Saltburn on Sea Pier and Beach

There are so many things to do in Saltburn on Sea

If you’re visiting North Yorkshire, or exploring the myriad delights of Northumberland or County Durham, here are the top 8 reasons to take a trip to the quintessentially British seaside town of Saltburn.

About the Victorian Town of Saltburn

Located just 10 miles along the spectacular North Yorkshire coast from Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-Sea is an enchanting place to visit. 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.

View of then Victorian Pier at Saltburn on Sea

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.

The 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. 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. 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 – the alternative route to the beach involves over 170 steep steps in each direction!

Find your favourite Yorkshire town here.

2. The Victorian Pier

Clifftop view of the Victorian cliff tramway in Saltburn on Sea and 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 vast golden sands at Saltburn on Sea

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.

Sunrise and sunset are incredible here – with shots of the pier particularly popular.

4. Candy Coloured Beach Huts

Brightly candy coloured beach huts on the promenade at Saltburn on Sea

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 beach hut comes with electricity, running water, indoor and outdoor seating, and basic kitchen utensils. Discover here how to hire a beach hut for a day, a week or even a month.

5. The Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre

British explorer James Cook is one of the most famous sons of North Yorkshire, with strong connections to the coastal towns and villages. This fascinating, dog-friendly little museum is conveniently located in Saltburn’s High Street. Visit to discover what life was like for seafarers from the area, including Captain Cook.

6. The Watersports

Watersports on the beach at Saltburn by the Sea, Yorkshire, England

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 as there are two excellent surf schools where you can take a lesson and get out on the water quickly.

7. 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. The Pristine Valley Gardens

The upper promenade at Saltburn on Sea, with iron railings and immaculate flowerbeds overlooking cliffs at sunset

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 unbelievably good cake.

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.

Discover how to book and manage train travel in the UK

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

A “fish supper” 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.

Traditional British Fish and Chips.

A trip to the coast is one of the best times to enjoy a fish supper and Saltburn on Sea has good chippies located right on the seafront. The Seaview Restaurant is particularly good.

Where to Stay in Saltburn on 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.

In Conclusion

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.

Interested In More Yorkshire Travel Tips?

Find all of our posts about Yorkshire here.

About Author

Coralie is a Brit living in North Yorkshire. When she's not writing, she's either out exploring, planning a new trip, tasting street food or relaxing with a cold G&T. With 40+ years of adventurous travel to almost 40 countries (so far), she knows there's still much to see and remains an adventure-seeker at heart. Follow her on social media and keep up with her adventures and awesome travel tips.

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