Why you should move to Bridlington
- Credit: Tony Bartholomewtony
If you’re one of the many who have reassessed their lifestyles over the last couple of years and are thinking that coastal living could be the thing for you, check out Bridlington.
Wide open spaces, a real sense of history, and a restaurant and shopping scene that’s very much on the up combine with (currently!) very reasonable property prices to make a town that’s definitely worth a look.
It’s got a fabulous swimming and leisure centre and great year-round entertainment at the Spa and Spotlight theatres.
And who could resist a town that’s home to the four-centuries-old Lords Feoffees and Assistants of the Manor of Bridlington, a charitable institution that supports causes in the town ranging from public clocks and toilets to financially aiding local A-level students to help them go to university?
All this less than a 45-minute train journey from Hull or an hour from York.
Bridlington is known as the ‘lobster capital of Europe’, with an estimated annual haul of 300 to 400 tonnes of the blue crustaceans – yes, they’re a dazzling cobalt blue before they’re cooked and turn the more familiar red.
Check out the busy working harbour for the chance to see them landed; it’s also home to the Bridlington Sailing Coble Preservation Society and three particularly fine examples of this traditional east coast fishing boat – The Three Brothers, The Gratitude, and Gansey Lass.
Bridlington’s breezy beaches are a walker’s paradise, and also play host to walkers, swimmers, volleyball players (an estimated 96 teams are expected to compete in Brid Beach 22, the annual volleyball tournament in July), and even cars – Race the Waves (June 16-19), a motoring and steampunk festival, culminates in a vintage car and motorbike parade on the town’s South Beach.
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Step away from the beach, and head to the Old Town: if it looks familiar, it’s because it doubled as Walmington-on-Sea in the 2016 film Dad’s Army, starring Toby Jones and Bill Nighy. The town has taken the movie to its heart – you can follow a Dad’s Army Trail – but look beyond the limelight to the fascinating history of the area.
Bridlington Priory and the Bayle Gate are two exceptionally fine Grade I listed buildings. Like so many religious buildings, the Priory fell victim to Henry VIII and his reforming vandalism – the magnificent building you see today is only a shadow of its medieval self.
The Bayle Gate was once the Priory’s gatehouse – today, it’s a fine museum exploring the history of the town.
On the outskirts of the town, Sewerby Hall is something of a hidden gem, much loved by the locals and those who discover it. Also Grade I listed, its earlier sections dates back to the earlier 1700s, but it was added to throughout the 19th century and recently restored to its glory days as an Edwardian country home. Displays include a permanent exhibition dedicated to the great Hull-born aviatrix Amy Johnson, who officiated when the Hall was first opened to the public in 1936.
Sewerby Hall also has wellbeing-enhancing gardens, including a walled and a rose garden; and for families, a charming zoo inhabited by animals and birds from around the world, including a colony of Humboldt penguins.
Bag a property
If you’re fancying bracing seaside life but don’t have the deep pockets to match, Bridlington could be the place for you. The place isn’t immune to the recent property boom – average prices have jumped around 14% since 2019 – but there’s still some seriously affordable homes to be had.
Prices over the 12 months have averaged just under £160,000 for semi-detached properties, and around £250,000 for detached. And there are some real bargains out there if you like a good old-fashioned terrace – they average out at £125,000 to £130,000.
But even at the higher end of the price range, Bridlington isn’t that expensive: a rather elegant 1930s property in the upmarket Martongate area with four bedrooms, extensive gardens and an impressive pedigree – it was designed by the staunchly Yorkshire classicist, Francis Johnson, whose elegant designs and disregard for the vagaries of fashion are still much admired – recently sold for just £750,000.
In Belvedere Road, a solid Victorian detached with five bedrooms is just a couple of minutes’ walk from the beach (and the golf club), and boasts some lovely original features as well as an enviable 1930s cream-and-brown Aga. It’ll set you back £415,000.
And yes, it needs some work – quite a bit of work, actually – but if you’re a dab hand at DIY and looking to get on the property ladder, you can currently snap up a one-bedroom flat just a stone’s throw from the sea for the bargain price of £33,000.
Martyn Coltman is vice chair of several regeneration forums and The Bridlington Regeneration Partnership. He also manages and curates The Old Town Gallery and Information Point and is a self-employed graphic designer.
'I love my hometown for the quality of life it gives me, my partner and all our friends and relatives. The open space and big skies, the really fresh air, the cliffs, beaches and promenades have been a godsend during the pandemic, giving us safe space to exercise and thrive.
'We’ve a developing offer of independent shops and restaurants across the resort, from the finest Thai at Suppattra to delicious European tapas at Manchot; Aloha for Mexican/Hawaiian, the finest Italian at little Sicily; terrific and world-beating lobster and seafood at Salt on the Harbour and great craft beer places and cocktail venues in the town centre and historic Old Town where the most characterful inns and pubs line the beautiful Georgian High Street. And all complemented by a host of galleries, tea rooms, local independent shops and businesses and our magnificent Augustinian Priory church and Bayle museum.
'When the sun shines and the skies are blue, as the statistics tell us they are more often on the east coast, quality of life doesn’t get much better.
'The town has been undergoing major regeneration for the last 25 years and those investments are now really paying off. Fine theatres, the best leisure centre, spacious promenades with great facilities and the lovely working harbour all make for a life worth living, in dear old Brid. And there’s still more investment to come, not least as Europe’s number one lobster port.'