Saltburn-by-the-Sea – Review

Saltburn is a tiny seaside resort that, as we discovered, is full of personality and charm.

This was our first ever visit to Saltburn (North Yorkshire, England), and I have to admit that the entire stop was booked in haste, so I really didn't have too much opportunity to see what the place was going to be like. My private expectation of this being a heavy industrial area and just like a number of its neighbours had was presuming that it had seen its best of its years and was now in decline.
Earlier in the day we had visited Whitby and Staithes and made our way to Saltburn for an evening stop off before heading towards Newcastle; as we turned the corner in the road the vista that opened up to us was of a small and relatively unspoilt seaside town.

Saltburn simply has to be classed as a hidden gem of a town. I’m guessing that as a destination it gets swamped in popularity by the neighbouring Redcar, Seaton Carew and Cleveland, but I have to say that anyone not stopping here is missing out.

It doesn’t have a sprawling seafront, it is very compact, but everything you could need is right there.

The seafront is dominated by its 208m pier (150 years old when we visited); at the front of the Pier is small but adequate amusement arcade which isn’t full of the latest (and expensive) slot machines and video games (although it does have some of these). Instead, it has kept some of the Victorian charm that it would have had in its heyday with the kids and their parent seemingly more than happy playing the plentiful 2p coin machines.

The beach is an absolute delight, quieter than most in the area and boasts an impressive eight miles of golden sands, fossil-rich rock pools (for spotting aquatic creatures and the off fossil or two), dramatic jurassic headlands, and secretive smuggles’ coves.

A walk to the end of the pier revealed a variety of beautifully knitted characters that depicts Saltburn over the last 150 years; this, we found out later was created by the Saltburn knitters, seaside town’s mysterious ‘Yarnbombers’ who have created wonderful knitted creations over the years.

Around the entrance to the pier are a number of cafes and food outlets to keep the family happy, and here is also, where you will find Saltburns famous cliff tram. Whilst unfortunately it wasn’t open when we were there, this turns out to be Britain’s oldest remaining water-balance cliff lift. Opened in 1884, it was built to carry people from the main town (perched on top of the cliffs likethe top teir of a wedding cake), to the promenade and beach below.

It is truly a remarkable piece of Victorian engineering, and for just £1 you can take advantage of this wonder at closer quarters than we can. We really would have loved for it to have been open when we were there.

Once in the town something strange strikes you, and it didn’t take us long to realise what it was … all the units were full, and what’s more, they weren’t full of pound stores, betting shops and charity shops. The petite town is full of independent and specialist shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants

It really is a shoppers delight, with absolutely something for everyone.

It has walks, miniature railway, bandstand, parks, basically lots of things to see and do.

Overall, we would easily describe Saltburn as a resort that should be on everyones list to visit. Its bijou and beautiful, suitable for small families and couples. It is not as famous as its bigger cousins in the area (Whitby and Scarborough), nor probably as famous as Redcar and Cleveland – but it should be.

We will definitely be back.


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