Saltburn gets a bad rep. As one of a handful of once great north eastern seaside resorts, along with Redcar and Scarborough, it is a shadow of its former self. The lack of a booming tourism-based economy has taken its toll. Last weekend I went for a drive out to find out what all this supposed doom and gloom is about.
The town was developed off the back of the Industrial Revolution and still has many original features. There is the 600ft pier stretching out into the ocean as well as the original tram that takes its occupants up and down the 120ft cliff face from the pier to the town. Then there is the key feature of Saltburn; The Beach!
With over a mile of sweeping sandy beach, Saltburn is worth the trip from any of the ‘Holiday at Home’ properties. When visiting I would suggest checking 3 things before you leave. The weather, the tides and the opening times of the fantastic Sea View Restaurant. There are dog friendly sections of the beach and it makes for the perfect group activity when visiting Yorkshire.
We arrived in Saltburn at 1.30pm where the sun was shining and the birds were singing! Parking at the top of the cliffs, the views out over the North Sea were glorious. Today I was here for a reason, to fulfil a childhood ambition and learn to surf.
As we pottered down to the beach front, I felt nervous. It was sunny but it was cold and the waves were colossal. I arrived at The Saltburn Surf School with a slight feeling of regret. I needn’t be as the team were fantastic. They provided me with all the gear including a wet suit, boots and a large foam surfboard. I had arranged a 2 hour group lesson costing only £30pp including the equipment rental.
When growing up, I had a very distinct image of a surfer in my head. Sun bleached hair, rock hard abs and hands fixed in the ‘Shaka’ sign. I was bringing a slightly alternative look to the party. Skinny legs, large tummy and a general ability to look completely out of place no matter where I am! But it didn’t matter. The Surf School were very welcoming. Our instructor, a lovely gentleman named Chris, made sure that we had all we needed to take to the waves.
At this point I had a vision in my head of walkers on the beach pointing and gasping with amazement...
The lesson began with some basic technique. This consisted of lying on the beach attempting to master the ‘pop up’. It was explained that this was a fundamental aspect of learning to Surf. The pop up consisted of lying face down on the board, palms flat on the floor then jumping up onto your feet using upper body strength that I sadly don’t possess. After a couple of attempts, Chris kindly put me out of my misery and showed me a ‘cheat’ to get me up and on the water.
The beauty of learning to surf at Saltburn was simply how shallow the water was. If you are not a confident swimmer it doesn’t matter. Throughout our hour and a half in the water, we never went deeper than waist height. There are no excuses!
Once in the water, I found my first big wave. Lying flat on the board and paddling like hell, I went for it! I caught the wave and tried the oh so crucial ‘pop up’. At this point I had a vision in my head of my stereotypical surfer gliding across the waves, walkers on the beach pointing and gasping with amazement at how a mere beginner could have perfected the technique that takes most muggles years to master.
Looking more like Danny DeVito than Daniel Craig, I had the surfing bug!
Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be. I toppled into the water looking more like a Salmon rather than a surfer. My feeling of disappointment was augmented by a young lady of 10 years old who came whizzing past on her first run.
Across the next couple of hours, I battled the North Sea and came away from the experience with an almighty grin on my face. Walking out of the water, looking more like Danny DeVito than Daniel Craig, I simply didn’t care anymore. I had caught the surfing bug!
Back on dry land, we got dried and changed and went for a walk down the pier. It was a magnificent view back towards the coast with the wonderfully colourful beach huts set on a background of the green cliffs. At this point I had a feeling of nostalgia kicking in. I found myself thinking back to our annual childhood trips to Skegness that bring up many fond memories.
On to fish and chips!
Our day was concluded as all trips to the seaside must be concluded; fish and chips! I fully recommend trying The Seaview Restaurant. They do fantastic Fish and Chips as well as a varied menu for the heathens such as myself who went for the steak, prawns and chips. The floor to ceiling glass windows offer panoramic views out towards the ocean and it made the perfect backdrop for some scoffing.
Throw in some last-minute ice creams and we left Saltburn feeling happy and full. Saltburn gets a bad rep that it doesn’t deserve. My conclusion, Saltburn is great and makes for the perfect family day out! Who needs doom and gloom when you can have surf and turf 😊.
Our closest luxury Yorkshire holiday cottage to Saltburn is the lovely Weavers Cottage. It is the perfect spot for seven or eight guests; drive over for the day and afterwards, cosy up on the evening in front of the fire…
Waterloo Lodge is a stunning six-bedroom, dog free large holiday home with a hot tub, games room and much more. This is the perfect rural retreat for large families and friends to explore Richmond and the Yorkshire Dales.
A large luxury four-bedroom house near Richmond, North Yorkshire. This family friendly country escape has a games room, hot tub, stylish interiors, and electric car charging.