Picture credit: Kevin Truelove (IFY community)
“I’m a bit claustrophobic, I don’t like crowds, I live by the sea- that’s what I see when I come out of my house in Bridlington.”– David Hockney
Bridlington is a smashing coastal town in the East Riding of Yorkshire. With a population of over 35,000 people, it is best known for being a fishing port and throughout the summer months a tourist destination.
The town is situated at the mouth of the Gypsey Race river which runs intermittently through the Yorkshire Wolds.
In Bridlington Harbour, the river runs into the North Sea which is an important place for both of its main industries – fishing and hospitality.
Bridlington Harbour exports shellfish, crabs, and lobsters to hotels in Europe which greatly contributes to the local economy. Visitors also have the option to stroll down the pier and take in the magnificent sea views.
Landmarks & Tourist Attractions in Bridlington
Bridlington has many landmarks and tourist attractions for people to enjoy. Along with its large sandy beach and stunning views, it’s a great destination for a day out.
In 1113, Bridlington Priory was built. It was favoured by both kings and nobles during the middle ages.
It continued to be a popular place of worship up until 1538 where it was dissolved and partly destroyed. Only two remnants remain, including the nave which later became part of an ordinary parish church.
During the mid 19th Century, the parish church was restored to its current form by George Gilbert Scott. The other remnant from the ancient priory was the gate house. It’s now home to the Bayle Gate Museum which displays the history of Bridlington and life in 14th Century Yorkshire.
Sewerby Hall is a Georgian country house located two miles out of the town. It’s been open to the public since 1936
and is home to both East Yorkshire and Coastguard museums. Its cliff top location also has a small zoo, gardens, and an 18 hole golf course.
Nearby in Carnaby is the John Bull factory. If you have a sweet tooth you will love a visit here. You can watch demonstrations and even have a chance to make your very own stick of rock.
Bridlington Spa was built by The Whitaker Brothers of Leeds and opened in 1896. Since then, it has had a colourful history. The spa has been restored twice due to fire damage in 1906 and 1932.
Despite this, it has remained one of the largest entertainment venues on the East Coast. Bridlington Spa hosts top international acts, rock concerts, sporting events, and local functions.
Between 2005-2008, the venue was refurbished and updated. Modern technical equipment was added to the Royal Hall and Theatre plus it extended to hold a larger capacity. Conferencing facilities, a larger kitchen, and a new main entrance were also added during this time.
Travelling In & Around Bridlington
Bridlington is linked by two major roads. These are the A165 Hull to Scarborough Road which bypasses the town, and the A614 road towards Market Weighton and Howden.
In 1846, as part of George Hudson’s masterplan, the railway station was built. Similar to other towns on the East Coast, it attracted holidaymakers from the other Ridings of Yorkshire during this time.
The town has three land trains called The Yorkshire Lass, The Yorkshire Lad, and The Yorkshire Rose. Each train stops off at important locations such as The North Beach, Sewerby Hall, and East Riding Leisure sports centre.
Shopping in Bridlington
Along the seafront there are plenty of gift shops and kiosks. You’ll find the usual tourist gifts such as sticks of rock,
magnets, and you can even get yourself a bucket and spade.
Further into the town of Bridlington there is a diverse range of shops. The Promenades centre is at its heart and is home to a variety of high street stores and fashion shops. In the Old Town there is a thriving market and plenty of independent traders.
Every year there is a Christmas market which runs from late November. It has a Dickensian theme with stallholders dressing up in period costume.
Sport in Bridlington
This seaside town has one semi-professional football team called Bridlington Town. They share their Queensgate ground with Scarborough Athletic. In 1994, the club re-formed after running into financial difficulties.
Uniquely, Bridlington is home to one of three petanque clubs in Yorkshire – a form of French boules. The others can be found in Doncaster and the East Riding village of Brandesburton.
East Riding Leisure Bridlington is a multi-sport centre located on the seafront. It closed briefly to make way for a £25 million redevelopment in 2016. It has a splash zone, gym, and soft play area.
Bridlington is a family friendly coastal town and makes a great day out with the kids. For those older than 18, it also offers a fantastic night out. You’ll find plenty of lively nightclubs, bars, and pubs to choose from around the harbour, seafront, and Old Town.
Bridlington is a popular coastal town that has something to offer for everyone. It’s a fantastic place to visit whether you’re there for the tourist attractions, a peaceful walk along the beach, or to just enjoy the atmosphere.
The first mention of Bridlington, originally called Bretlinton, was in the 1086 Domesday book. There is, however, evidence to suggest that the town existed long before this time.
Danes Dyke, located nearby, has been found to date back to the Bronze Age but there is further evidence that the town has been around longer. Greek and Roman coins have been found near the harbour area along with an ancient road into the town.
It’s possible that ‘Bretlinton’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon custom of naming the town after a person however no one is sure which name. Candidates have put forward Bretal, Bridla, and Berthel.
The word ‘ingtun’ is the Saxon term for farm. The town was later called Burlington and then eventually Bridlington.
In 1133, Bridlington priory was founded by Walter de-Gant who was the great nephew of King Stephen. Walter granted
the town the right to become a port.
One of the former canons of the priory in the 14th Century was John Twenge. He would be later known as St John of Bridlington.
John was known for his miraculous healing powers and general holiness. He reportedly used these to save five Hartlepool fishermen from a shipwreck off the coast of Bridlington, and turn water into wine.
Originally, Bridlington was split into two separate settlements. One based around the Old Town, and the other near the harbour area. Since then they have merged together. In addition to its fishing trade, the town grew on the transport of corn through its exchange that was built in 1826.
In 1846, the coastal town developed into a tourist destination after railways had been built. It was an extremely popular town and enjoyed its heyday between the end of the 19th Century and the beginning of the 20th Century.
The popularity of the town led to the construction of the Spa during these times. Other developments also took place making it the modern seaside town it is today.
Bridlington was first mentioned in the Domesday Book.
Originally the seaside town was called Bretlinton.
The town was originally two settlements but due to tourism the settlements merged and expanded in the 19th Century.
The Old Town is a mile in land.
Bridlington is twinned with two towns. Millau in France and Bad Salzuflen in Germany.
In February 1871, a severe storm called The Great Gale focused on Bridlington Bay. A fisherman’s life boat was overturned and six of the nine crew died. 28 ships were wrecked on the North East Coast and over 50 people died. The RNLI lifeboat was put out of action trying to save the lives of the seamen. In Bridlington Priory Churchyard there is a memorial obelisk dedicated to the tragedy.
Queen Henrietta Maria of France landed at Bridlington in 1643 with troops to support the Royalist cause in the English Civil War.
During the 19th Century a Chalybeate spring was discovered. The iron rich waters were said to promote health. Many people came to Bridlington to drink the waters and the town became a popular holiday resort for the industrial workers of the West Riding of Yorkshire. The town motto is Signum Salutis Semper which means Always the Bringer of Good Health.
Bridlington’s Town Crier, David Hinde, is officially the World’s Loudest Recorded Town Crier. In August 2013 he was recorded to produce sound at 114.8 db.
Bridlington Spa was opened in 1896 and became a leading entertainment venue. David Bowie, Morrissey, The Kaiser Chiefs, Kasabian, The Script, and Joe McElderry have all appeared there.
Bridlington Town FC, founded in 1918, won the FA Vase in 1993.
Film director and screenwriter Mark Herman was born in the town in 1954. His best known works are Brassed Off, Little Voice, and The Boy in Striped Pyjamas.
Bridlington annually hosts the National Domino Championships. Scuffles broke out between rival fans one year and this is noted to be Britain’s only case of ‘Domino Hooliganism’.
The official museum of the East Riding of Yorkshire is located in Bridlington. It has a collection of memorabilia linked to the exploits of the aviator Amy Johnson.