The five best beaches within a driving distance of County Durham have been ranked, according to people on TripAdvisor. 

From beaches in the region to those just outside, but a short car journey from County Durham - there's plenty of picturesque spaces.

We have pieced together the five best seaside places in and around County Durham.

Five best seaside locations in and around County Durham:


Having changed massively from 40 years ago when it was an industrial and mining hub - Blackhall is now a beach and walking path. 

The nearby Blackhall Colliery was linked to the beach by a massive conveyor system which would dump coal spoils into the sea by the ton. 

This somewhat depressing industrial landscape shot the beach to fame in 1971 when it was used in the gritty final scene of ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Caine. 

Since those days money has been spent cleaning the beach up.

This has been reflected in TripAdvisor reviews, with one visitor saying: "No longer the grim sea-coal strewn coast portrayed in 'Get Carter' but now a rugged wild cliff top stretch with a few places to access the bays. Nature reclaiming back from the mining industry - a lot quicker than could have been hoped."


As another former mining community - this beach consists mainly of shingles and pebbles - with walkways along the coastal paths. 

There are some good walks to be had along the beach, the cliff tops, and to the south, around Dene mouth.  

One person who has visited the beach said on TripAdvisor: "After a short drive down a narrow lane, you arrive at a small car park ( free).
Then an amble of 100 yards and you reach a two-tiered beach. The first tier is quite rocky, and then you make your way through gaps in the wall onto this fabulous beach, that appears to go on forever! Walk to your left, as the views are breathtaking!"


The seaside location was once one of the largest fishing ports in the UK and is now also an ideal staycation destination for families.

It is full of character and tourists can get lost among its winding cobbled streets or head out one of Yorkshire’s cliff paths.

Walkers can base themselves in Staithes to explore the Cleveland Way National Trail, a 109-mile route across the breathtaking Yorkshire coast.

A tourist who visited Staithes Beach wrote on Tripadvisor: “This place is a little gem. I would definitely recommend it.”

Another visitor wrote: “We just love it here. It’s beautiful. It’s so nice to go somewhere that hasn’t been overtaken by the usual high street chains and it remains a little local community.”

North Gare

One of Hartlepool's natural beaches North Gare is a sandy beach by North Gare Pier.

This sandy beach moves to the mouth of the River Tees and forms one part of the Teesmouth National Nature Reserve.

People have been praising the beautiful sands and the walking paths towards North Gare. 

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One person said on TripAdvisor: "We recently discovered North Gare and are enjoying walking amidst the dunes and then along the beach to Seaton Carew. The beach is clean and there are thousands and thousands of tiny shelves to look at in places - even some sea glass and tiny shards of pretty pottery."


Runswick Bay’s “gob-smacking swathe of sand” is just one of the reasons why it’s a top coastal spot to visit this year.

Not to mention its many mesmerising rock pools and surrounding Jurassic cliffs.

One visitor to the beach said on TripAdvisor: "Lucky enough to park in bottom car park. Lovely long, clean beach ideal for dog walkers. Nice cafe for a coffee afterwards.
Would find it quite difficult to walk up the hill due to our age but mid week was not that busy. Highly recommend."