With dozens of interesting places to visit within a short drive, you’ll have no trouble finding plenty to occupy yourselves whilst staying at Clara’s Den.
Hunmanby and Muston
The nearest village to the apartment is Hunmanby (opens in a new window), a pretty farming town mentioned in the Domesday Book. Featuring several independent shops and pubs, as well as a train station, Hunmanby is worth a visit for its church, parts of which are 900 years old (opens in a new window). The nearby picturesque village of Muston is also famous for its annual scarecrow festival (opens in a new window).
Flamborough and Bempton
To the south is Flamborough Head, hosting the world-famous RSPB Bempton (opens in a new window) where during the season you can see puffins and many other sea birds nesting on 400-foot chalk cliffs. From Flamborough village you can visit North and South Landings, natural harbours which have for centuries been used by fishermen – and smugglers! We also highly recommend a visit to Flamborough lighthouse (opens in a new window), which offers impressive views across Bridlington Bay.
Bridlington and Sewerby
At the south side of Flamborough is the pretty village of Sewerby, where you can visit Grade I listed Sewerby Hall (opens in a new window) and see it’s impressive gardens. There’s also a model village (opens in a new window) and pleasant walks along the cliff-tops into Bridlington. If you’re not feeling that energetic the land train (opens in a new window) is a leisurely – and fun! – way to travel (only running during the summer season).
Bridlington itself is a bustling port, still home to several fishing boats and has an impressive promenade stretching for 3 miles. In the town you’ll find a good selection of eateries, and of course the fish and chips are must-haves! Bridlington Spa (opens in a new window) is a beautiful restored sea-front venue with a magnificent Art Deco ballroom, and an ornate Edwardian two tier theatre which hosts touring shows and musical acts. Its contemporary cafe offers live music and panoramic views of Bridlington Bay. The new East Riding Leisure centre (opens in a new window) on the sea front offers fantastic facilities including ‘Clip ‘n Climb’, the SplashZone, and a health suite.
Our favourite part of Bridlington is the old town (opens in a new window), situated a mile or so inland. Recently rejuvenated thanks to it’s starring role as Walmington-on-Sea in the 2016 film Dad’s Army, Bridlington old town has interesting shops, quaint cafes, and some independant art galleries such as Gallery Forty Nine (opens in a new window) and Old Town Gallery (opens in a new window). You’ll not want to miss the majestic, 900 year-old Bridlington Priory (opens in a new window), and the adjacent Bayle museum (opens in a new window) which hosts a large and varied collection of items from its eclectic history.
Scarborough South Bay
A trip to the East Coast would not be complete without a visit to Scarborough. Whether you want the donkeys, amusement arcades and seafood stalls of South Bay, or the quieter ‘surfer’ vibe of North Bay, Scarborough has it all. And, of course, the famous Scarborough Castle (opens in a new window) towers over the town, boasting 3,000 years of history.
Scarborough has a large town centre with many of the usual high street stores and the Brunswick indoor shopping centre (opens in a new window). Visit the famous Oriental-themed Peasholme Park (opens in a new window) to ride on the dragon gondolas or watch a model naval battle on the lake. Check out the open air theatre (opens in a new window) which regularly hosts some of the biggest names from showbiz. For history and art enthusiasts Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum (opens in a new window) and art gallery (opens in a new window) are also well worth a visit – check the Scarborough Museum Trust’s website (opens in a new window) for details of their many events.
Finally, the most recent addition to the attractions of Scarborough is the huge new Alpamare Waterpark (opens in a new window) featuring heated indoor and outdoor pools, water factory, wave pool, infinity pool and slides a-plenty. Not to mention steam and sauna baths, and landscaped gardens overlooking the sea.
Loved by walkers and artists alike, the famous Yorkshire Wolds (opens in a new window) offer mile after mile of peaceful rolling hills and farming communities. Whether you’re looking for the views that inspired David Hockney (opens in a new window), scenic cycle routes (opens in a new window), or some more serious walks (opens in a new window), the Wolds deliver all this and more.
Other local places to visit
It does seem up and down the East Coast there are gems of places to visit around every corner (many of them having tempting cafes). For example, the nearby stained glass centre (opens in a new window) has a wide variety of stained glass products to buy, plus a quaint cafe. If you’re looking for a farm shop you could head north towards Scarborough and visit Redcliffe farm shop (opens in a new window) or go south to Sewerby for Marton Manor farm shop (opens in a new window) – both of which have lovely cafes.
For those willing to travel a little further there are many unmissable days out.
Whitby harbour, with the 199 steps leading up to St Mary’s church
Captain Cook, dinosaurs and Dracula might seem like they have nothing in common – but you’ll find them all in Whitby! World-famous for launching the career of explorer James Cook (opens in a new window), Whitby hosts the Captain Cook Museum (opens in a new window) where you can find out all about his life and the voyages of discovery which charted much of the world. Whitby Museum (opens in a new window) in Pannett Park houses spectacular collections of fossils and other prehistorical specimens, as well as items from hundreds of years of sea-faring.
The ruins of Whitby Abbey (opens in a new window) overlook the town and are accessed by the famous 199 steps (opens in a new window), the magnificent view from the top being worth the climb. The newest fish restaurant in town which we can heartily recommend for a special treat is The Star Inn The Harbour (opens in a new window), the latest venture from Michelin-starred chef Andrew Pern.
Finally, no mention of Whitby would be complete without reference to Whitby Goth Weekend (opens in a new window), a bi-annual (April and October) festival of all things Goth, which helps to celebrate Bram Stoker’s setting of part of the Dracula story in the town. If you’re a Goth, steam-punk aficionado, or just want to see some amazing outfits, this festival is for you.
Ravenscar, Robin Hood’s Bay, Sandsend, Runswick Bay and Staithes
Travel on the A171 from Scarborough towards Whitby and you’ll pass two villages well worth stopping at. The lesser-known of these is Ravenscar which offers an impressive hotel perched on the edge of high cliffs, with beautiful views over to Robin Hood’s Bay. Adventurous types can tackle the steep cliff path down to the rocks at the seashore for the chance to spot sunbathing seals, before heading back to the hotel bar for a coffee (or something stronger).
Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is famous both for smuggling and fossil-hunting, and embodies the charm of Yorkshire fishing villages. The steep path down to the sea threads through the heart of the village, and takes you past beautiful and ancient fishermen’s cottages and gives you a real feel for how things used to be.
Above Whitby on the A174 are a series of delightful villages, all unique in their own way. Sandsend, as it’s name suggests, marks the end of the stretch of sand starting at Whitby, before the coast gives way to more rugged terrain. Runswick Bay, where maze-like alley-ways wind through the red-roofed cottages, is perhaps as picture-postcard a seaside village as you could wish to see. And Staithes, renowned as an artists paradise (opens in a new window) and with connections to Captain Cook’s apprentice days, is well worth exploring.
North York Moors
Travel inland from Whitby or Scarborough and you’ll soon be in the magnificent North York Moors National Park (opens in a new window). Here you’ll find wide open moorland and sudden crags, market towns, and the famous North York Moors Railway (opens in a new window) which offers an historic steam locomotive experience. Travel to Pickering to visit the castle (opens in a new window), or take your bikes deep into Dalby Forest (opens in a new window) for some serious off-roading.
Grand houses: Castle Howard, Sledmere and Burton Agnes Hall
For a more sedate day out head to one of the many grand old houses in North Yorkshire. Here are three we particularly like.
Castle Howard (opens in a new window) is billed as ‘one of Britain’s finest stately homes’, and they’re absolutely right. The scale and grandeur of the house is hardly matched anywhere else in England, and with miles of walks around woodland and lakes, this is a day out to remember.
Sledmere House (opens in a new window) is not as well known as Castle Howard, but offers extensive gardens and a well-stocked farm shop. They also have farm animals including a huge Shire horse, and exhibitions about their long association with horse racing.
Burton Agnes Hall (opens in a new window) is an Elizabethan stately home which has remained with the same family for more than four hundred years. The art collection is particularly impressive.
Detail of a timbered house in York
York (opens in a new window), the capital of Yorkshire, is also home to its richest collection of historical buildings. From the Gothic magnificence of York Minster (opens in a new window) to the chequered history of Clifford’s Tower (opens in a new window), York is seeped in two thousand years of history. We particularly like the (free!) walk around the city walls (opens in a new window), which offers wonderful views over many of the city’s attractions.
A amble down the Shambles (opens in a new window) is a must-do, perhaps followed by a river cruise. Or, if you’re looking for other modes of transport, York is also home to the National Railway Museum (opens in a new window). And as if that’s not enough to fill a day out, there’s the art gallery (opens in a new window), magnificent (opens in a new window) houses (opens in a new window), the Yorkshire museum (opens in a new window) and castle museum (opens in a new window) to pack in! Oh, and I forgot – take a trip back to Viking days at the Jorvik Viking Centre (opens in a new window). Phew!
The drive up the East Coast is worth doing by itself, even before you take in the towns and villages along the way. But just before you leave Yorkshire you’ll find Saltburn (opens in a new window), where you can take a walk along Yorkshire’s last remaining pier. And on the way home go over the moors and stop for a bite to eat in Goathland: Heartbeat’s Aidenfield (opens in a new window), for a taste of North York Moors hospitality.
Take a trip over the Wolds to the beautiful market town of Beverley (opens in a new window) with its 13th century Minster, then go on to the magnificent manor house of Burton Constable (opens in a new window). And, for a taste of the wild life, go out to Spurn Point (opens in a new window) nature reserve in the mouth of the Humber estuary.
Don’t miss Hull, the UK City of Culture 2017 (opens in a new window) which houses The Deep (opens in a new window), a spectacular aquarium. And for one of the engineering marvels of the British Isles take a walk over the Humber Bridge (opens in a new window), a 1.4 mile long single-span suspension bridge.
Further inland you’ll find the famous deserted medieval village of Wharram Percy (opens in a new window), or visit the ruins of Kirkham Priory (opens in a new window), set in the beautiful Derwent valley.
If it’s ancient market towns you’re after you can’t get better than Malton (opens in a new window), which for two thousand years has been an important Yorkshire town. For peace and quiet, and acres of lavender, visit the family-run Yorkshire Lavender farm (opens in a new window) – just a few miles off the A64. Or for something a little more exciting head to Flamingo Land theme park and zoo (opens in a new window).
And the West
The North Sea
We think you’ll agree you’re not going to run out of things to do while staying at Clara’s Den!