Some of our favourite local places and attractions
No visit to Whitby would be complete without a visit to the ruins of Whitby Abbey. Founded by St Hilda in 657 this historic site has a very special atmosphere. If you are fit and able the best approach is via the 199 steps which lead to St Mary's Church and then on to the Abbey. Now owned by English Heritage there is an interactive visitor centre to guide you through the fascinating history of this spectacular ruin.
St Mary’s Church
St Mary's the Parish Church of Whitby sits proudly on the East Cliff at the top of the 199 steps. Wonder around the graveyard and try to spot the skull & crossbones inscribed graves before entering the Church to view it's unique interior. Even come back at dusk clutching a copy of Bram Stokers 'Dracula' to capture the atmosphere that inspired him to write his most famous novel.
In the late 1800's Bram Stoker often holidayed in Whitby, inspired by the atmosphere he wrote his most famous novel 'Dracula'. In the novel Dracula appears from the shipwreck of the Demeter in the form of a black dog and climbs the 199 steps to the graveyard of St Mary's Church. This passage is part based on historical fact, as a few years earlier the ship Demetrius was wrecked on Whitby's rocks and it's cargo of coffins complete with bodies was washed into the sea.
Captain James Cook
In the mid 1700's the young James Cook served as an apprentice in Whitby before embarking on his epic journeys of discovery around the world. The house in Grape Lane where he lodged is now home to the fascinating Captain Cook Memorial Museum where you can learn all about his life and voyages.
Whitby is blessed with almost 3 miles of beautiful sandy beach stretching west from the harbour all the way to Sandsend. Whether it's building sandcastles, playing cricket (with the tide out Whitby really has a first class cricket beach) or just strolling and relaxing, the beach is a wonderful place to spend some time, and it's free!
The North Yorkshire Moors National Park has a wonderfully diverse landscape, whether walking, cycling, horse riding, or driving, there is so much to see and do. The heather moorland is a stunning landscape and extra special in late August when the flowers turn it into a purple carpet.
A wonderful way to discover the moors is to take the steam train along the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. With steam trains now running from Whitby all the way to Pickering it makes for a lovely day out.
Dozens of delightful small shops selling anything from Whitby Rock to hand crafted jewellery make shopping in Whitby a real treat. Whether it's for presents to take home for family and friends or a special something to remind you of your seaside holiday you'll be spoilt for choice.
Whitby Museum & Park
Set in the lovely Pannett Park we think this is Whitby's real hidden gem. A visit here can easily take up your whole day and is ideal on days when the sunshine is a little wet!