Nestled on the lovely North Yorkshire coast, Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a charming seaside town with plenty to offer visitors. Just a short journey from the bustling city of Middlesbrough, it’s easily accessible by car, bus or train. Hop on a train from Middlesbrough and you’ll find yourself in Saltburn in a mere 30 minutes. If you’re travelling by car, the A174 road will lead you straight to this coastal haven.
As you arrive, you’ll notice the stunning Victorian architecture that gives Saltburn its unique charm. One of the most striking landmarks is the Saltburn Pier, a Grade II listed structure and the last remaining pleasure pier in the North East. Completed in 1869, it stretches out 681 feet into the North Sea, offering a lovely stroll and panoramic views of the coastline.
A short walk from the pier, you’ll find the Saltburn Cliff Tramway. This historic funicular railway has been ferrying passengers between the lower and upper parts of town since 1884. It’s the oldest water-balanced cliff lift in the United Kingdom and offers a delightful ride with fantastic views of the sea.
As you wander through the town, make sure to explore the Victorian Italian Gardens, a lovely spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk. The gardens are well-maintained and provide a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the seafront.
For those who enjoy a good walk, the Cleveland Way National Trail is a must. This 109-mile-long path starts in Helmsley and ends in Filey, but you can join it in Saltburn for a shorter trek. The trail hugs the coastline, offering stunning cliff-top views and the chance to spot seabirds and other wildlife. You can either head north towards the charming village of Staithes or south to the picturesque town of Whitby.
Another lovely walk is the Saltburn Valley Gardens woodland trail. This tranquil route follows the course of Skelton Beck, winding through ancient woodland and past cascading waterfalls. Keep an eye out for the Woodland Centre, which hosts events and activities throughout the year.
Saltburn-by-the-Sea is not only a place of natural beauty but also has a rich history. It was founded in 1861 by the entrepreneur Henry Pease, who had a vision to create a fashionable resort. The town’s development was carefully planned, with a grid-like layout and a focus on elegant architecture. The historic railway station, built in 1862, is a testament to this era, and the colourful Zetland Hotel, opened in 1863, was the first purpose-built railway hotel in the world.
Another interesting fact about Saltburn is its connection to the legendary Victorian-era smuggler, John Andrew. Known as ‘King of the Smugglers,’ he operated from nearby Marske-by-the-Sea and used a network of tunnels to move his contraband. Some of these tunnels are said to be hidden beneath the streets of Saltburn, adding a touch of mystery to the town’s history.
When it’s time for a bite to eat, you’ll find a variety of pubs, cafes, and restaurants in Saltburn. Fish and chips are a seaside staple, but there are also options for Italian, Indian and traditional British fare. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample some local delicacies, such as the famous Yorkshire pudding or the mouth-watering Whitby crab.
As the sun sets, enjoy a walk along the seafront, where the Victorian streetlights cast a warm glow on the promenade. The town is home to a vibrant arts scene, with the Saltburn Theatre and Community Hall hosting regular performances, exhibitions, and workshops. Keep an eye out for the Saltburn Film Club, which screens a range of classic, independent and foreign films in a cosy, intimate setting.
For families, Saltburn offers plenty of attractions to keep the kids entertained. The Valley Adventure Centre boasts a miniature railway, adventure playground, and crazy golf, providing hours of fun for all ages. The nearby Saltburn Surf School caters to both beginners and experienced surfers, offering lessons and equipment hire for those eager to ride the waves.
Before you leave this enchanting seaside town, be sure to pick up a souvenir or two. Saltburn has a variety of independent shops and boutiques selling everything from local crafts and artwork to traditional sweets and beach essentials. The Saltburn Farmers’ Market, held on the second Saturday of each month, is a great place to find fresh local produce, handmade gifts and artisanal treats.
Saltburn-by-the-Sea is a delightful destination that offers a perfect blend of history, natural beauty, and entertainment. With its Victorian charm, stunning coastal walks and vibrant arts scene, this hidden gem on the North Yorkshire coast is well worth a visit. So whether you’re looking for a family day out, a romantic getaway, or a solo adventure, Saltburn has something for everyone.