Things to Do in Sandsend: Discovering Coastal Charm and Serenity

a month ago   •   6 min read

By More Yorkshire

Escape to Sandsend, a tranquil coastal village in North Yorkshire, where stunning sandy beaches stretch towards the historic Whitby Abbey. Enjoy leisurely shoreline walks, spot local wildlife on scenic coastal paths, and savour fresh seafood at charming local eateries.

Explore the historical Mulgrave Castle tucked in nearby woodlands or unwind in the peaceful rock pools.

Just a stone's throw from the lively town of Whitby, Sandsend offers a serene retreat and a perfect base for exploring the rich English seaside culture along the Yorkshire coastline.

Discover Sandsend for unforgettable seaside moments!

Discovering Sandsend Beach

Sandsend Beach is renowned for its extensive stretch of golden sands, attracting numerous visitors for its natural beauty and plethora of activities. This section explores what one can enjoy while visiting this popular coastal gem.

Beach Activities

Visitors can indulge in a variety of beach activities that make Sandsend Beach a lively and engaging destination. The beach offers ample space for traditional seaside pastimes:

  • Sandcastle Building: A favourite for families, the fine sand is ideal for crafting elaborate structures.
  • Fossil Hunting: Sandsend is noted for its geological interest; fossil hunters can often be seen scouring the rocky areas for ancient treasures.
  • Rockpooling: At low tide, a variety of rock pools emerge, ready to be explored by enthusiasts of all ages.

The beach is also an excellent spot for walking and jogging, with its length providing a challenging yet picturesque route.

Scenic Views

The beach's scenic views are a key aspect of its popularity. Photographers and nature lovers flock to Sandsend for its:

  • Sweeping Coastline: The view stretches towards Whitby Abbey, offering a stunning panorama of the North Yorkshire coast.
  • Sunset and Sunrise: It provides a dramatic backdrop for photos, especially during early morning or dusk.

Throughout the year, Sandsend Beach maintains a constant allure, changing with the seasons but always offering a sense of tranquillity and natural beauty that is hard to match.

Historical Attractions

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Sandsend offers a journey through time with its array of historical attractions. Visitors can explore the vestiges of the past, from formidable castle ruins to ancient remnants and sacred heritage sites, each telling a unique story of the area's rich history.

Mulgrave Castle

Location: Within North York Moors National Park
Notable Aspects: 13th-century origin, historical plaque

The ruins of Mulgrave Castle are embedded in the verdant woodlands of the North York Moors. Once a formidable medieval fortress, visitors can now immerse themselves in the castle's captivating history, as detailed on an informative plaque near the site.

Ancient Ruins

Key Points:

  • Diverse assortment of ruins
  • Historical significance

Scattered throughout Sandsend is a treasure trove of ancient ruins, offering a window to various time periods. Each structure holds significance, contributing to the understanding of the region's development over the centuries.

St. Mary's Church


  • Religious monument
  • Historically significant structure

St. Mary's Church stands as a testament to religious heritage and architecture. It has served as a cornerstone of spiritual and community life, with origins that echo the deeply rooted traditions of the area.

Outdoor Adventures

Sandsend offers visitors the chance to immerse themselves in nature, whether it's exploring the vast North York Moors or walking along the scenic Yorkshire coastline.

North York Moors Exploration

The North York Moors present a rugged landscape perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors can participate in guided walks to discover the area's natural beauty and wildlife. The moors, with their sprawling heather and isolated paths, provide an ideal setting for adventure and exploration.

Coastal Walks

Bold cliffs and crashing waves characterise the Yorkshire coastline near Sandsend, offering dramatic views and fresh sea air. Coastal paths invite leisurely walks and more challenging hikes alike. Visitors can follow the trails leading from Sandsend Beach, enjoying panoramic sea views and observing the rich birdlife that inhabits the coastal cliffs.

Water Sports and Activities

Sandsend offers visitors a chance to embrace the vibrant water sports scene with activities ranging from surfing to educational beach sessions.

Surfing at Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay, located in close proximity to Sandsend, is renowned for its surfing opportunities. Visitors can enjoy the waves that this picturesque bay provides, with options suitable for both beginners and more experienced surfers. Surf hire and lesson providers operate within the bay, making it accessible for everyone to catch a wave.

Yorkshire Beach School

The Yorkshire Beach School provides a unique educational experience on the shores of Sandsend. They offer a range of activities that combine learning and fun. Participants can engage in guided rock pooling, learn about the coastal environment, and gain hands-on experience with the local marine life. The school's approach is not only informative but also fosters a deeper appreciation for the ocean.

Culinary Experiences in Sandsend

Sandsend offers a tapestry of dining experiences catering to a variety of palates, from traditional local cuisine to seafood specialities. Visitors are spoilt for choice with the array of eateries available, offering authentic flavours and fresh, local ingredients.

Local Cuisine

The village of Sandsend boasts an impressive selection of restaurants and cafes where one can savour traditional British fare. One prominent feature of the local dining scene is The Star Inn, known for its classic Yorkshire dishes crafted from locally-sourced produce. Visitors can enjoy a warm, convivial atmosphere while dining on favourites such as roast meats and seasonal vegetables.

Seafood Delights

Given its coastal location, Sandsend is an ideal destination for seafood enthusiasts. The area is dotted with establishments serving fresh catches of the day. For a memorable seafood experience, Sandsend Beach offers various dining options where one can enjoy the view along with dishes like fish and chips, freshly-shucked oysters, or grilled sea bass. The commitment to fresh seafood is evident in the mouth-watering quality of each seafood dish served.

Accommodation Options

When visiting Sandsend, travellers have a variety of accommodation options to choose from, whether they prefer the soothing sounds of the sea or the tranquillity of the countryside.

Coastal Stays

For those desiring to stay close to the shore, Sandsend Beach offers nearby hotels and B&Bs that provide quick access to the seaside. One notable establishment is The Woodlands, located a mere 400 metres from the beach. This historic building offers family rooms, free WiFi, and a picturesque garden view, ensuring a comfortable and convenient coastal experience.

Inland Retreats

Visitors looking for a peaceful inland getaway can opt for accommodations nestled in the scenic woodlands. One can find a selection of retreats that offer a quiet escape from the bustling beachfront, complete with modern amenities and unique local charm. These accommodations typically provide a serene atmosphere, allowing guests to unwind and absorb the natural beauty of the area's rolling hills and woodlands.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, readers will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about activities and attractions in Sandsend.

What are the top family-friendly activities in Sandsend?

Sandsend Beach offers families a large expanse of sand and shingle to enjoy beach games and picnics. The beach is also known for fossil hunting and has rockpools that children may explore.

Where are the best places to dine in Sandsend?

For those looking to dine in Sandsend, the village is reputed as a hub for fine food. It's recommended to book in advance, especially during peak times, to savour the local cuisine that is popular among both visitors and residents.

Are there any unique attractions to visit in Sandsend?

Visitors can explore the secluded Mulgrave Castle, located in a nearby wood. The castle's history is detailed on a plaque, providing a glimpse into the area's rich heritage.

Can one find any interesting shops in Sandsend?

While Sandsend may not be a large shopping destination, visitors can find local shops that offer a variety of goods, from beach essentials to souvenirs that capture the charm of this coastal village.

How does Sandsend Beach compare in terms of cleanliness?

Sandsend Beach is known for its cleanliness, with clear waters and well-maintained shores that make it a pleasant location for visitors to relax and enjoy the seaside.

Is there a walking route connecting Whitby to Sandsend?

There is indeed a scenic walking route that connects Whitby to Sandsend. This walk offers breathtaking views of the coastline and allows walkers to easily traverse between the two locations.

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