Until the mid-19th C, this was a tiny, remote fishing village - remote enough to make it attractive to smugglers. Then ironstone was discovered locally, the railway was extended from Middlesbrough to export it, and Saltburn suddenly grew up as a "planned town", both seaside resort and mineworkers' dwellings.
By rail: Trains run from Middlesbrough via Redcar to Saltburn, 30 mins, Mon-Sat every 30 mins and hourly Sunday.
By road: follow A19 towards Middlesbrough the A174 east. In fine weather, the coastal route A171 from Scarborough is attractive.
- Funicular railway. The cliff lift is one of the world's oldest water-powered cliff lifts (the oldest being the Bom Jesus funicular in Braga, Portugal). The Saltburn tramway, as it is known, replaced a vertical lift, which was closed on safety grounds in 1883. The cliff tramway opened a year later and provided transport between the pier and the town. The railway is water-balanced and since 1924 the water pump has been electrically operated. The first major maintenance was carried out in 1998, when the main winding wheel was replaced and a new braking system installed.
From Marine Parade you can look out over the pier which points just east of north. The coastline at Saltburn lies practically east west. To the north east of the town is the imposing Hunt Cliff, topped by Warsett Hill at 166m. Skelton Beck runs through the wooded Valley Gardens in Saltburn, then alongside Saltburn Miniature Railway before being joined by Saltburn Gill and entering the North Sea.
- Teddy's Nook. A house built in 1862 by George Morley of Guisborough, for his own occupation. Originally named "The Cottage". The house became known as 'Teddy's Nook' due to an owner of the house and her collection of Teddy Bears. After replying to correspondence, she would sign off her letters including her collection of Teddy Bears as fellow friends. Other rumours connected to this house persist including Edward VII being a regular visitor with his mistress, Lily Langtry. This has never been backed up by any documentary evidence which is surprising when you consider the exposed location of the house, sited within full view of the Top Promenade. The dawn of photography occurred almost simultaneously with the development of Saltburn by the Sea and a town wanting to attract visitors would have publicised unusual events. "The Cottage" was the only one built of what were intended to be one of four similar houses to be called "Clifton Villas". It was the family home of Audrey Collins MBE, who served as Mayor of Saltburn and chair of the South Tees Health Authority. Middlesbrough’s James Cook University Hospital has named a teaching unit in her honour.
Saltburn's attractions include the last surviving seaside pier on the Cleveland coast, restored Victorian buildings and The Valley Gardens with its many attractive features. Saltburn is also on the Cleveland Way and the coastline is popular with surfers and national surfing events are held during the autumn and winter months, attracting competitors from all corners of England, Scotland and Wales.
Annual events include the Saltburn Custom Classic Car Show (a lower prom display of mostly American cars) and the annual Folk festival. There is also a thriving local theatre, The 53 Society, and a public library.
Sports played in Saltburn include cricket, bowls and tennis played at the Club in Marske Mill Lane. The Club has been in existence for over 100 years and is nearly as old as the town. New facilities were provided in 2002 with financial help from the Lottery.
The North Riding Duck Race is held each year on 1 August to celebrate Yorkshire Day. The winner receives the "Colin Holt Cup", named in honour of the late Colin Holt, for many years the Chairman of the Yorkshire Ridings Society. A prize is given also for the duck with the most original name.
Go to the races at Redcar, which has regular flat racing events April-October. The racecourse is at Thrush Rd, Redcar TS10 2AS, just south of Redcar Central railway station.
- Seaview Restaurant, The Foreshore Building, Lower Promenade, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1HQ, ☏ . The very best fish and chip dining experience to be enjoyed by all the family in the most wonderful setting in the country: looking out to sea across Saltburn's long stretch of golden sands.
As a town founded and dominated by Quakers, Saltburn originally had no public houses. Alcohol was served in the local hotels and the bars attached to them. The Ship Inn was listed in the parish of Brotton and was therefore outside the jurisdiction of the new town of Saltburn by the Sea. Discounting the hotel bars and private members clubs, the first public house to open in Saltburn was The Victoria on 8th December 1982.
Today the following public houses exist in Saltburn: Alexandra Vaults (known locally as The Back Alex),The Marine, Ship Inn, The Victoria, Vista Mar and Windsors (formerly The Queen Hotel). There are also several members' clubs: the Conservative Club, Lune Street CIU, Saltburn Golf Club, Saltburn Cricket Tennis and Bowls Club, and The Swingdoors.
- Saltburn Victoria Apartments, 3 Diamond Street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire, TS12 1EB, ☏ . Saltburn Victoria Apartments specialising in weekend and mid-week breaks, are in a Victorian Grade II listed building close to Saltburn seafront with street parking available.
- The Rose Garden, 31 Leven Street, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, TS12 1JY, ☏ . Victorian terraced house offering amazing bed and (vegetarian) breakfast accommodation.
- Reach the North York Moors via Yarm.
- South along the coast to Whitby, Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington.
- North into County Durham, where the highlight is Durham itself.