about Yorkshire here.
PS Love it? Pin it!
If you like this guide to visiting Saltburn-on-Sea, do follow Grey Globetrotters on Pinterest. That’s where I’ll be sharing all my Yorkshire travel guides.