From adventure sports to gentle walks, we've got you covered for days out, things to do and accessible activities along or near the North York Moors coast.
We do advise that you contact individual venues to double check suitability for your own individual needs or if you have any queries or concerns.
There are also a number of beaches you can enjoy if you need to avoid steps and steep inclines.
On the water
Disability sports ambassador Geoff Holt has brought the ‘Wetwheels’ concept to Whitby – providing trips on specially designed, fully accessible powerboats that bring the thrill of the sea to those who haven’t yet had the opportunity. It’s all about active participation – it's not just about giving you the chance to be a passenger, but you also get the chance to drive, heading out of Whitby harbour and into the open sea at speeds of up to 40 knots.
Adventures include wildlife watching, fishing, pirate, harbour tour and River Esk experience. These trips are very popular and advance booking is highly recommended.
Scaling Dam Sailing Club, 20 minutes inland from Whitby, operates as part of the Royal Yachting Association´s Sailability initiative. The Club has a range of adapted dinghies for anyone wanting to experience the thrill of open water too and they are qualified to transfer sailors with their certified hoists. They run taster sessions between April and September for those looking to have a go, with regular sailing times on Wednesday afternoons and Sunday mornings but other times are possible by prior arrangement.
The Club owns a Challenger Trimaran which is equipped for people with physical and/or sensory disabilities who want to sail. There is an accessible jetty, ramped entrance to the clubhouse and accessible facilities in the clubhouse.
Whitby Leisure Centre has a Changing Places toilet on the poolside located in an accessible changing room, with equipment including two changing beds, support aids and shower. There is a special hoist with ceiling tracks to carry swimmers unaided or with assistance directly from the changing room to the 25 metre and learner pool.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs Nature Reserve
Bempton Cliffs is home to England's largest population of seabirds. Around half a million seabirds gather here between March and October to raise a family on towering chalk cliffs overlooking the North Sea. You are likely to see puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes, herring gulls and the largest gannet colony on the UK mainland.
There are six safe cliff-edge viewing platforms, three of which are fully accessible via a hard surfaced path, giving visitors stunning closeup views of life on the edge. The grassland and scrub along the clifftops are also home to breeding and wintering farmland birds. There is an information centre, tearoom and accessible toilets on site.
RSPB Saltholme Nature Reserve
North of the National Park is the family-friendly Saltholme Nature Reserve near Middlesbrough. The reserve has a visitor centre, hides and screens which let you get up close to water rail, yellow wagtails and terns, plus a family discovery zone, café and play area.
There are five signposted trails surfaced in bound gravel, mostly on level ground with seating provided. The bird hides are accessible, with some having floor-to-ceiling viewing windows. The Visitor Centre has a lift, with accessible toilets on both floors, café and gift shop. They also have three mobility scooters available for hire for a small donation. Booking is advised.
WHISH Sensory Room
This multi-sensory room in Whitby offers a stimulating environment aimed at developing coordination, motor skills, colour recognition, communication and sensory skills for children and adults with sensory impairments. The facilities can be used passively or interactively to:
- calm overactive behaviours
- relax and bond with children / parents / carers
- engage or stimulate the senses to learn
- control new movements or recover / re-learn / rehabilitate
The sensory room is open Tuesday – Friday 10am - 4pm.
Located in Ruswarp, close to Whitby, Mini Monsterz is a large indoor play centre, which has a sensory room, a specially designed space for young children and individuals with additional needs. It has a wide range of features, including interactive screens, mats that vary in colour through touch and sound, and ambient sounds to create a soothing environment. It also provides a quiet area to escape from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the centre. It is available free of charge.
Miles without Stiles coastal walks
Our Miles without Stiles routes are designed to remove barriers and offer more accessible routes for everyone to enjoy, no matter the ability. These routes are for those who require the use of mobility scooters, trampers, manual or powered wheelchairs or those with limited walking ability.
They can also be enjoyed by families with toddlers and pushchairs, visually impaired and anyone who wants an easier walk with no steep hills.
Although you can't access the beach, you can enjoy the inspiring views across stunning Robin Hood’s Bay from Ravenscar. This short "Miles without Stiles" route passes through National Trust land, offering coastal scenery at its dramatic best. The views over the sheer cliffs along the southern loop of this route are spectacular. In spring and early summer the hayfield along the cliff edge display a wonderful array of wild flowers.
Tramper hire is available from Ravenscar Visitor Centre to explore the accessible paths.
Robin Hood's Bay
This short, classic walk along the Cleveland Way National Trail offers one of the most spectacular views over the village of Robin Hood’s Bay and across to the magnificent cliffs of Ravenscar. On a clear day the distant headland of Flamborough can be seen over 30 miles away.
This is one of our short "Miles without Stiles" walks. It is a pleasant walk or roll along the clifftop with wide views over the beautiful coastal village of Runswick Bay. It is a linear walk returning by the same route over a total distance of 1.3 miles (2km).
Experience the Cleveland Way National Trail at one of its most inspiring locations, the iconic Whitby Abbey. A wheelchair accessible trail, it leads from Abbey Fields turning area out along the cliffs, while a ramp offers access down to Whitby Holiday Park, with its café and toilet. Return the same way (enjoying views of Whitby’s piers and the coast to Sandsend) or arrange to be picked up at the holiday park, having sampled one of the most spectacular sections of the Cleveland Way.