Visit Whitby: Places to stay, things to do

A beautiful seaside town with charming features including the historical abbey.

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Why go there?
Situated on the North Yorkshire Coast, the seaside town of Whitby is a feast for the eyes. The beautiful Whitby abbey towers over the town on top of the cliffs looking over the River Esk, which can be crossed by the swing bridge that opens up when passing boats come through. The abbey, as well as the lovely St Mary’s church, can be reached via the Cleveland Way, a route loved by walkers, and then descended by the steps that lead down to the cobbled streets and the beach. After a great walk (walk route given below), treat yourself to some fudge from the old-fashioned sweet shops! The streets of Whitby are stunning, with little passages here and there leading to stretches of beach and the port along Pier Road with regular fishing boats unloading their delicious fish which stock The Magpie café (see below). Pier Road then leads (surprisingly) to the pier, which gives beautiful views over Whitby, the abbey and the open sea.
Climbing up the streets on this side of Whitby, the whalebone arch comes into view, beside the statue of Captain James Cook, who had great links with Whitby, especially when he became a lieutenant on the Whitby Endeavour in 1764 on his voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand. The ship’s much smaller replica can be seen today and trips out on it to view the Yorkshire coast take place in the year.

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If you have time to visit the surrounding areas around Whitby, there are a number of stunning fishing villages including Staithes, an artists paradise and where Captain Cook once lived, Runswick Bay and it’s lovely beach, and the lovely fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay.
For keen walkers, the North Yorkshire Moors national park is close by and is especially beautiful in the summer months when the heather (Calluna vulgaris) creates a striking purple carpet.

Walk from Whitby to Robin Hood’s Bay

Following the Cleveland Way from Whitby, accessed from the road next to the abbey.

  • OS map start point: NZ 904 112
  • OS Map end point: NZ 950 054

Distance: 6 miles
Time: 2hours 15 minutes
Bus back: The Arriva 93 and X93 run quite regularly between Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby bus station.

Where to stay?
Whitby YHA stands in the perfect location, next to the abbey with an excellent view over the town and sea. The historical building was renovated in 2008 and is now the stop-off point for many along the Cleveland Way. Visit www.yha.org.uk/hostel/whitby for more information.

If a slightly more elegant place is what you are searching for, The Sandbeck Hotel, overlooking the sea and near the Captain Cook statue, offers rooms starting at £42 for a single room with a sea view. For more information visit www.thesandbeckwhitby.co.uk.

Where to eat?
The Magpie café on Pier Road has an amazing selection of seafood, serving over 20 different types of fish! There is often a queue for the restaurant from outside so make sure you book or get there early. Their amazing menu can be found at www.magpiecafe.co.uk.

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Tell us a local secret…
Whitby has some very gothic heritage including the fact that Bram Stoker, the author of the original classic ‘Dracula’, sets parts of his novel here.