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Campsites in Runswick Bay, England

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63 bookable campsites within 64.4 kilometres of Runswick Bay

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Why visit Runswick Bay?

Sun, sea and sand

Runswick Bay is perhaps the most scenic beach in the North York Moors National Park. Curving prettily around the coastline, it’s a photogenic part of this protected area. So photogenic, in fact, that the Sunday Times once chose it as the UK’s best beach. The Lingrow Knowle escarpment shelters the bay, so it’s a prime place for the kids to play during your stay at one of our campsites in Runswick Bay.

A character-packed village 

Runswick Bay’s red-roofed cottages give the beach a run for its money in the scenic stakes. Wander through the narrow lanes, admiring charming buildings like the old thatched coastguard's cottage. As you take in the architecture, you’d never guess the entire settlement was rebuilt after a landslide pushed it into the sea in 1682. 

Epic coastal walks 

Runswick Bay is right on the Cleveland Way National Trail, a postcard-worthy path tracing the North York Moors’ edges. You can tackle the whole 109 miles, from Helmsley to Filey Brigg, or just head on an hour-and-a-half wander from Runswick Bay to Staithes. Once you arrive in the harbour village, dip in and out of the art galleries. Then find more places to explore along the Cleveland Way in our guide to the best walks in North Yorkshire.

Essential things to do in Runswick Bay  

  • Climb up the steep path behind the beach for spectacular coastal views over Kettleness

  • Immerse yourself in the village’s maritime history at the old lifeboat station

  • Take part in a #2minutebeachclean (look for the board on the sand and follow the instructions)

  • Set out to sea for some angling – Runswick Bay is a cod-fishing hotspot in winter

  • Wander to Whitby, the seaside town famous for its links with Dracula, on the coastal trail

Unexplored Runswick Bay 

Watersports galore

Runswick Bay’s placid shores are perfect for paddling. Local company Barefoot Kayak rents out SUPs and kayaks by the hour – wetsuits included – and also organises instructor-led tours. If the waves make an appearance, you can rent beginner-friendly foam surfboards. 

Caverns and fossils 

Runswick Bay’s beach is 1.2 miles long, so most people stick to the parts that are most accessible. To see a different side to the area seek out the Hob Holes, small caves where hobgoblins are said to live. It’s also worth looking out for fossils further along the foreshore – collectors regularly find ammonites, along with other treasures from the Jurassic and Cretaceous eras, because of high coastal erosion.  

Gastro delights

For such a small village, Runswick Bay has a couple of strong options when it comes to eating out. Enjoy a meal and an ale at the Royal Hotel pub – a dog-friendly spot with a suntrap of a terrace – or head to the popular café. This local place sells delectable cream-topped scones. You can eat them on site, but they taste even better alfresco at your campsite in Runswick Bay.

Here’s how

The beauty of camping near Runswick Bay? You can pitch up your tent or touring vehicle close to the coast and take in the views. Stay near the beach to soak up the salty sea air, or head inland to a quiet farm in the countryside. 

You can also browse based on all sorts of preferences – look out for campsites in Runswick Bay with amenities as diverse as clubhouses, fishing ponds and play areas.

Use the filters on this page to choose the options you like best or search through some of our most popular:

Want to see more of the North York Moors? Check out places to pitch up around Whitby for beach days, fairground rides and the Gothic abbey. Alternatively, try one of the locations near our nine top places to visit in North Yorkshire.

If you’re still not sure where to stay, get inspiration from our guide to camping in the North East of England or peruse all the region’s campsites