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27 July 2020 18:37

Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay is an 'unspoilt beauty spot' on the Yorkshire coastline If there's one thing our island nation has a lot of, it's world-class beaches. The UK is edged with sand dunes, soft stretches crying out for buckets and spades, secluded coves only accessible by foot, rugged, rocky havens and pebbled beaches dotted with fishing boats. There are iconic ones, often complete with arcades, piers and ice-cream vans, incredibly popular ones (anyone heard of Bournemouth beach? No?) and secret ones that locals proudly keep to themselves. But the best?

That's a hard thing to settle on. The Sunday Times, though, have attempted to do just that – and its winner? Runswick Bay in North Yorkshire. Never heard of it? The list has swerved 'perennially popular dependables such as Tenby, St Ives, Cromer and Bournemouth' in favour of 'less obvious' and less busy beaches for our socially-distant times.

The sheltered bay, populated with cute red and thatch-roofed cottages, is just up the coast from Whitby, and just as atmospheric. It has earned the top spot thanks to its rock pools, freshwater streams, fine sand-castle-building opportunities and safe swimming waters. Scarborough Borough Council's tourism manager Janet Deacon told the BBC: 'Runswick Bay is an unspoilt beauty spot that can give any beach resort in the world a run for its money.' Sounds like the ideal spot for a summer getaway to us. More ace sandy spots? Here's our pick of the best beaches in the UK. Oh, and some lush beaches near London, a few really great coves in Cornwall. Plus some hidden beaches you might not have heard of. Share the story Latest Teesside headlines straight to your inbox Subscribe Thank you for subscribing See our privacy notice Invalid Email A scenic North Yorkshire beach has won the accolade of Britain's best - and it's only half an hour from Teesside. Runswick Bay came out top of The Times annual beach guide, published at the weekend. As reported, the guide highly commended the beauty of Marske beach, which led locals to jokingly claim the "secret was out" about the hidden gem which is often overlooked in favour of Saltburn and Redcar beaches. But its North Yorkshire coastal neighbour Runswick Bay ran out the winner in the national newspaper. Nestled in a bay between the fishing village of Staithes and Whitby, Runswick Bay's unspoilt quality has attracted flocks of in-the-know visitors, fossil-hunters, dolphin-watchers, fishermen and families. After this latest accolade, it might get busier yet. (Image: Mike Clarkson) It was described as 'close to perfection' by travel writer Chris Haslam, who has compiled the annual Beach Guide since 2008. He singled out its spacious sands for castle-building, paddleboards and kayaks for hire, three freshwater streams, as well as good swimming, rockpools and fishing spots. The fossil grounds at nearby Kettleness Sands were also highlighted as a bonus. James Mason, the chief executive of tourism body Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "I had the pleasure of filming with The Times and The Sunday Times at Runswick Bay this week and what a truly beautiful place it is. "The views are spectacular and the beach is absolutely amazing." The Times' criteria includes water quality, safety, cleanliness, access and facilities, - with busier locations marked down for noisy nearby pubs, overcrowding and high car park prices. He also deliberately visits beaches out of season and in poor weather to assess their merits. You can read the full article, which is behind a paywall, here.