What to do on the Yorkshire coast in January

© Tony Bartholomew
Robin Hood's Bay viewed from Boggle Hole.

© Tony Bartholomew - Robin Hood's Bay viewed from Boggle Hole. - Credit: Archant

A guide to events at the seaside compiled by Janet Deacon

Banish those post-Christmas blues with a bracing visit to the Yorkshire coast where there’s plenty of entertainment to keep you warm. The New Year begins with a splash in Scarborough with the annual New Year’s Day Dip organised by Scarborough Lions Club.

Every year dozens of hardy souls, many of them in fancy dress, brave the icy waters of the North Sea at lunch time to raise funds for both the Lions’ good work and for charities of their choice. In the evening, you can enjoy the lilting waltz melodies of the Viennese greats, including the Strauss family and Franz Lehar, when the Scarborough Spa Orchestra plays its uplifting New Year’s Day Concert.

There’s a change of pace later in the month at the Spa, when cheery Mancunian stand-up Jason Manford brings a wealth of comedy anecdotes and banter to the Grand Hall (January 9th).

At the town’s Stephen Joseph Theatre, January brings the annual and much anticipated visit from the Hammonds Saltaire Brass Band – they’ll play on the evening of January 18th and the afternoon of January 19th. And the theatre’s hugely popular season of live streamings of plays, operas and ballets continues with the Royal Opera House’s gorgeous production of Giselle (January 27th).

Fashionistas won’t want to miss Scarborough Art Gallery’s new exhibition. Opening on January 25th (to March 22nd), Worn to be Wild features costumes designed by costume maker and textile artist Katie Plumtree who has created costumes for the RSC, the ENO and many West End shows. Inspired by British wildlife and the history of fashion from medieval times to the present day, each costume represents a species of bird or mammal combined with a period in fashion.

If you’re still hankering after a bit of festive fun, pay a visit to Whitby Pavilion where the town’s Apollo Players are travelling to Peking in search of adventure with the classic panto Aladdin (January 13th-18th).

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Prefer to get away from it all? Walk off those Christmas calories amid the peace and serenity of one of the coast’s many seaside havens – Staithes, Runswick Bay and Robin Hood’s Bay all represent the charm of a bygone age with their helter-skelter streets, and Sandsend is fast gaining a reputation as the Aldeburgh of the north, with fabulous places to stay and eat, like luxurious Raithwaite Hall with its stunning gardens, the boutique Estbek House which boasts an outstanding fish menu, and any number of excellent beachside chic shacks.

And if you’re after seriously wide open spaces and big skies, you can’t beat a trip to Filey: five miles of golden sand, a bracing esplanade, and a gaggle of huts on the Coble Landing where you can get a steaming mug of tea and a hot bacon or sausage buttie to scoff amongst the fishing boats.

Janet Deacon is North Yorkshire area director of Welcome to Yorkshire

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