With its beautiful curve of sandy shoreline, recognised as one of Britain's best beaches, Runswick Bay doesn’t need to do anything too showy; after all the beach is the main act. Instead the village quietly gets on with what it does best: offering a picturesque backdrop for visitors to enjoy a great day at the seaside.
Weave your way along paths, past the huddle of characterful former fishermen’s cottages clinging to the hillside and let your eyes settle on the one furthest away, a white-painted thatched cottage, which was the old Coastguard’s house and the only remaining thatched house on the Yorkshire coast.
Meander a bit more and you’ll come to the café marking the entrance onto the beach and the spot where people like to kick off their shoes so they can revel in walking on the sand.
From there it’s a pleasant stroll with the sea on one side and a gentle woodland-clad slope on the other, until you reach the far headland. Here it’s possible to make out small caves called Hob Holes which were once homes to hobgoblins according to local folklore (please look at these from a distance in case of rockfalls).
At low tide there are plenty of rockpools, which are like miniature marine worlds ripe for discovery. The shelter provided by the two headlands at either end of the bay also results in calmer waters, which are often ideal for swimming, stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking.
The Cleveland Way National Trail passes through the village and offers lovely coastal walks in either direction, including breathtaking views from Kettleness.