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One of my favourite places to visit over summer is a small seaside town on the east coast of Yorkshire. And as this year us Brits are a little bit stuck for places to go as travel plans are disrupted for a second year, I would like to tell you all about the best things to do in Bridlington.
I make no apologies – this is a mammoth post. It’s a great place for all the family and there is so much to see and do!
- Things To Do In Bridlington
- Is There Any History To Discover?
- Things To Do In Bridlington For Families
- Sewerby Hall And Gardens
- East Riding Leisure Centre
- Treasure Island Mini Golf
- Bondville Model Village
- Bridlington North Cliff Walk
- Take The Dotto Train
- Bridlington Old Town
- Bridlington Priory Church
- Bridlington Bayle Museum
- North Marine Crazy Golf/Putting
- The Rides On The Front
- The Amusement Arcades
- Bridlington Pirate Ship And Bridlington Speed Boat Rides
- The Yorkshire Belle - Boat Cruises
- Bridlington Harbour
- Bridlington North Beach
- Bridlington South Beach
- Bridlington Fisherman's Museum
- Bridlington Spa Theatre
- Things To Do Near Bridlington - A Fair Walk Away
- Places To Visit Near Bridlington If You Have A Car
- Places To Eat In Bridlington
Things To Do In Bridlington
I have been visiting this small east riding seaside town since I was a baby. So I think that I am in the perfect position to tell you all that it has to offer. Whether you are visiting for the day, or spending a few days in and around the region, there is so much entertainment on offer for the whole family. You are sure to find something for everyone.
What’s more, you don’t necessarily need transport to enjoy all these attractions. I’ve listed about 20 that are within walking distance, as well as some that are slightly further afield.
Is There Any History To Discover?
Bridlington and the surrounding areas of East Yorkshire have obviously seen a lot of changes over the years.
The prominent Flamborough headland was obviously thought worth defending as far back as Roman times. Danes Dyke was created by the Romans to fortify land from the surrounding areas, cutting it off from attack by Danes and Britons alike.
Bridlington itself has been the site of a Saxon settlement since the 8th century. A castle was constructed in 1204 by Ranulf de Blondeville, 6th Earl of Chester, and in 1294 Oliver King built a defensive stone wall around the town. Sadly there is no evidence of a castle now, but the Bayle Gatehouse to the Priory does still stand, and there is still lots to discover about the past in this town.
Or if you are just here for fun, Bridlington’s beach is one of the best in Yorkshire. With miles of sand stretching north to Flamborough Head and south to Filey Bay. In fact, Bridlington has a wonderful range of attractions for many different tastes and interests.
And what are these attractions? Do read on!
Things To Do In Bridlington For Families
Sewerby Hall And Gardens
One of our favourite attractions can be found right at the north end of the town. Take the dotto train to its north terminus or walk the scenic north cliffs to find a gorgeous stately home and gardens.
Sewerby Hall has been restored back to its Edwardian glory. The house has lots of history to explore, but there is also a mini zoo, play areas, woodland walks, garden and lots more. A host of special events happen here throughout the year too, so it is worth checking out what is going on when you visit!
East Riding Leisure Centre
East Riding Leisure Bridlington is a massive indoor swimming pool and sports facility located just north of the main promenade.
The pool has 2 huge water slides. In one you can hit targets on the way down and the other measures your speed. Why not join in a competition to see who can be the best at both? Plus there is an interactive water play sculpture and a host of other bookable classes and events.
It’s a great place to spend a day if the unpredictable British weather lets you down.
Treasure Island Mini Golf
This pirate themed indoor crazy golf course is part of the amusement complex on the main north promenade of the town. Just look for the massive pirate boat above the attraction. With 10 holes of putting and pirate themed obstacles, it’s a place the whole family can enjoy.
Again, because this is indoors, it’s a great way to spend a wet afternoon.
Next door is a ghost walk attraction, but this isn’t suitable for small children so I haven’t visited it!
Bondville Model Village
Another of our recommendations of what to do in Bridlington is to visit Bondville. Bondville Model Village is found just over halfway along the north cliff walk.
Feel like a giant walking around all the houses, churches and shops in this pretty attraction. Some of the exhibits move, some have added sounds, and a little train circles though it all. The piece de resistance is a stunning castle ruin that towers over a harbour complete with ships, sunbathers and a lighthouse.
Plus, you can play along with the village’s spotting quiz sheet – and go around as many times as you like!
Bridlington North Cliff Walk
I am definitely a north cliff devotee, and make no apologies that I find the cliffs at Bridlington one of its major selling points. The north cliffs are so scenic. They are a lovely place to sit and take in the coastal air. And they are a great place for a picnic or game of football too!
(P.S. I am old enough to remember the adventure playground and wooden fort that stood here along with the pitch and putt course, so if anyone wants to recreate these I would be very happy!)
However if you cannot walk so far, they are a challenge, so maybe consider my next attraction.
Take The Dotto Train
When I was young, two old land trains used to drive between the north promenade and Sewerby Hall. Bridlington Belle (not the pleasure boat) and Burlington Bertie were tractor-like vehicles that pulled large iron and wood carriages.
However, these disappeared many years ago, to be replaced with a sleeker, smaller land train service. These Dotto land trains run on both the north and south beaches.
The northern service runs regularly from Bridlington Leisure Centre to Sewerby Hall, making stops at Limekiln Lane and Bondville Model Village on the way.
The southern service runs along the promenade on the south beach.
You do have to walk between the two services, but they are great if you have little ones or people in your party with mobility issues.
Bridlington Old Town
Do not just concentrate on the beach areas of the town! Bridlington has some lovely places to visit further inland. The Old Town areas of Bridlington have lots of quaint pubs, vintage and antique shops, and some great history to discover.
Furthermore, there are events and fairs throughout the year that should not be missed, like the very popular 40s Festival, that takes place in mid June each year.
Bridlington Priory Church
Bridlington Priory was founded as a Benedictine nunnery by William de Percy in the late 12th century and was dedicated to St Mary. The priory was suppressed during the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539 and granted to Sir John Constable.
Bridlington Priory Church is a Grade II* listed building situated on the north side of the town of Bridlington.
The church was built in the fifteenth century for the Benedictine order and has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt twice. The current structure is mainly made from sandstone and boasts several stained glass windows, one of which displays thirteenth-century artwork depicting St Peter.
Bridlington Bayle Museum
Bridlington Bayle Museum is a historical museum located in the old town. This museum is dedicated to the history of the town, its inhabitants and the surrounding areas. It houses a collection of social history items such as photographs, documents, paintings and prints.
The museum’s exhibits range from historical artifacts to paintings, items of local interest and photographs. The exhibits are categorized into four themes: The Bayle Connection, Life on the Coast, Images of the Past and Traces of Yesterday.
The Bayle Connection tells us about Bridlington Bayle’s history through a series of mannequins dressed in Victorian clothing. Life on the Coast features artifacts from Bridlington Bayles fishing industry such as net weights and crab pots that were used for catching fish. Images of the Past captures snapshots from time gone by with images on canvas, photos or other memorabilia. And Traces of Yesterday have objects that have been found in different places during excavations and remodelling of buildings in the area.
North Marine Crazy Golf/Putting
Another fun place to visit on the north promenade is the putting green at North Marine Drive. Spend a couple of hours having a competition to see who can make it around in the least number of shots!
The Rides On The Front
I cannot really do a guide to Bridlington attractions without mentioning the fairground rides on the sea front.
Over the years the rides have got larger, but even when I was a small child in the 70s there was a large bumpy slide, dodgems and walzers. Now there is a large ferris wheel, lots of thrill rides and plenty of smaller rides for the children. So there is plenty for all to do.
Yes, there is a charge (via tokens) for the rides, but to be fair I thought it was quite reasonable. Most of the rides were 5-6 tokens per person, and it worked out at about £10-12 for all 3 of us to ride the large ferris wheel. And here is the view!
The Amusement Arcades
Now I do not advocate gambling at all. But all along the front of the town to the north of the harbour is a row of large amusement arcades. If the weather is bad, or you just fancy whiling away half an hour or so, a lot of the machines are 2p coin pushing machines. I personally like to save up my copper change at home during the year and bring them all in a bag to use whilst I am in the town.
However, now that I have a small child, she has also discovered the grab machines and small rides outside each arcade. So do be aware, it can be a costly business.
Bridlington Pirate Ship And Bridlington Speed Boat Rides
One of the best things to do when in the area is to go on one of the many Bridlington boat trips that there are available. Sailing regularly from the harbour are three very different kinds of pleasure cruise.
The Pirate ship takes a short cruise out into the north bay at regular intervals. Or for more of a thrill, take the fast paced speed boat. Both are great fun!
The Yorkshire Belle – Boat Cruises
The Yorkshire Belle is a small boat that sails from Bridlington harbour out along the north coast up to Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs.
Sadly, the last time we visited Bridlington, there was no sign of her, so I could not get a photograph. But I am pleased to say that she still sails out a few times a week. Tickets must be booked on their website.
Bridlington is definitely a place of two halves. To the north you have the chalk cliffs and pebble beaches. The south side is much flatter, with miles of golden sands as far as the eyes can see. Which bridlington beach you visit is up to how you feel that day!
But in the middle is the bustling harbour, with its mix of working boats, pleasure cruises and seagulls. One of my favourite spots to people watch is from above the main harbour. There are a series of benches under an arch. Grab some fish and chips and watch the world go by.
Bridlington North Beach
Both beaches at Bridlington have won awards for their facilities and cleanliness, and are very different. The north beach is pebbly, but you do have a sea wall for a back rest. If you time it just right you can walk all the way from Bridlington harbour to the bottom of the stairs at Sewerby Hall, checking out the rock pools on the way.
Bridlington South Beach
In contrast, the south beach is a flat expanse of much smoother sand. Much better for making sandcastles and pitching your beach tent and wind breaker for the day.
Park just off south marine drive which runs along the beach, or take the dot train. Plus there are plenty of places to get food and drinks along its length.
Bridlington Fisherman’s Museum
Bridlington Fisherman’s Museum is housed in an 18th-century building in the north part of the harbour. And it preserves the heritage and culture of the North Sea fishing industry.
It is a very small museum, but it is packed with information about the fisheries in Yorkshire. It has a vast collection of fishing boats, nets, and other equipment from the past. The museum also has a gift shop which sells posters, postcards, books, models of fishing boats and more.
The Bridlington Fisherman’s Museum is open from 10am until 4pm every day (except Mondays)
Bridlington Spa Theatre
Bridlington Spa Theatre is a beautiful theatre which was built in the 1800s. It was originally designed to bring culture and entertainment to the people of Bridlington.
The Bridlington Spa Theatre is a Grade II listed building that was designed in 1871 by James Piers Stork for John Robinson, a local businessman. The original theatre was located on Western Parade, and seated 735 people. It opened in 1873, but closed in 1976 with the loss of its subsidy and faced demolition.
Luckily, it reopened after five years thanks to local volunteers who fought to restore it to its former glory and preserve this important piece of British history for future generations. If you do get a chance, go see the beautiful dome with its greek friezes in the ballroom, or the Edwardian theatre with its proscenium arch.
Bridlington tourist information is now also located within the Spa Centre building.
Things To Do Near Bridlington – A Fair Walk Away
When I was younger, my family didn’t have a car. We travelled to the coast on the bus, and if we were based in Bridlington, we had to walk to get to places.
The following places are able to be reached on foot, but they are a fair walk. And do be aware that buses around the area are not as regular as in large towns and cities.
The Danes Dyke Bridlington is an old Roman earthwork as you travel up the coast between Bridlington and Flamborough head. You can walk to it along the coastal footpath, but it is also accessible from the road, and has a small pay and display car park. You can also take the number 14 bus from Bridlington bus station.
This dyke was probably constructed during the Roman occupation of Britain and would have served as a fortification against raids from across the North Sea.
It is a fascinating place to visit and the woods there are a wonderful place to explore, walk and discover the wildlife and nature. It is dog friendly.
Flamborough Head Lighthouse
The Flamborough Lighthouse is an imposing tall white building on the Flamborough headland just north of the town. And the current structure is not on the original site, an older stone lighthouse can be seen at the side of the road as you travel to where the new lighthouse stands.
The current lighthouse was built in 1788 by Henry Wise for Trinity House. It was the first cast iron lighthouse to be built and was based on designs by John Smeaton. The light was originally supplied by two oil lamps which were later replaced with coal gas and then with electric light. On foggy nights you can still hear the horn and see the light clearly from Bridlington Bay, and this sound still makes me feel so nostalgic!
The Flamborough Lighthouse has been open to visitors since March 2016 and is open for tours during daylight hours every day of the year except Christmas Day. You can walk to the lighthouse along the cliff walk from Bridlington. Or take a car and place in the pay and display car park. Finally, again you can take the number 14 bus from Bridlington to Flamborough, then a short walk from Flamborough to the lighthouse.
North Landing Beach – Flamborough
Right next to the lighthouse, to the north, is Flamborough North Landing. You simply walk down the steep boat slipway to this pretty picturesque beach with rock pools and pebbles. If the tide is out explore the caves of the chalk cliffs that surround you, but take care not to get cut off by the incoming tides!
Flamborough also has a South Landing beach, this can be reached by walking along the clifftops south of the lighthouse, or by walking along a footpath from Flamborough centre.
Strawberry Fields Car Boot
I love a car boot, and one of the biggest takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and on Bank Holidays at Strawberry Fields in Bridlington. It is a fair old walk though, as it is found on the road south out to Hornsea and Skipsea.
Places To Visit Near Bridlington If You Have A Car
Of course if you have a car, you can head a little further away. All these attractions are slightly further afield from Bridlington, but are great ideas for days out in the region.
RSPB Bempton Cliffs
The RSPB Bempton cliffs is a nature reserve on the coastline between Flamborough and Filey to the north of Bridlington. And it is an incredibly important breeding ground for a host of seabirds. The cliffside features are also a popular attraction with walkers, cyclists, and visitors to the coastline.
The Bempton cliffs are made up of limestone cliffs that offer an amazing view of the Yorkshire coastline. It was first acquired as an RSPB reserve back in 1894, and then the surrounding area was purchased in 1951.
Though it is not a world heritage site, the Flamborough cliffs are definitely a heritage coastline famed for their nature and scenery.
Now, the cliffs provide breeding grounds for many different types of birds such as cormorants, fulmars and guillemots among others. In fact it is one of the most famous locations for these birds in all of Europe.
Drive and park in their car park, or walk from Bempton railway station. Sadly there is no bus service.
Bridlington Animal Park
Found just down the road from Bridlington in Carnaby, Bridlington animal park is a fun filled family day out. In this small family run zoo you can find all kinds of birds such as owls, parrots and falcons. Plus meerkats, wallabies, racoons and many more.
You can get to meet a lot of the animals in animal encounters, and there are displays daily throughout the park.
John Bull World Of Rock
Also in Carnaby, John Bull World Of Rock is a great place to discover how they make the sweet treats that you will have seen on sale all over the town. Find out how they put the letters in and mix the different colours and flavours. Plus there is an indoor play area and cafe.
Burton Agnes Hall / Burton Agnes Manor House
Burton Agnes Hall and Burton Agnes Manor House are actually two different places – but they are right next door to each other.
The Manor House has a Norman undercroft and medieval great hall, and was roofed over in the 15th century. It is now owned by English Heritage and has been designated a Grade I listed building. It consists of a great hall and cellars, but otherwise there is not a lot to do here.
However, Burton Agnes Hall next door is a privately owned country house set deep within its own parkland and gardens. Now the home of the Boynton family, the Elizabethan hall is open to visitors, and there is lots to see and do within the park and gardens. Get lost in a maze, play games and marvel at the beautiful gatehouse.
You do need to pay to visit Burton Agnes Hall and Gardens, but the manor house is free to visit.
Playdale Farm Park
Playdale Farm Park is found up the coast from Bridlington, near Cayton Bay towards Scarborough. Here you can visit all the animals, play on the adventure playgrounds, wheel around in go-karts and pet some of the animals.
Skirlington Car Boot
There is nothing I love more than a trip to a market, and Skirlington Market and Car Boot is a great place to visit to find bargains. Find it just south of Skipsea.
On a Sunday there is a huge car boot on the site, but there is also an indoor and outdoor market with rides and food. With parking space for over 2000 cars it does get quite busy, but it is a brilliant place to browse for goodies!
One of our favourite day trips when in Bridlington is to go to Filey. Filey is just up the coast from Bridlington, and is a much quieter seaside town.
If you fancy spending a beach day away from all the crowds then Reighton Sands may be perfect for you. Reighton Gap and Reighton sands are found just up the coast inbetween Bempton and Filey, and it is a very scenic and quiet place to stay.
There is a Haven holiday park here, but otherwise there isn’t much in the way of amusements and shopping here. So do bring a picnic and take your rubbish with you when you leave!
Hornsea is just down the coast from Bridlington, and again this is a much quieter place to spend a day. Whether you spend a day on the flat sands here, or visit the shopping outlet and potteries, it is a great place to explore that is a short car journey from your Bridlington base.
Places To Eat In Bridlington
No guide to Bridlington things to do would be complete without my recommendations for the best places to eat.
However please note! These are my own personal choices, made by me and my family based on our own experiences. I cannot be responsible if you personally have a bad experience at one of these eateries. If life has taught me anything, it is that everyone is different with their own outlook and thoughts. I only know that I have eaten at these restaurants and cafes, and have found them to be great, even when there have been 8 people to feed!
Notarianni’s is a coffee shop and ice cream parlour on Prince Street, just north of the harbour. They sell gorgeous Italian coffees, Ice cream sundaes, and Horlicks!
Notarianni – 15 Prince Street Bridlington,YO15 2NW.
The Beach Hut
The Beach Hut Cafe is situated on North Marine Drive in the north bay. We have found that they do lovely meals, paninnis and sandwiches. And their milk bottle milk shakes are amazing!
The Beach Hut, 1b N Marine Dr, Bridlington YO15 2JF
Fish And Chips
To be honest, can you really mess up fish and chips? So I would always advise getting them and eating them al fresco. Just watch out for the gulls dive bombing you.
So I hope that I have given you lots of ideas for places to visit in Bridlington for your next trip. Are you taking a holiday in the United Kingdom this year? Have you visited one of these places and what did you think?
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