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Town and civil parish
Bridlington Harbour - - 1608758.jpg
Bridlington Harbour
Bridlington Coat of Arms.png
Arms of Bridlington Town Council
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Area 8.91 sq mi (23.1 km2)
Population 35,369 (2011 census)
• Density 3,970/sq mi (1,530/km2)
OS grid reference TA1866
• London 180 mi (290 km) S
Civil parish
  • Bridlington
Unitary authority
Ceremonial county
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district YO15/YO16
Dialling code 01262
Police Humberside
Fire Humberside
Ambulance Yorkshire
EU Parliament Yorkshire and the Humber
UK Parliament
  • East Yorkshire
List of places
54°04′55″N 0°11′32″W / 54.0819°N 0.1923°W / 54.0819; -0.1923

Bridlington is a coastal town and a civil parish on the Holderness Coast of the North Sea in the East Riding of Yorkshire, England. It is about 28 miles (45 km) north of Hull and 34 miles (55 km) east of York. The Gypsey Race enters the North Sea at its harbour. The 2011 Census gave a parish population of 35,369. As a sea-fishing port, it is known for shellfish, and is the largest lobster port in Europe, with over 300 tonnes of the crustaceans landed there each year. It has been termed the "Lobster Capital of Europe". Alongside manufacturing, retail and service firms, its main trade is summer tourism. It is twinned with Millau, France, and Bad Salzuflen, Germany. It holds one of the UK's coastal weather stations. The Priory Church of St Mary and associated Bayle Gate are Grade I listed buildings on the site of an Augustinian Priory.


The first mention of the town is in the Domesday Book as Bretlinton. It has also gone by the names of Berlington, Brellington and Britlington, before settling on its modern name in the 19th century. There are several suggestions about the origin of the name. All suggest that it followed the Anglo-Saxon custom of referring to a person and the type of settlement. In this case there are different personal names put forward such as Bretel, Bridla or Berhtel to go with -ingtūn as the Saxon name for farm.

Bridlington the Bayle Gate Yorkshire England
Bridlington the Bayle Gate

The origins of habitation at Bridlington are unknown, though Danes Dyke, a 2.5-mile (4 km) long man-made dyke on nearby Flamborough Head, dates back to the Bronze Age, and some writers believe that Bridlington was the site of a Roman station. A Roman road from York, now known as Woldgate, can be traced across the Yorkshire Wolds into the town, and Roman coins have been found in the town. Two Roman coin hoards were found in the harbour area, along with two Greek coins dating from the 2nd century BC – suggesting that the port was in use long before the Roman invasion. It has been suggested that the Roman maritime station of Gabrantovicorum was located in the vicinity of the modern town. In the early 2nd century Ptolemy described Bridlington Bay in his Geography as "Gabranticorum Sinus, with many harbours". None of these harbours has been found, and it is thought that coastal erosion has destroyed all traces, as well as a possible Theodosian signal station at Flamborough and a fort in the general vicinity of the harbour or beyond. In the 4th century Count Theodosius established signal stations on the North Yorkshire coast to warn of Saxon raids. It is believed that Flamborough Head would also have had one of these stations (probably on Beacon Hill, now a gravel quarry). From the Headland an observer can see Filey, Scarborough Castle and the Whitby promontory. A fort at Bridlington would have been well placed to act as centre of operations for these forts. A network of signal stations stretching south around the broad Bridlington Bay has also been suggested. This counterpart to the northern chain would guard this huge and accessible anchorage from barbarian piracy.

Bridlington, the parade (i.e., promenade), Yorkshire, England-LCCN2002708301
Bridlington, the parade (i.e., promenade) c. 1895

Near Dukes Park are two bowl barrows known as Butt Hills. They have been designated as Ancient Monuments designated and is now recorded in the National Heritage List for England, maintained by Historic England. Also nearby are the remains of an Anglo-Saxon cemetery on a farm outside of Sewerby.


The earliest written evidence of Bridlington is in the Domesday Book. It records that "Bretlinton" was the head of the Hunthow Hundred and was held by Earl Morcar before it passed into the hands of William the Conqueror by the forfeiture. The survey also records the effect of the Harrying of the North as the annual value of the land had decreased from £32 in the time of Edward the Confessor to eight shillings (40p) at the time of the survey and comprised:

“two villeins, and one socman with one and a half Carucate. The rest is waste.”

The land was given to Gilbert de Gant, uncle of King Stephen, in 1072. It was inherited by his son Walter and thereafter appears to follow the normal descent of that family. After the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the manor remained with the crown until 1624 when Charles I granted it to Sir John Ramsey, who had recently been created the Earl of Holderness. In 1633, Sir George Ramsey sold the manor to 13 inhabitants of the town on behalf of all the tenants of the manor. In May 1636, a deed was drawn up empowering the 13 men as Lords Feoffees or trust holders of the Manor of Bridlington.


Walter de Gant, later founded an Augustinian priory on the land in 1133 which was confirmed by King Henry I in a Charter. Several succeeding kings confirmed and extended Walter de Gant's gift: King Stephen granting in addition the right to have a port; King John granted the prior permission to hold a weekly market and an annual fair in 1200. Henry VI granted permission for three annual fairs on the Nativity of Mary, and Deposition of and the Translation of Saint John of Bridlington in 1446. In 1415 Henry V visited the priory to give thanks for victory at the Battle of Agincourt. The town began to be developed around the site of the priory as it grew in importance and size.


In 1643 Queen Henrietta Maria of France landed at Bridlington with troops to support the Royalist cause in the English Civil War before going on to York, which then became her headquarters.


The town was originally two separate settlements that have merged over time. The Old Town was about 1 mi (1.6 km) inland and the Quay area is where the modern harbour is located. In 1837, an Act of Parliament meant that the old wooden piers were replaced with two new stone piers to the North and South. In addition to landing fish, the port was used to transport corn. The Corn Exchange built in 1826 can still be seen in Market Place and there used to be mills in the town for grinding. This led to some local breweries to be started, but like most industry, this petered out by the later part of the 20th century.


Beach of Bridlington 01
Bridlington Beach from the north shoreline

Bridlington lies 19 miles (31 km) north-north-east of Beverley, 16 miles (26 km) south east of Scarborough, 11 miles (18 km) north east of Driffield and 24 miles (39 km) north of Kingston upon Hull, the principal city in the county. It is 179 miles (288 km) north of London. The town ranges in elevation from sea level at the beaches to 167 feet (51 m) on Bempton Lane on the outskirts. The Gypsey Race river flows through the town, with the last 12 mi (800 m) below ground after disappearing from sight at the Quay Road Car Park. The solid geology of the area is mainly from the Cretaceous period and consists of Chalk overlain by Quaternary Boulder clay. The chalk is exposed as the land rises to the north of the town (where a cliff, probably formed during the last interglacial, extends inland at right angles to the present sea cliff) and forms the promontory of Flamborough Head.

Bridlington is a seaside resort in an area which is said to have the highest coastal erosion rate in Europe. Southward the coast becomes low, but northward it is steep and very fine, where the great spur of Flamborough Head projects eastward. The sea front is protected by a sea wall and a wide beach encouraged by wooden groynes which trap the sand. Offshore, the Smithic Sands sandbank stretches out into the bay. These are an important habitat for many marine species. Both Bridlington North and south beaches have won EU environmental quality awards over a number of years.

The Hull to Scarborough railway line divides the town from south west to north east and marks where the Old Town begins to the north of the line. The Old Town has some retail businesses and the Industrial Estates as well as large residential areas. To the south of the line is where the tourist attractions lie, as well as holiday accommodation and some residential areas. As the town has grown, it has incorporated the village of Hildersthorpe.


The climate is temperate with warm summers and cool, wet winters. The hottest months of the year are from June to September, with temperatures reaching an average high of 19 °C (66 °F) and falling to 12 °C (54 °F) at night. The average daytime temperature in winter is 7 °C (45 °F) during the day and 2 °C (36 °F) during the night.

Climate data for Bridlington, 15 m asl, 1981–2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 7.0
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
Precipitation mm (inches) 52.8
Source: Met Office


Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1951 1961 1991 2001 2011
Total 3,773 4,422 5,034 5,637 6,070 6,846 6,642 6,840 10,023 11,281 16,604 19,705 24,661 26,023 32,163 33,837 35,369

2001 census

The 2001 UK census showed a population 47.4 per cent male and 52.6 per cent female. The religious affiliations were 77 per cent Christian, 0.14 per cent Buddhist, 0.03 per cent Jewish, 0.196 per cent Hindu, 0.04 per cent Sikh, 0.22 per cent other, and the rest, over 22 per cent stating no religion or not declaring one. The ethnic make-up was 98.7 per cent White, 0.43 per cent Mixed, 0.08 per cent Black/Black British, 0.19 per cent Chinese/Other Ethnic and 0.49 per cent Asian/British Asian. There were 16,237 dwellings.

2011 census

The 2011 UK census showed that a population split of 48.2 per cent male to 51.8 per cent female. The religious breakdown was 66.2 per cent Christian, 0.2 per cent Buddhist, 0.1 per cent Muslim, 0.1 per cent Hindu, 0.1 per cent Sikh, 0.0 per cent Other, and the remaining 33.3 per cent stating no religion or not declaring one. The ethnic make-up was 98.5 per cent White British, 0.7 per cent Mixed Ethnic, 0.2 per cent Black British, 0.5 per cent Chinese/Other Ethnic and 0.6 per cent British Asian. There were 17,827 dwellings.

Culture and community

Bridlington is served by the Bridlington Free Press newspaper, the East Riding Mail also serves the seaside town. Yorkshire Coast Radio used to broadcast from the town as the Bridlington area is a specific commercial radio licence, which operates as a peak-time opt-out service. However, all programming now comes from Scarborough. BBC Radio Humberside and Viking FM do broadcast to the town to and the Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire region. Jake Thackray's song "The Hair of the Widow of Bridlington" mocked Bridlington for the small-mindedness of its inhabitants.

Leisure World leisure centre - - 685419
Leisure World leisure centre before demolition
Bridlington Leisure Centre
The replacement leisure centre opened in May 2016

The town is twinned with Millau in France and Bad Salzuflen in Germany. The twinning arrangement dates back to 1991 and the French and German towns are also twinned with one another. Visits from the twin towns occur every two years, with the Bridlington visits to the twin towns occurring in the alternate years.

There are three main parks in the town. Queen's Park is a small open area at the junction of the B1254 and Queensgate. Westgate Park is a mostly wooded area lying between Westgate and the A165 on the outskirts of the town. The largest open area is Duke's Park which lies between Queensgate and the railway line. It is home to Bridlington Sports & Community Club, a skate park and Bridlington Town Football Club. In addition to these sporting facilities, there is a Sports Centre on the outskirts located on Gypsey Road. It has a general purpose sports hall, equipped gymnasium and squash courts. In January 2014 Bridlington Leisure World, on the Promenade, that provided swimming facilities, as well as a gymnasium and indoor bowling rinks closed for redevelopment. A temporary Olympic legacy pool was opened by Jo Jackson in January 2014 at the Bridlington Sports Centre on Gypsey Road, while Leisure World was being rebuilt with an original expected completion of summer 2015. The new facility opened on 23 May 2016, with an official opening on 1 July 2016 by Rebecca Adlington, Gail Emms and Dean Windass.

The town has a public library located on King Street. Within the triangle of Station Avenue, Station Road and Quay Road are the Town Hall, Magistrates Court and several other government buildings. On South Marine Drive there is an RNLI Life Boat Station. There has been a Life Boat in the town since 1805 and is manned entirely by volunteers. Close to the junction of the A165 with the A614 is the Hospital and Ambulance Station and on the opposite side closer to the town centre is the Fire Station established in 1960 with a mix of full-time and on call crew. There is a Post Office & Depot located not far from the level crossing on Quay Road.

Town crier

David Hinde Bridlington Town Crier -The World's Loudest Recorded Town Crier 114.8 decibels Cirrus Research
Town Crier David Hinde of Bempton

David Hinde, who lived in the nearby village of Bempton and was a member of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers and the Loyal Company of Town Criers, was appointed in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Year of 2012 by Bridlington Town Council. He was the first Town Crier in Bridlington since 1901. On 23 July 2013 Hinde gave a special proclamation outside Bridlington Priory, prior to the visit of HRH Charles, Prince of Wales and HRH Duchess of Cornwall, which was part of the special "Priory 900" celebrations.

On 17 August 2013, at the town's Sewerby Park, Hinde's cry was recorded at 114.8 db. Hinde appeared as the Walmington on Sea town crier in the Dads Army film 2016.


Bridlington Priory, also known as the Priory Church of St Mary, is a Grade I listed building. It was built on the site of an Augustinian Priory, hence its name. The Priory was once fortified and the Bayle Gate nearby is what remains of that fortification and is also a Grade I listed building. It has a good-sounding ring of eight bells (tenor approx. 24 cwt) with a long draft. It also has a large four-manual organ that boasts the widest "scaled" 32 ft reed (contra tuba) in the United Kingdom. Bridlington's War memorial is located in a small triangular garden at the junction of Prospect Street and Wellington Road. It was officially unveiled on Sunday 10 July 1921 by Captain S. H. Radcliffe, C.M.G., R.N.

The Spa Bridlington
The Spa Bridlington during refurbishment

The Bridlington Spa was originally opened in 1896, in its heyday Bridlington was a leading entertainment resort thanks to this nationally-famous dance venue where many well-known entertainers appeared, including David Bowie & Morrissey. By 2005 the condition of the building had deteriorated to the point where East Riding of Yorkshire Council had to take a bold decision to undertake a full and thorough refurbishment of the entire Spa facility between 2006–2008 to ensure that it would be fit for the demands of a changing market in the 21st century. It has since again begun to attract 'big' names from the world of entertainment: in 2013 Indie Rock bands The Kaiser Chiefs and Kasabian, Irish band The Script and Joe McElderry all performed at the venue, attracting large crowds.

In 2014 blue plaques were installed for Herman Darewski, composer and conductor of light music, and for Wallace Hartley, leader of the orchestra playing as the Titanic sank. Hartley led an orchestra in the town in 1902. Darewski was Musical Director for the town in 1924–1926 and 1933–1939.


Bridlington Station - - 835959
Bridlington Station

Bridlington is served by a railway station on the Yorkshire Coast Line between Hull and Scarborough. It opened on 6 October 1846 between the Quay and the Old Town.

East Yorkshire Motor Services has a depot, running nine local and six out-of-town bus routes, including York, Scarborough, Driffield, Beverley and Hull. The company operates a summer Beachcomber open-top bus service in Bridlington. Yorkshire Coastliner runs a service to Filey, Malton, York, Tadcaster and Leeds.

The town lies at the junction of two trunk roads: the A165 between Hull and Scarborough and the A614 between Bridlington and Nottingham. The A614 was extended in 1996 to include the length previously known as the A166 to York.

Four land trains run in Bridlington: the Yorkshire Rose, Yorkshire Lass and Yorkshire Lad and the Spalight Express. Two run on the North Promenade between Leisure World and Sewerby Hall and Gardens linking Bridlington town centre with the summer car parks. One runs on the South Promenade linking Bridlington town centre to the park and ride and South Cliff Caravan Park. In the 1970s and 1980s there were two other trains — the Burlington Bertie and Bridlington Belle.

Religious sites

Holy Trinity Church, Bridlington - - 287381
Holy Trinity Church (Church of England)

The prime place of Christian worship in the town is the Priory Church of St Mary, known as the Priory, in Church Green. Christ Church on Quay Road next to the war memorial was built in 1841 by Gilbert Scott. Originally a chapel of ease, it became a parish church in 1871 and is now a Grade II listed building.

Emmanuel Church on Cardigan Road is a modern red brick building, part of the Church of England. The Harbourside Evangelical Church can be found in a side road off Bridge Street leading to the harbour. The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses is located on Station Avenue. The Cornerstone Church, formerly known as The Chapel Hall, is an Evangelical Church in St John's Walk. There has been a Baptist church in the town since 1698, with the current building located on the corner of Quay Road and Havelock Street. On the corner of St John's Street and Brett Street is the Free Presbyterian Church. There is an independent Evangelical Church in Ferndale Terrace called the Calvary Chapel by the Sea.

There has been a strong Methodist Church presence in the town since 1770. The various strands have joined together over the years and as a result so have the locations. St John's Burlington Methodist Church on St John's Street is now home to the town's Methodist congregation. The chapel in the Promenade lasted from 1852 until 1957 and was part of the United Methodist Free Church. The Primitive Methodists established a chapel in St John Street in 1833, but moved to a new location nearby in 1849. This in turn was rebuilt in 1877 and lasted until 1970. The Primitive Methodists also had a chapel, known as the Central Methodist Church, on the Quay in 1833. They relocated to Chapel Street in 1870 and built a larger premise on that site in 1878. in 1969 they joined with the Chapel Street Methodist Church. The Chapel Street Methodist Church was in existence in 1810 in what was originally Back Street. This was rebuilt in 1873 and lasted until 1999 when they became the last Methodist congregation to unite at the present Chapel.

The Roman Catholic Church of Our Lady & St Peter is located in Victoria Road. The Catholic Parish had been without a permanent mission in the town for a very long time. A previous 1886 building in Wellington Road had not provided sufficient space when a mission was eventually granted. The modern premises were built in 1893–94 by Arthur Lowther. The church hall adjacent was built in 1963. The connection to the sea is evident on the dedication to Our Lady, also known as the Star of the Sea, and to St Peter, Patron Saint of Fishermen. The convent in the High Street is associated with the Church and though now run by the Sisters of Mercy, was originally Dominican.


Bridlington Harbour - - 1270326
Bridlington Harbour

From the early history of Bridlington, a small fishing port grew up near the coast, later known as Bridlington Quay. After the discovery of a chalybeate spring, the Quay developed in the 19th century into a seaside resort. Bridlington's first hotel was opened in 1805 and it soon became a popular resort with industrial workers from the West Riding of Yorkshire. A new railway station opened on 6 October 1846 between the Quay and the historic town. The area round it was developed and the two areas of the town were combined.

The Station public house, Bridlington - - 1428544
The Station public house

Bridlington's popularity declined along with the industrial parts of the north and the rising popularity of cheap foreign holidays. Although the fishing fleet also declined, the port remains popular with sea anglers for trips along the coast or further out to local shipwrecks. Bridlington has lucrative shellfish exports to France, Spain and Italy, said to be worth several million pounds a year.


The town has a semi-professional Bridlington Town A.F.C., founded in 1918, refounded in 1994, and now playing in the Northern Counties East League Premier Division (NCEL). Its home ground is a stadium in Queensgate. The team's honours include the FA Vase in 1993, three NCEL Premier Division titles and 15 East Riding Senior Cup's. The town also has a junior football club, Bridlington Rangers, with teams playing in various age groups of the Hull Boys Sunday Football League. Bridlington Sports Club plays in the Humber Premier League.

In cricket, the top team of Bridlington Cricket Club plays in the York and District Senior League Division 1. It also runs three Saturday league teams and junior teams.

Bridlington Rugby Union Football Club plays next to Bridlington Town A.F.C. at Dukes Park. It fields two senior men's teams, a women's team and numerous junior sections. The Men's 1st XI played in Yorkshire 1 for the 2019 season, after spending three years in North East 1. It also reached the final of the RFU National Intermediate Cup at Twickenham on 4 May 2013, where it lost 22–30 to Brighton Blues.

Bridlington Hockey Club has existed for over a century. It currently plays home matches at Bridlington Astro Centre in Bessingby Road. It also fields two ladies' sides and a junior development section for girls and boys. An annual hockey festival is held, with both men's and women's tournaments. A new format added to the festival for 2014 gave chances for men and women to play together.

Other sports played around Bridlington include tennis, pétanque, fencing and archery.

Bridlington hosted the first Tour de Yorkshire in 2015, the start of the second stage in 2017, and of the third stage in 2019.



Bridlington Civil Parish has seven primary schools, counting Burlington Infant and Junior together. All are mixed gender, for pupils between three or four and eleven years of age.

Bay Primary School in St Alban Road had 335 pupils in 2013. Burlington Infant School in Marton Road had 239. Burlington Junior School, also in Marton Road, had 320 pupils. Hilderthorpe Primary School in Shaftesbury Road had 328 pupils. Martongate Primary School in Martongate had 424 pupils. Quay Academy in Oxford Street had 390 pupils. Our Lady and Saint Peter RC Primary School, built in 1977 (formerly St Mary's R.C. Primary School) is located in George Street and had 210 pupils. New Pasture Lane Primary School in Burstall Hill had 177 pupils.


Bridlington School is a mixed-gender specialist Sports and Design and Technology College for 11–18-year-olds. Located in Bessingby Road on the outskirts of the town, it had a 2013 capacity of 1,244 pupils. There have been many notable past pupils. Headlands School in Sewerby Road caters for mixed-gender eleven to 18-year-olds. It partners the town's other secondary school and had a 2013 capacity of 1,485 pupils.

Further and higher education

East Riding College provides tertiary education for students from 16. Located in St Mary's Walk, it is close to Bay Primary School. Courses cover both academic and vocational subjects.

Notable people


  • William of Newburgh, a 12th-century English chronicler and historian, was born in Bridlington.
  • William Kent (1686–1748), architect, landscape architect and furniture designer, was born in the town.
  • Sir John Major, 1st Baronet of Worthlingworth Hall was born in Bridlington in 1698. The merchant and member of Parliament died in 1781.
  • Benjamin Fawcett, a woodblock colour printer and ornithologist, was born in the town in 1808.
  • Henry Freeman was a Whitby fisherman and lifeboatman born in the town.
  • A. E. Matthews, stage and film actor, was born in Bridlington in 1869. He featured in the 1956 version of Around the World in 80 days, Doctor at Large and Carry On Admiral.
  • Thomas Fenby, a Liberal politician and blacksmith, was born in the town in 1875. He acted as Mayor of Bridlington and represented the town as MP. He died at his Bridlington home in 1956.
  • Cecil Burton (1887–1971), cricketer and former Yorkshire County Cricket Club captain, was born in the town, as was his younger brother Claude Burton (1891–1971), who also played for Yorkshire.
  • Francis Johnson CBE (1911–1995), born in Bridlington, was a renowned church architect.
  • Gordon Lakes, former Deputy Director General of the Prison Service, was born in the town in 1928. He is credited with helping to achieve improved working conditions among UK prisons.
  • Bob Wallis (1934–1991), jazz musician, was born in Bridlington. He had some success in the British charts in the late 1950s and early 60s. His father was harbourmaster in the town.
  • David Pinkney, businessman and auto racing driver competing in the British Touring Car Championships, was born in the town on 5 July 1952.
  • Andrew Dismore, the Labour politician and lawyer was born in the town on 2 September 1954. He was educated at Bridlington School.
  • Mark Herman, film director and screenwriter, was born in the town in 1954. Among his best-known works are Brassed Off, Little Voice and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
  • Angela Eagle and her twin sister Maria Eagle, both Labour politicians, were born in the town on 17 February 1961.
  • Craig Short, professional footballer and manager, born in Bridlington on 25 June 1968, has played at top levels in both the English and Turkish league systems, including Derby County, Everton, and Blackburn.
  • Richard Cresswell, professional football player, was born in Bridlington on 20 September 1977. He started with York City F.C., before playing in higher divisions of the league system.
  • Adam Khan, racing driver, was born in the town on 24 May 1985.
  • Charlie Heaton, actor and musician, is known for playing Jonathan Byers in the Netflix supernatural drama series Stranger Things.
  • Stephen W. Parsons, musician, composer, songwriter and music producer
  • Rosie Jones, comedian and writer


  • John Twenge (St John of Bridlington), a 14th-century English saint, was a Canon of Bridlington Priory. He was born less than 10 miles (16 km) from the town in Thwing.
  • David Hockney used to own a house in Bridlington, at which an assistant drank a cleaning product and died in March 2013.

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