Runswick Bay

North Yorkshire

Runswick Bay is a seaside village in the Scarborough district of North Yorkshire.

Runswick Bay, sometimes referred to as just Runswick, is about 8 miles north-west of Whitby and around 11 miles east-south-east of Saltburn-by-the-Sea. Hinderwell is a slightly larger village about a mile away.

Situated in a sheltered bay with a sandy beach, this once busy fishing village of pristine cottages is now a popular place for summer tourists. Its idyllic pretty setting is part of Yorkshire's northern Heritage Coast and in the North York Moors National Park.

The village was rebuilt a little further south of its original position after a disastrous landslip in 1664 caused its homes to slip into the sea. The present village is divided by steep wooded slopes between the buildings of the Bay and those of Bank Top at cliff-top level.

The village lifeboat station features prominently on the Runswick Bay seafront. The present lifeboat station, dating from 1910, replaced an earlier one which was first opened by the RNLI in 1866. The RNLI withdrew their lifeboat in the late 1970s as a lifeboat station was reopened a little further up the coast at Staithes. Villagers, however, then set up their own independent rescue service, the Runswick Bay Rescue Boat, in 1982.

The beach at Runswick Bay has a Keep Britain Tidy Seaside Award and was named as Britain's Best Beach 2020 by the Sunday Times.

Find out more about the  Runswick Bay Rescue Boat at its website.

 Village features

Runswick Bay has a beach.
Runswick Bay is in the North York Moors National Park.
Runswick Bay is on the Cleveland Way long-distance trail, a 110-mile waymarked hiking path around the edges of the North York Moors and North Yorkshire coast with Helmsley and Filey at its end points.
Runswick Bay has pubs.
The village has a cafe.
There are public toilets in the village.
Places to stay in Runswick Bay include hotel, guest house, holiday home, caravan, camping accommodation.


Bus travel

The village has buses to neighbouring towns and villages.

Road travel

Runswick Bay is reached on minor roads off the nearby A174 .

Places to visit

Heritage coast

A stretch of 36 miles of coastline makes up the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast. This is Yorkshire's Jurassic Coast, where ammonites can easily be found and occasionally bones from marine reptiles and dinosaurs have been discovered. For more see our Heritage Coast page.

North York Moors National Park

Stretching inland from the coast between Whitby and Scarborough is the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park, which covers 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres). Within its area are moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys and attractive villages including Goathland, famous as the location for TV's Heartbeat, and Grosmont, location of the locomotive sheds of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. For more information see our page dedicated to the North York Moors.


North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Grosmont Pickering to Goathland, Grosmont and Whitby
A heritage railway running for 18 miles through the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park. The line runs from Pickering, through Goathland, one of Yorkshire's famous TV and film locations to Grosmont with some journeys extended over the Network Rail Esk Valley line to the picturesque seaside harbour town of Whitby. The 10,000-member charitable Trust behind the railway celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017. With more than 350,000 passengers a year the North Yorkshire Moors Railway is possibly the most popular heritage railway in the world.

For details see the  North Yorkshire Moors Railway website.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

The hilltop of the East Cliff at Whitby was first settled with a monastery in 657. It is of religious significance as the location of the Synod of Whitby of 664 where Christians in the then Kingdom of Northumbria adopted Roman rather than Ionian traditions as the norm when both had prevously been practised. The abbey church ruins exisiting today date from the 13th century. They are a significant landmark high above Whitby, which can be reached from the town via the flight of 199 steps. For the less energetic there is a bus service and a car park nearby. Though a substantial part of the abbey remains, it has over the years suffered the damage of storms and an attack on Whitby by the German navy in 1914. Fascinating finds are exhibited in the Abbey House, an extension of what was probably the abbot's house after the supression of the monastery. The abbey hosts events for wildlife spotters and for fans of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Whitby Abbey is managed by English Heritage.

More information at the  English Heritage - Whitby abbey website.  Find Whitby Abbey on map

Emergency services

North Yorkshire Police  North Yorkshire Police website.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust  Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust website.

HM Coastguard  Coastguard - Coastal safety webpage.

Local government

Civil parish council

Hinderwell Parish Council
Provides some local services in the area.
Link to council website  Hinderwell Parish Council

District authority

Scarborough Borough Council

Scarborough Borough Council covers a large district extending for around 40 miles along the coast to the north and south of Scarborough itself and for several miles inland, also including the towns of Whitby and Filey and many villages.

A large proportion of the district is within the North York Moors National Park.

Elections are held every four years.

A revision of wards on the council from May 2019 means the number of wards of Scarborough Borough Council is reduced from 25 to 20 and the number of councillors elected is reduced from 50 to 46. Each ward has one, two or three councillors.

Link to  Scarborough Borough Council website.

The political composition after the 2019 election was:

46 members

County authority

North Yorkshire County Council
Includes the Scarborough borough and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire.
 North Yorkshire County Council website.

Police and Crime Commissioner

Police and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and City of York.
 Police and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

Fire Authority

The North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was previously governed by the North Yorkshire Combined Fire Authority made up of elected members from across the broad areas of North Yorkshire and City of York councils which it serves. Following a ministerial announcement in June 2018 the governance of the fire service was transferred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire from 15 November 2018.
Further information at the  North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service website.
 Police and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire website.

National government region

Yorkshire and the Humber

Ceremonial county

North Yorkshire

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