Exploring Whitby - coast and country

(Click on photos to enlarge)

View of tall ship in whitby harbour Whitby has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, with many visitors arriving from Europe, North America and beyond. There is little wonder that the town is so popular; its impressive history and beautiful natural landscape combined with a vibrant recreational scene is enough to satisfy the most demanding visitor. Those seeking an active holiday and those looking for relaxation will each find something for them in this unique environment.

The Old East Side

Whitby's famous red pantiled roofs cluster under the East Cliff, overlooked by Whitby Abbey and St. Mary's Parish Church. Here, in 664, Abbess Hilda hosted the Synod of Whitby to decide the date of Easter - the formula still used today.

Church Street and Henrietta Street provide the spine of the old East side, off which are narrow yards of fishermen's cottages, some, such as Blackburns Yard opening suprisingly into secret, peaceful spaces.

A Sea Faring Town

View across Whitby Harbour to the old East Side. The harbour and the sea have been the focus of life in the town for centuries. Once, a major trading port on the East coast; ship building, fishing and whaling have all played an important part in the town's history. Captain Cook learned his skills here and many other brave and skillful sailors have hailed from Whitby through the generations.

A Holiday Resort

A perfect and safe beach, a beautiful environment and the coming of the railway combined to attract new visitors to the town in the 19th Century. The West Cliff was developed, building large Guest Houses and Hotels to accommodate the new 'holiday makers'. Authors, Lewis Carroll and Bram Stoker were amongst the visitors to be inspired by the romance of the town.

The Heritage Coast

View of piers at entrance to Whitby Harbour Follow the cliffs to the North and to the South of Whitby and you will find delightful fishing villages in sheltered bays. Runswick Bay and Staithes to the North and Robin Hood's Bay to the South should not be missed with their tiny streets of picturesque cottages and gardens.

The Esk Valley

Steam trains have recently provided an enjoyable way to travel along the Esk Valley from Whitby railway station deep into the North York Moors National Park. Travel to the many little villages along the line and enjoy a walk in the countryside. Green valleys and purple moorlands provide the inspiration here. Grosmont, with it's Moors Railway, Goathland, home of 'Heartbeat', and Danby, where you'll find the National Park's Moors Centre, are all places to leave you with happy memories.

Rest and Recuperation!

Whitby is a wonderful place to wine and dine, with a host of restaurants offering superb food and service, whilst the town's local pubs will provide a relaxing place for you to while away a summer evening. Finally, don't forget, (but how could you miss them), Whitby's famous 'fish & chips'!

Some Useful Links

Tourist Information Centre

North York Moors National Park

Whitby Museum

Captain Cook Memorial Museum

Whitby Archives

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

English Heritage - Whitby Abbey