Fish and chips and ice cream; history and culture; vampires and Goths: it’s all on offer at Whitby, one of the North East coast’s best-loved seaside towns.
With Blue Flag beaches and many attractions, including the world-famous steam North Yorkshire Moors Railway, Whitby is the perfect base for a family holiday. But it doesn’t end there. Whitby wallows in history, including fishing, the jet industry (did you know that it’s still the best place in the world to find the gleaming black gemstone so beloved by the Victorians?), Captain Cook (who was born nearby, and whose famous ship the Endeavour was Whitby-built) and whaling. And its literary connections – Bram Stoker’s famous Dracula features the town, with the vampire first coming ashore here from Transylvania in the guise of a black dog – have inspired the world famous Goth Festival, which now takes place twice a year, in the spring and around Hallowe’en. Explore our website to find out more.
Whitby Abbey with it's gaunt imposing remains recently named Britain's most romantic ruin is set high on a cliff above the Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby. Founded in 657 by St Hilda Whitby Abbey has over the years been a bustling settlement a king's burial place the setting for a historic meeting between Celtic and Roman clerics the home of saints including the poet Caedmon and inspiration for Bram Stoker author of Dracula. Discover how over 2 000 years of history make the Abbey one of England's most important archaeological sites.And at the interactive visitor centre your family can view archaeological finds spectacular audio-visual displays.
A replica of the famous Borghese gladiator statue the original of which is in the Paris Louvre will be installed in the Abbey's 17th Century courtyard to replace the lost statue that previously stood guard on the site. The life-size bronze replica will be the final touch to the revamping of Whitby Abbey's visitor experience centre which includes a new visitor entrance point close to the 199 steps.
Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4JT.
Whitby is connected to many famous people, fictional and factual, and none is more internationally known than Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A visit to the parish church of St Mary’s, on East Cliff, takes you back in time to days of this fictional character. The church is a wonderful example of Whitby’s heritage with its numerous original boxed pews and interesting architecture dating back to Norman times. A short walk, with panoramic views over the town and harbour, takes you to English Heritage’s visitor centre at Whitby Abbey. The tearoom nearby provides a welcome rest with tasty treats. The abbey was founded in AD657 on the site of what may previously have been a Roman signal station. The Synod of AD664 was held here, where the decision was made to follow the Roman church rather than the old tradition of the Celtic church.
For the more energetic a walk down the 199 steps brings you to the old town with its manygift, craft and souvenir shops.
The Dracula Experience is a unique tour through the Dracula story and the connection to Whitby. Using animated scenes electronic special effects and live actors. In 1885 the Russian Schooner The Demeter was hit by a wild storm and ran aground in Whitby harbour on Tate Hill Sands. Mysteriously all the crew were dead including the captain who was lashed to the helm. The instant the Demeter ran aground a huge black dog was seen to leap ashore and run up the 199 steps towards Whitby abbey. The dog was known to be one of the many forms into which a vampire could transform itself. Bram Stoker's Count Dracula had arrived in England.....!
Captain Cook Museum
Founded in 1985, the Museum opened in 1987 in the historic building in the heart of Whitby where the young Cook served his apprenticeship. In 2001-02 the site expanded to take in the harbourside courtyard and cottage wing. The collections continue to grow through purchases, donations and loans from other museums. We now have a very significant collection of original material relating to Cook and his associates. Entirely independent, the Museum is self-financing through income from admission tickets, retail sales and occasional project grants. A dedicated team of unpaid volunteers, Trustees and Management team support a very small staff in caring for the house, the collections and the visitors. It is a challenging task!
Pannett Art Gallery
Pannett Art Gallery exists thanks to the generosity of Robert Elliott Pannett. A Whitby solicitor spent his life in local government and in service to his fellow townspeople. After 22 years as Clerk to the District Local Board he became a County Councillor and later Alderman. He was a J.P., a Director of Whitby and North Yorkshire Building Society, Chairman of Whitby Waterworks, a life Governor of the Cottage Hospital and a supporter of many charities.
When he learned that Chubb Hill Estate, then market gardens, was for sale, he bought it to prevent speculative building. In his will dated October 1917 he arranged for it to become a public park. and if deemed expedient by my Trustees as a site for the erection of a public museum … for the reception and preservation of my water colour drawings, works of art, objects of natural history and other things".
What he called the public museum is the Art Gallery, opened in 1928, while the present museum as a separate but adjoining building, a story in itself, was a later addition. Pannett did not live to see his intent fulfilled. He died on 22nd July 1920 and was buried in Whitby cemetery four days later – there is a plain gravestone but no monument to mark the spot. His real monument is rather to be seen as one stands on the steps of the Art Gallery and looks over the park towards the town of which he was so noteworthy a son.
What Harry Collett doesn't know about Whitby and the surrounding area simply isn't worth knowing. He's a fount of knowledge when it comes to the legends and local history of the town. Whether advising visitors to his guest house about the innumerable walks on the nearby North York Moors, giving talks and slide shows to schools and groups, or entertaining in his own inimitable fashion by telling monologues and singing popular songs from the Victoria era, you can be guaranteed an amusing and informative time. He has contributed to both television and radio programmes and is a passionate believer in all that Whitby has to offer both locals and visitors alike. If you would like to take advantage of any of the talks or shows Harry has to offer, he can be contacted on 07845 426 028 or 01947 821734 (international +44 7845 426 028)
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway operates steam and heritage diesel trains along an 18 mile line between the market town of Pickering and the village of Grosmont, through the heart of the North York Moors National Park and on to the mainline to Whitby covering 24 miles of track. The railway passes through a variety of scenery, from wooded valley to heather clad moorland. It also calls at picturesque villages along the way and offers access to unspoilt countryside and the sea for walkers and cyclists.
The NYMR is one of the earliest and most historic lines in the North of England. Its origins go back well over a century and a half, and was an important trade link between Pickering and Whitby. Following a meeting in 1831 George Stephenson was asked to report on building the line of simplest construction for the employment of animal power. The complete 24 mile stretch of line was fully opened in May 1836.
The line operated for well over a century during which modifications were gradually made and steam locomotives took over. In the 1950’s traffic began to dwindle and by 1965 the line operated its last passenger service.
Interest however was in favour of trying to keep the line across the moors open and in 1968 a meeting was held by people keen to re-open the line. Through a major fund raising scheme and help from the County Council, sufficient funds were raised to re-open the line in stages until 24 May 1975 the line was again open between Grosmont and Pickering. As progress was made, so the interest in running to Whitby increased. Occasional trains were introduced to try the Market, being operated by an outside operator. It was thought that these trains were successful enough to run more and now we operate over 100 days a year under our own Train Operating Licence and using our own Locomotives.
Mini Monsterz are huge indoor play areas, and fantastic party venues, with some of the biggest slides in North Yorkshire. We offer unlimited play time, that means that unlike other places, you pay a one off price and stay as long as you want. Designed for all ages, it is the ideal way to spend a fun filled day! We have huge drop slides in both centres, "The Plunge" is one of Yorkshire's highest drop slides at 6.5 metres high. Also included at both sites are huge 4 lane astra slide (above), spiral slides, tube slides, and lots of obstacles inbetween.
There is also a baby section especially for the youngest ones that are still learning to walk. For children aged 4 and under, we have completely dedicated Toddler Areas, with smaller scaled slides and obstacles, along with a learning sections with fundamental numbers, letters, animals etc.
The whole play area is clearly visable from anywhere within the seating area meaning you can sit back and relax, with the peace of mind you can see your child(ren) at all times. We have plenty of magazines and FREE WiFi on offer, to compliment our high quality servery area selling speciality coffees, teas, and soft drinks as well as meals and snacks.
NYMR Spring Steam Gala TBA
Goth Weekend 21st & 23rd April
70’S Big Weekend 28th & 29th April
Tour De Yorkshire 28th -30th April
60’s Weekend 4th - 11th June
Angling Festivals 1st - 23rd July
Lifeboat Weekend – TBC
NYMR 60’s Festival 22nd & 23rd July
Northern Soul Weekend 7th - 9th August
Whitby Regatta 19th – 21st August
Whitby Folk Week 19th - 25th August
Egton Show 23rd August
Whitby Pirate Festival 15th – 19th September
Motown Weekend 15th – 17th September
Autumn Steam Gala 29th September until 1st October
Wartime Weekend Pickering 13th – 15th October
Musicport Weekend 20th – 22nd October
NYMR Halloween Train 26th - 29th October
Goth Weekend TBA