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Go on a mini adventure

Sea Kayaking off Runswick Bay Credit Fridge ProductionsSea Kayaking off Runswick Bay Credit Fridge Productions

The coast isn’t just about buckets and spades, and sitting with an ice cream in your hand wearing a knotted handkerchief on your head. We take a look at more active ways to enjoy the outdoors.

Catch a wave

The Yorkshire coast is becoming something of a surfing mecca. It's particularly good for beach breaks, the best type of wave to start surfing on, but there's plenty of rock spots with reef and point breaks too for the more experienced. Hire boards and get expert tuition from Flow Surf School, Saltburn Surf School and Whitby Surf School. Find out more about where to go surfing.

Fishing and wildlife watching

Three Sisters Sea Trips is a sea fishing and wildlife charter boat, based in Staithes. They offer trips for up to seven passengers and you can hire fishing equipment too.

Wildlife safaris with Yorkshire Coast Nature

Yorkshire Coast Nature organise wildlife safaris where you might spot anything from snakes, butterflies, whales, porpoises or birds of prey. For those wanting to capture the moment on film, there are also specific wildlife photography courses with practical tips and insights from award winning professionals.

Get active with the National Trust

Throughout the summer months, the National Trust runs a wide range of activities to suit all ages and interests at Ravenscar and Robin Hood’s Bay. Choose from guided walks with a ranger, with a chance to learn more about the nature and the industrial heritage of the area, rockpooling, kayaking and geocaching. The events are popular so be sure to book quickly to guarantee your spot.

Unusual ways to exercise on water

SUP Adventures run stand up paddleboarding courses for novices through to experienced paddlers on rivers, dams and the sea. If being at one with nature is your kind of thing try their SUP Yoga activity. You can even extend your experience and book onto a retreat to fully embrace the concept.

Find out why geology rocks

This stretch of rugged Jurassic coastline offers adventures galore, whether it’s finding all manner of wildlife in rockpools or hunting out fossils and dinosaur footprints. Expert guides at Hidden Horizons can help fire your imagination to envisage what life was like 190 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed this land.

Kayak seafari

Paddle quietly along the coastline from Runswick Bay, taking time to gaze in awe at the towering cliffs bustling with birdlife, looking out for secret spots that can only really be accessed by kayaks. Join Barefoot Kayak's for a guided paddle which usually take place on settled evenings when Runswick Bay is at its best.

There's loads more water-inspired activities to try here too.

Photography tours using professional hi-spec equipment

North York Moors Wildlife Photography Tours offer wildlife watching and photography experiences for all. From the comfort of their 4x4 vehicle, using their high specification equipment, you can get really close to nature and capture fantastic images.

Mine's a mackerel

Join a mackerel fishing expedition with Real Staithes where skipper Sean will show you how to catch mackerel with a rod, and then it’s back to the harbour to clean and cook them on a campfire cook-out. That’s fresh fish, Staithes-style, as easy as ‘A,B, Sea’.

Pedal power

Follow in the tracks of Victorian holidaymakers as you cycle along the trackbed of the old railway line that once linked Whitby and Scarborough. The 21-mile-long ‘Cinder Track’ has fantastic coastal views, particularly at Robin Hood’s Bay and Ravenscar, and the route forms part of the wider Moor to Sea Cycle Network – 150 miles of cycling on eleven interconnected routes through the heart of the National Park. Hire a bike and see the sea by cycle. You can even hire an electric bike from Trailways making the trip back up the hill out of Robin Hood's Bay much easier.

Down our way

Yorkshire’s celebrated 109-mile Cleveland Way National Trail runs the full length of our dramatic coastline before ending at the rocky outcrop of Filey Brigg, passing a visual feast of breathtaking views, industrial remains and hidden gems. Experienced walkers have long tackled the trail in nine days but not everyone wants to hike a mammoth multiday trek. It’s easy to walk shorter sections of the well-marked route and have fantastic days out along the way. Check out our Top Ten Experiences, from secret picnic spots to climbing your first 'mountain'.