Soak up the unique charms of this picture-perfect coastal town, known for it’s fine seafood, rich history, beautiful architecture and, of course, its famous Abbey. Lauded as one of the best seaside towns in the UK, Whitby exudes gothic character and sits against a stunning backdrop of sandy beaches, quirky cottages and bobbing sailboats.
Location & local attractions
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In between the heather expanses of the North York Moors National Park and the waters of the North Sea, sits the pretty coastal town of Whitby; a popular destination for walkers, nature enthusiasts and history lovers to name a few.
With cobbled streets flanked by traditional cottages and quaint shop fronts, a charming harbour filled with sailboats bobbing on the water, and landmarks which date back to the 7th century; Whitby is known to be one of the most attractive seaside towns in the UK.
It’s the perfect location for a Great British getaway and there is no shortage of things to do in the area, whatever your ideal staycation might be.
As you meander through the streets of Whitby you cannot help but be amazed by the rich and fascinating history that surrounds you. First and foremost there is the famous Whitby Abbey, a 1500 year old Christian monastery, dissolved by Henry VIII and a source of inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The famous steps leading up to the Abbey are known as ‘199 Steps’. Originating from the 14th century they were used as a test of faith for those who worshipped at St Mary’s Church. While they still prove to be a worthy challenge they provide some incredible views so don’t forget your camera when you make this trip.
Captain Cook, the famous British explorer, was also an inhabitant of Whitby in the 18th century when he was apprenticed to local ship owners before joining the Royal Navy. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum can be found just a short stroll from Albion Cottage, where you can learn of the epic adventures of this intrepid explorer.
Why not try a little exploring of your own and wander down to the harbour where you can hop on a boat tour and navigate the River Esk and all around the marina. Whitby Boat Trips operates throughout the year and provide a unique way to take in the sights with spectacular views along the coastline.
Or if you prefer to do all your venturing on foot, this is perhaps the best way to meander along the many quaint shops and eateries the town has to offer. The Magpie Café overlooks the harbour and offers its visitors some of the finest seafood dishes in North Yorkshire. If you’re looking to indulge in some fine dining, Estbek House is the first two AA Rosette Restaurant on the Yorkshire Coast. Serving fresh local produce, their dishes embrace natural flavours paired with fine wines.
If you’re after a classic fish and chips, you won’t find better than those served in Whitby. Trenchers, once voted the best fish and chip restaurant, serves a traditional menu or you can grab some to go from Papa’s Fish & Chips and enjoy them on the beach as the world passes you by.
As well as the endless joys of the beach, there are plenty of things to keep families entertained.
The Endeavour Experience gives kids the chance to join Captain Cook and his crew as they embark on their journey across the seven seas in a life size replica of the HM Bark Endeavour. You can even stop for a bite to eat in the Orlop Deck Café in this fun, interactive family day out.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is located at Whitby train station and here you can board a steam or vintage diesel train and visit many beautiful stops along the way such as the famous Goathland Station which you might recognise as the original Hogsmede Station from Harry Potter!
If the sun is shining there is the Arnold Palmer Putting Course where you can challenge your family and friends on this nine-hole course while you take in the views across Whitby Beach. Or enjoy an adrenalin boost on the beach itself and try and catch your first wave on a surf board with Whitby Surf School hosting one-on-one and group lessons.
On those rainy days you can take the little ones to Mini Monsterz, an indoor play area with slides and climbing galore, just a ten minute drive from the cottage.
If you are looking to venture a little further afield, you have the stunning North York Moors right on the doorstep. With beautiful heather fields, rolling countryside, quaint villages and variety of activities to experience, there is plenty to keep the family occupied.
If you feel like pulling on your walking boots there are a number of walks you can do in the Moors, whatever your ability might be. You can choose the sights you’d like to see from a range of selected hikes . You can also hop on your bike and take on one of the many biking trails, exploring at your own pace.
Whatever type of getaway it is you’re looking for, a family break, a romantic trip or a solo adventure, you will find it in Whitby and the North York Moors.
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