Come and explore the many delights this fascinating town has to offer. Whitby is overlooked by the cliff-top ruins of St Hilda’s Abbey on the East Cliff, next to this is St Mary’s Church whose graveyard inspired Bram Stokers ‘Dracula’.
Down the 199 steps from the Church and Abbey to the cobbled streets of the old town, there is an array of unique shops offering local crafts and Whitby jet.
Spend some time exploring the old maritime town with world famous harbour and sandy blue flag beach. You will be kept well fed by the numerous cafés, tea rooms and award winning restaurants.
Explore the picturesque Esk Valley Railway by steam train which offers stunning views along its route through the North York Moors National Park stopping at Grosmont and Goathland on the way to Pickering.
Whitby Abbey and the 199 steps
Be sure to count the steps as you head up and don’t lose count! There is an amazing view at the top of the two piers… there is always the donkey track down!
Explore the 13th Century gothic splendor that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Check the English Heritage website for special events throughout the year.
There are plenty of churches to explore in Whitby. Check the local paper for special events and services.
St Mary’s Church at the top of the 199 steps has a wonderful history with an interesting interior dating back to the late 18th Century. Look out for the Huntrodds gravestone; it’s a true love story from long ago.
St Hilda’s Church opposite ‘The Belfry’ is a beautiful building and if you are lucky you can hear the organist playing some tunes!
Captain Cook and the Whale bone arch
At the top of West Cliff stands Captain James Cook looking out to sea. This bronze statue from 1912 commemorates the explorer who mapped out far away lands. Standing proudly next to the Captain is the current whalebone arch, which replaced a weathered 1960’s gift from a Norwegian shipping company. The current jaw bones are a gift from Whitby twin town in Alaska. They are 5.8m high and come from a bowhead whale killed legally by a native Inuit in 1996.
Taking in the dramatic coastline of the area, the Cleveland Way (109 miles in total!), technically starting at Helmsley and ending at Filey reaching Saltburn-by-the-sea at the top. Don’t worry you can pick a shorter walk to do while staying in Whitby, either south to Robin Hood’’s Bay, Ravenscar or north to Sandsend or Staithes. Use the regular bus service to get back to Whitby.
From 1885 until its closure in 1965 the old railway line from Scarborough to Whitby took goods and passengers up and down the North Yorkshire coast. Now it’s an off road route for walkers, horse riders and cyclists. Hire bikes from Trailways at Hawsker. From Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay is 7.4 miles and will take about 2hrs 30min approx.
Just ask Phill or Sophie for directions to the start point.
Esk Valley Trail
A great way to see the beautiful scenery of the moors. The whole trail is 37 miles, taking in Grosmont, Goathland, Glaisdale, Danby and many more villages (with good pubs!) This is a really flexible walk; you can walk sections of the trail utilising the train to get you back to the start point. Pick an achievable route following the salmon signs and then plan to do another part on your next trip!
Whitby Surf School
West Cliff beach is an ideal place to learn to Surf or SUP, as its large shallow gradient sandy beach offers plenty of space and waves for everyone. Whitby Surf School are located on the promenade of West Cliff beach. They are fully qualified lifeguards and provide all the gear required.
Last year we went on a SUP Safari with Whitby Surf School. If you think you’ve seen whitby from all angles, think again! They provide all the gear and its easy to get the hang of….. Sophie even managed to keep her hair dry, possibly because the boys were too busy jousting with each other!
The West Pier lighthouse
The West Pier lighthouse has been recently refurbished and is now open to the public. You have to endure a dizzy walk up the spiral staircase but the views from the top are worth it. The lighthouse was used for navigation until 1914 and given Grade II listed status in 1972.
Pannett Park and Museum
Located a short walk away from ‘The Belfry’ down Crescent Ave and Upgang Lane, this park has lots to offer: great views of the town from its elevated position, an amazing kids’ park, Pannett Art Gallery and Whitby Museum. The award winning museum houses artefacts from around the world and a fantastic selection of Jurassic fossils.
Situated on the cliffside overlooking the bay, the Pavillion hosts many events throughout the year. First opened in 1880, this venue has a cinema and is the home to the big weekend events including 60’s, Motown, Goth, Steampunk and many more.
North Yorkshire railway
Travel in style along the 18 miles of preserved steam railway running through the spectacular scenery of the North Yorkshire Moors, calling at Grosmont, Goathland, Newton Dale, Pickering to name a few. You can make a day of it with a walk and most importantly a pub stop!
Join the Whitby ghost walk, which sets off from the whalebone arch at 7:30pm and discover the strange and supernatural tales of murder, mystery and suspense!
Boat trips & whale watching
There are daily boat trips departing from the harbour; some short, some longer and some lucky ones finding whales! Fishing trips need to be booked in advance generally, and obviously depend on weather conditions. For whale watching trips check out Whitby Whale Watching, who run 4 hour trips and have a surprising success rate, regularly seeing whales and dolphins.
Mini golf and amusements
No seaside resort is complete without the arcades on the Pier Road where you can spend your 2ps and eat your weight in ice-cream! Mini golf is up on West Cliff and always brings the competitive streak out in you!
If the legs are feeling a little tired then jump on the hop-on hop-off yellow bus which takes in most of the sights of the town and even goes up to the Abbey so you don’t have to climb the 199 steps! Tickets last all day and the fully guided tour lasts approx. 1 hour. There should be a timetable on our console table.