Bridlington is one of the largest seaside resorts in Yorkshire as well as one of the largest towns in the East Riding. It has a long sandy beach and a fishing port, but it is unfortunately a bit grim. As with most of Britain’s seaside resorts, few people actually bathe in the sea, and the busiest tourist attractions are the merry-go-rounds, rides and amusement arcades on the promenade.
Although some Yorkshire coastal towns were once popular among the elite, Bridlington has always been more popular with working class visitors. It looks quite deprived nowadays, with more pound shops than you can count. It has no nice Victorian villas nor grand hotels facing the sea. There is however the old Spa, dating from 1896, and which was originally a ball room.
Bridlington revolves around two main areas – the coastal part around the beach and harbour, and the Old Town behind the train station. The latter is quite far from the sea, and it is easy to miss. Although the part close to the sea has nothing special, the Old Town is quite charming, with a lot of Georgian architecture along the high street.
The Old Town developed long before seabathing became fashionable. It grew around an important priory, of which only the church and gatehouse remain. The church is still called Bridlington Priory, and it is one of the most massive churches in Yorkshire even though only the nave and main portal survived Reformation. The East Riding in general has quite a few large churches – Hedon, Howden, Beverley, Hull for example. The gatehouse, Bayle Gate, hosts an old and dusty museum about the local history. Admission is free and it is open everyday in summer.