Outdoor Safety

The East Riding coast is full of beautiful scenery that can be explored through hugely popular walks on our beaches and through our countryside. This beauty is not without risk however. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions before you head outside!

The Coast Code

East Riding of Yorkshire Council offers some beautiful and diverse coastal walks, many with access to beach and or coastal views, from Bempton cliffs in the north to Spurn Point in the south. Make sure you observe any and all public notices you come across for your own safety.

Where is it safe to swim?

Care should be taken at all times when swimming in the sea. During the summer holidays, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguard service is in operation at the resort beaches and they promote a 'swim between the flags' service, which means they will patrol a designated area of the beach and sea.

On occasions, it is necessary to restrict activities and even close a beach and access to the water. Where this occurs we follow the procedures identified on the RNLI water safety advice website:

RNLI Safety Advice (external site)

The Seashore Code

Leave seashore creatures where you find them. Some have shells for protection but many hide under rocks, seaweed or in the sand. Do not collect living plants or animals. Take care when touching soft-bodied creatures. Carefully lift and replace any rocks you move, as small creatures need them for shelter. Leave seaweed in place. Do not trample through rock pools. Only collect empty seashells and then only a few. Leave pebbles and rocks on the beach. Do not collect them for your garden. Approaching wildlife may be dangerous e.g. seals can bite. Watch seabirds from a distance through binoculars. Take photographs home as long lasting souvenirs of the wonders of nature that occur along the East Yorkshire coast.

Beach Visits

  • Read the safety/public sign/bathing flag notices. They are there for your safety.
  • Where lifeguards operate you are required to follow their instructions and advice.
  • Respect the beaches/coastline and other people using the area.
  • Check the tide times and the weather forecast before your visit and be aware of your access and exit from the beach.
  • The sun's rays can be intensified by the sea and can cause certain forms of skin cancer. Avoid exposure to the sun by protecting sensitive areas, use plenty of sunscreen and wear an appropriate hat.
  • For your health and safety do not enter the sea or remain on any part of the beach designated as a boat-launching channel.
  • Do not obstruct the launch access of the lifeboats at Bridlington, Flamborough, Withernsea or Hornsea's inshore rescue boat.
  • Motorcycles, quad bikes and other off road vehicles are not permitted on any beach.
  • The lighting of fires, gas stoves or gas barbecues should not take place and permits to stage special events are issued via the foreshore office.
  • Report any suspicious items to the coastguard/police, e.g. munitions, pollution or unidentified objects that may have washed ashore. For your own safety do not touch them.

Coastal and Cliff Walks

  • Keep well away from all cliff edges as they may be dangerously undercut by erosion.
  • Do not walk at the foot of chalk cliffs as they are unstable and rocks/debris may fall.
  • Do not climb chalk cliffs as they are unstable and may crumble.
  • Do not climb low clay cliffs, as they can be dangerous when wet.
  • Beware of being trapped by incoming tides.
  • Treat all cliffs as dangerous areas. Children and pets should be supervised and kept under control at all times.
  • Please keep dogs on leads when walking on cliff tops

For information about coastal erosion and access to current and historic maps of the East Riding coastline, please see Erosion on ourĀ conservation page.

Water Safety

Learn more about how to #enjoywatersafely with these water safety campaigns supported by East Riding Leisure. Whether you're going for a walk along part of our coastline, visiting one of the many local nature reserves, or heading out for a day at the beach, know how to keep yourself and your family safe in and around water.

These campaigns only last a week or so, but water safety is important all year round.

The Countryside Code

There are not many things better than going for a leisurely stroll round your local village, past windswept cliffs, rolling hills and open fields.

However, it is important to realise you are not alone! Spare a thought for the birds, animals, plants and trees you may encounter and what you can do to help conserve their future. Keep to designated routes, close any gates you open and keep your dogs under close control.

Download The Countryside Code leaflet

View the full Countryside Code: Advice for countryside visitors and advice for land managers on the GOV.UK website.

View the full Countryside Code

Please keep out of the nature reserve ponds at all times, swimming and paddling is not permitted.

Dress for the conditions

Dress to Impress

There's nothing more British than talking about the weather! Two in five Brits turn to the weather as a conversation-starter when they need to get a chat going, with the average person spending the equivalent of more than six months of their life talking about the weather.

Follow the 3 'P's before heading out and you won't go far wrong

Plan - Prepare - Proceed


Research your route before you set off. The internet is a fantastic source of information with many websites detailing pre-planned routes, including distances, terrain, difficulty and also, points of interest. Mobile apps and maps are great, but unfortunately internet connections aren't always reliable. Take a map with you, tell others where you are going and check the weather forecast!


Be ready for anything the British countryside can throw at you. Take water, food, waterproof clothing and wear suitable footwear for the conditions. Remember, you can always take layers of clothing off in hot weather, but cannot put it on if you've left your best sweater in the wardrobe and it's freezing cold. In sunny conditions wear sunscreen and reapply regularly throughout the day.


Enjoy yourself. Give yourself plenty of time to complete your walk, especially in winter with shortened daylight hours. Be prepared to turn back if you get tired or are struggling with conditions, you can always come back another day.

Be aware and take care

Contact Information

Contact Number When to contact them
East Riding Customer Services 01482 393939 General enquiries
Coastal Services 01262 678255 Coastal enquiries such as chalets, beach wheelchairs etc.
Countryside Access Team 01482 395201 Public rights of way,
Emergency Services (e.g. Fire and Rescue, Coastguard etc.) 999 Emergencies only
Local Police 101 Non-emergency
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) 01825 765546 Sick/injured marine life
Whitby Wildlife Sanctuary 07342 173724 Sick/injured wildlife
Wilsthorpe boat compound 07578 952452 Boat launches, Bridlington
Hornsea boat compound 01964 535164 Boat launches
Harbour Commissioner's Bridlington 01262 670148 Anything Harbour related
South Cliff Holiday Park 01262 671051 General enquiries/bookings
Sewerby Hall and Gardens 01262 673769 General enquiries/bookings
Bridlington Spa 01262 678258 General enquiries/bookings
Tourist Information East Riding 01482 391634 Local info
Bridlington Leisure World 01262 606715 General enquiries/bookings
East Riding Hornsea Leisure 01964 533366 General enquiries/bookings
East Riding Withernsea Leisure 01964 614000 General enquiries/bookings
Natural England 0845 600 3078 Access/parks/wildlife etc
RSPB Bempton Cliffs & Seabird centre 01262 422212 Opening times/enquiries
The Living Seas Centre - YWT 01262 422103 Opening times/enquiries
The Marine Conservation Society UK 01989 566017 Coastal environment
Bridlington Urgent Treatment Centre 01262 425631 Medical emergencies
British Kitesurfing Association 01305 815555 General enquiries
The Environment Agency 0800 807060 Environmental issues