A look ahead to spring and summer in Bridlington
- Credit: Alamy
We find out what’s happening in busy Bridlington as the town looks ahead to the new season.
In the bleak Brid-winter, Yorkshire’s coast can be more than a little bracing. But come spring, it shrugs off its big coat and bobble hat to reveal a colourful array of events and attractions.
Bright (and occasionally breezy) Bridlington is an all-year-round destination – as all major coastal towns have to be these days – but its crowd-pulling potential definitely grows when the sun makes an appearance, bringing water sports enthusiasts to its south beach and paddlers to the north.
But Brid isn’t just for bucket and spaders and donkey enthusiasts – there’s a whole host of reasons why you should be beside the seaside this spring/summer.
If the beach is not your bag, you can head a little inland (don’t panic, it’s only a few strides; you don’t have to put on your hiking boots and get your compass out) to Bridlington Old Town, which used to be the town until it joined with Bridlington Quay to form the resort as it is today.
It’s easy to miss the delights of the Old Town as you rush down to the seafront but it’s worth putting the brakes on to enjoy the vintage, utterly British atmosphere of the streets that stood in for Walmington-on-Sea in the 2016 cinematic remake of Dad’s Army.
The Old Town makes a refreshing change from the bustle of the beachfront, giving visitors a glimpse into the resort’s history via a series of heritage landmarks, including the childhood home of the renowned 18th century architect William Kent, who introduced the Palladian style to England.
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There is also the rather splendid 900-year-old Priory Church on Church Green, which was originally one of England’s leading monasteries and is now known for its beautiful Great East and West Windows, its Lamb of God tree sculpture, its fine collection of Mousey Thompson furniture and its Anneessens’ manual organ (one of the best in the country).
When you’ve finished your tour of the Priory, it’s worth popping across to the Bayle Museum, which began life as the monastery gatehouse in the 14th century and now showcases Bridlington’s history via a series of interactive displays.
You can also see the Old Town’s heritage on the High Street, where the independent shops, galleries and tea rooms have managed to cling on to their original charm (it’s one of the best-preserved Georgian high streets in the country).
Locals will be celebrating their history in fine style this summer at the Old Town 1940s Festival on June 9th with a NAAFI Café, living history displays, military vehicles, re-enactment groups, concerts, choirs and wartime entertainment. Also in June, keen horticulturalists will be revealing all (as it were) as part of the Secret Gardens of Old Town event on the 22nd and 23rd.
While the Old Town is undoubtedly a not-to-be-missed treat, a trip to Brid wouldn’t really be complete without at least a squint at the sea.
Revolving around the harbour hub, where boats steam in and out taking visitors on fishing trips and sightseeing around Flamborough Head lighthouse, there’s plenty for all the family to do, from the young to the young at heart.
There’s a funfair with all the usual rides and stalls, plenty of amusement arcades, mini golf, a road train, trampolines and more than two miles of sandy beach stretching from the chalk cliffs of Flamborough Headland in the north to the central harbour and Spa and on down the coast to Fraisthorpe in the south.
Bridlington is hosting the UK Windsurfing Championships on June 6th-7th, the UK Pro Beach Volleyball Tour is coming to town on July 13th-14th (including a World Record attempt at the longest game of volleyball) and members of the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club will be taking to the sea in August for a full week of racing at their annual regatta.
If all that sounds a tiny bit too pulse-racing for you, you can always sit back and enjoy a show at Bridlington Spa (Leo Sayer, Horrible Histories and Sooty are all there next month – not together; that would be silly) and there’s also the Land, Sand & Stone Art Festival on North Beach from September 14th-15th, where artists will be sharing their skills and pitting their creative wits against each other using only materials that appear naturally on the seashore.
If you still haven’t had your fill of family fun, it’s worth pointing yourself due north between Bridlington’s Old Town and the beachfront towards Sewerby, where you will find Bondville Miniature village, where 1,000+ handmade residents go about their teeny-tiny business, and Sewerby Hall & Gardens, where you can spend a whole day exploring the exhibitions in the grade one listed house, strolling the 50 acres of award-winning gardens and p-p-passing the time of day with the penguins, monkeys and llamas in the zoo.
Come to think of it, a day isn’t long enough to cram everything in, is it? Bridlington has so much to offer, you’d better get cracking and do your packing – you’re staying over.