An impossibly pretty harbour town where red-roofed buildings tumble down to the sands, and the abbey ruins look over all. The streets are lined with old fisherman’s cottages and small boutiques and the air of an elegant Victorian spa town persists. Enjoy paper-wrapped fish and chips beside colourful quayside boats before retiring to your luxury country retreat.
Golden sands, rugged cliffs and sailing boats bobbing on the horizon – Whitby sets the scene for seaside charm.
Things to do
Visit the local fish market in the morning to see the seafood you might be sampling that evening. Whitby is famed for its fresh fish and you’ll find plenty of fine dining restaurants serving the catch of the day. For something a little more rustic, pop in to a traditional Yorkshire pub for local ale and a warm welcome.
With waves lapping the beach and rivers all around, Whitby is a waterside town. Enjoy a classic ice cream cone sitting on Whitby Sands. Take a wooden rowing boat for a trip along the River Esk. Or, for a touch of romance, book a coastal cruise around the bay at sunset.
From the sandy beach, you can trace a path along the rugged North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast, feeling the bracing sea breeze as you go. In Whitby, you’ll be on the cusp of the wild and wonderful North York Moors National Park. Escape to scenic dales, ancient woodland and deep valleys – and in summer, a landscape carpeted with heather.
For a small town, Whitby has an illustrious history. Facing the abbey, on West Cliff, sits a whalebone and bronze arch. This landmark honours Captain Cook, who began his seafaring career and built his ships in Whitby. See letters and maps in Cook’s own hand in the Captain Cook Memorial Museum – here you can also visit the attic where he studied by candlelight.
Take a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula on your trip to Whitby. The town’s ghostly abbey is said to have inspired the writer.
Top Tip from SLH