Two beautiful Yorkshire beaches where it's too dangerous to swim in the sea

-Credit: (Image: Charlotte Graham)
-Credit: (Image: Charlotte Graham)


They’re two seaside destinations that many people from Yorkshire will have fond memories of visiting - yet they’ve been hit with a ‘do not swim’ warning.

Scarborough South Bay and Bridlington South Beach - both located on the Yorkshire coast - might be beautiful to look at, yet they are two of 18 beaches across the UK where the water quality has been ranked as “poor” by the Environment Agency.

The rating comes as 425 locations across the country were designated as official bathing spots. The water quality of most of those (281) is classified as “excellent” by the Environment Agency. At another 99 it’s classified as “good”.

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The paddling pool is a big hit with the little ones
The paddling pool is a big hit with the little ones -Credit:Megan Shaw - Yorkshire Live

There are, however, 18 sites, including in Yorkshire , where tests by the Environment Agency found that the water quality was “poor” and people are advised against bathing there. That includes five sites that had been classified as fine a year ago.

One of those that had been classified as “good” is Littlestone in Kent. Another three had been classified as “sufficient” - Porthluney in Cornwall, Southsea East in Portsmouth, and St Annes North in Blackpool. The fourth - the River Deben Estuary in Suffolk - wasn’t listed as a bathing spot last year.

The list of bathing spots swimmers are advised to avoid includes popular Yorkshire seaside towns such as Scarborough South Bay and Bridlington South Beach, as well as Blackpool North, Bognor Regis (Aldwick), and three spots in Weston-super-Mare.

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The Environment Agency has also issued permanent advice against swimming in four official bathing sites - Clacton (Groyne 41), Instow, Ilfracombe Wildersmouth, and Burnham Jetty North.

You can see all the bathing spots that the Environment Agency advises against bathing in by using our interactive map:

The Environment Agency tests water at bathing sites throughout the year for the presence of harmful bacteria such as Escherichia coli (known as E. coli) and Intestinal enterococci. Each bathing site is then given a rating based on the results over the year, either “excellent”, “good”, “sufficient” or “poor”.

The ratings in the map therefore are based on the Environment Agency’s water tests conducted throughout 2023.