This summer I had an intern helping with Mumbler from the University of Hull. Whilst he is a student in Hull he is originally from Bridlington so I asked him to write a little blog about all of his favourite spots for families in his home town. I hope it inspires you with some ideas for places to go…….
Bridlington isn’t just a seaside resort. Having spent my whole 20 years living and growing up here, I’ve had a fair deal of experience hunting down the best spots to eat, drink and adventure across the entire town. Sure, the seaside is great – and I’ll cover it in some detail – but there’s so much more to do, sights to see and fun to be had elsewhere too! So, here’s a guide on some of the best things to do in and around our wonderful little town.
Sewerby Hall and Gardens
Home to an Edwardian house, stunning gardens and woodland areas, a golf course, a cafe, shops and a fully functioning zoo with penguins, llamas, micro pigs, pygmy goats and more! As a child, days out to Sewerby with the grandparents were a regular occurrence. My cousins and I would play hide and seek in the grounds amongst the ginormous monkey trees, enjoy a picnic in the bandstand and make our own candles in the gift shop. The grounds are even home to a putting green and an outdoor games area, where I have fond memories of competing against my older brother (and losing…). Only last year did I discover a hidden little woodland trail around the edge of the grounds perfect for kids and dogs, the only catch being you must bypass the golf course to find it! The land train stops just outside on the cliff top waiting to whisk you to and from Bridlington’s sea front, and there’s an option to have land train travel included in your entry ticket to Sewerby Hall.
Bridlington Birds of Prey & Animal Park
An award-winning family business just outside of Bridlington with birds of prey, donkeys, alpacas, meerkats, wallabies and lots more – makes a great fun filled and educational family day out! There are loads of super hands-on experiences available including ‘Meet the Meerkats’. Admittedly I myself have never been, but a reliable source – my mother, a local schoolteacher – informs me that staff are very friendly and are great with kids having run numerous programmes for local schools in the last few years, and more importantly the kids all absolutely love it! It’s a rapidly expanding little place that I’m sure has a great future ahead, and they plan on bringing even more exotic animals so watch this space.
East Riding Leisure Bridlington and Bridlington Spa
Both of these are local council run establishments, so I’ve paired them together. The Leisure Centre is just metres from the North Beach offering a café, clip n climb, and some great swimming opportunities with waterslides and a ‘splash zone’. Pro tip for getting ice cream or drinks here; head outside and downstairs to the tourist information centre and shop, where there’s another much quieter counter without the queueing – then head back upstairs with your refreshments to sit and enjoy the sea view!
As both a customer and former employee of Bridlington Spa, I know how important it is to our town and how well it engages with the community. They put on some great family events, whether it be roller skating discos, magic shows throughout summer, or the pantomimes come wintertime. Or perhaps if you’re after some father-son bonding, you could take a page out my dad’s book and take your little one to see the wrestling! Similar to the Leisure Centre, the Spa has a wonderful little café bar with stunning views of the South Beach.
John Bull World of Rock & Candy Kingdom
There’s no need to explain why this one will be a hit with the whole family. You can take a tour of this working confectionary factory to experience making your own chocolate and sticks of rock, learn about the factory’s history, and see live demonstrations of how the pros make Belgian chocolates and Yorkshire biscuits! You could pop next-door to a childhood favourite of mine, John Bull’s Candy Kingdom, and relax with some lunch or a coffee while the kids play in the soft play venue – it’s full of slides, ramps, ball pools, mazes and a mini soccer/basketball pitch!
The Old Town, Bayle Gate Museum and Priory Church
If you’re after a more relaxing day in Bridlington, you could take the Old Town Trail to see some of the historical highlights or explore on your own to discover quaint little tea rooms, antique shops and cosy pubs – special favourite of mine is the Board Inn, which is a maze of little fire lit rooms with old leather arm chairs (not exactly child friendly but definitely worth mentioning!). The Bayle Gate Museum and Priory Church have some great exhibits to see – just about every former schoolkid in Bridlington will remember seeing the famous ‘monk on the loo’! The old town is often home to vintage festivals full of stalls, games and period dress that make a great day out too.
The seaside is Bridlington’s premier attraction, and with good reason. The North Beach is a fantastic little relaxation spot, lined by brick promenades and with an impressive view of the Flamborough Headland. The pebble-covered beach was a frequently visited location by my younger self to hunt for ‘cool stones’, fossils and rock pools. Here you can find what I’d say is the best chippy in town (a hotly debated subject in Bridlington!), North Beach Fish and Chips, just inches from the beach itself – they were finalists for the 2017 National Fish and Chips Best Newcomer award! South Beach is the better beach for a proper beach day; it’s a nice flat sandy expanse unlike the rocky North Beach and has all the shops, cafes, showers, lifeguards and amenities you could ever need nearby. Both as a kid and a teenager I spent many summer days here, and more recently got into beach volleyball that’s available on the new courts. If you want to make a proper day of it, chalets are available to hire from the Foreshores service online. In between the two beaches is our bustling harbour, where you can find pleasure cruises around the bay on the Yorkshire Belle, or even find cruises to see the magnificent seabird colonies at Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs (which are great places themselves to visit!). If you’re like me and prefer something a little more thrilling, then speedboat rides are based out of the harbour too! Between the harbour and North beach is a funfair with plenty of rides and a Ferris wheel with some pretty amazing views. Ice cream can’t be forgotten from your list of seaside essentials; there are plenty of ice cream places dotted along the seafront, but I’d personally recommend visiting Notarianni’s on Prince Street just up the steps from the harbour, home to some unique flavours and an extremely