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Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay Credit Tony BartholomewRunswick Bay Credit Tony Bartholomew

The village of Runswick Bay shelters at the northern end of a beautiful sandy beach, just a few miles north of Whitby. The thatched property on the seafront is the only remaining thatched house on the Yorkshire coast.

Although it appears a timeless scene, with everything clinging to the steep hillside, Runswick has seen dramatic changes. Due to the instability of the soft, slippery Jurassic shales, there was a landslip in 1682 and the whole village had to be rebuilt.

Things to see and do

Once a fishing village, Runswick is now a popular summer holiday destination – great for a traditional bucket-and-spade day on the beach. Narrow paths wind between attractive white cottages and houses with small, colourful gardens.

Weave your way along the tiny paths and see the white-painted thatched cottage, which is perched right by the sea. This former coastguard’s house is probably the village’s most photographed house.

Walk along the beach and catch sight of Hob Holes, small caves where hobgoblins were reputed to live. This included one who was supposed to cure whooping cough, so mothers took their ailing children there and called out a rhyme, asking for a cure.

In summer, hire a stand up paddleboard or a sit-on-top kayak from the beach. Join Andy from Barefoot Kayak on a guided kayak tour and get a view of the coast like you’ve never seen before or join one of Runswick Bay Fossil Forages and Shoreline Safaris to discover secrets of the National Park’s coastline.

Beach cleaning

While here, look out for the #2minutebeachclean board on the beach. Follow the instructions, pick up a litter-pick and help keep the beach plastic-free. Not only will you help our environment you’ll have a gorgeous warm glow inside.


Runswick Bay is on the Cleveland Way National Trail, with lovely coastal walks north and south of the village, including breathtaking views from Kettleness.

Eating and drinking

There are several places to eat or enjoy a drink with a great view: the Runswick Bay café down by the beach, the Runswick Bay Hotel, or Royal Hotel.

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