YorkshireNet Guide to Whitby
Ancient fishing port and resort set on the North Yorkshire
of the most picturesque ports in England, Whitby and its harbour
are set in a ravine at the mouth of the River Esk. Dominated
by the clifftop ruined Abbey, the narrow alleys and quaint
streets climb down to the busy quayside, with its harbourside
houses and small shops filled with crafts, curios, and antiques.
these centuries old streets, 199 steps lead up to the parish
Church of St Mary, one of the finest Anglo Saxon churches
in the country, featuring carved pews made by ship’s carpenters
and craftsmen from Whitby’s once booming whaling fleet.
Its churchyard is famous for providing the setting which
inspired Bram Stoker to write his classic novel - Dracula.
Dickens and Tennyson are also known to have enjoyed the hospitality
of Whitby’s ancient inns.
the Whitby Museum discover the life story of the town’s most
famous inhabitant, Captain James Cook, who sailed from the
port to change the history of the world. The Captain Cook
Memorial Museum, his former home in Grape Lane, is furnished
in the style of his times, when Whitby was the seventh-largest
port in England. As famous locally are the whaling masters
of the Scoresby family, and pioneer photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.
Whitby is well known for its jet, a hard black mineral dug
from its cliffs since Victorian times, and fashioned locally
into jewellery and ornament. Its famous Smokehouse still operates,
converting herrings to kippers by the traditional process.
bustling and colourful working port, Whitby offers fishing
trips by boat or from the pier.
Its Regatta in mid-August and a week-long Captain Cook Festival
in October reflect the seafaring traditions. The Whitby Festival
is held around mid-June.
from Whitby, the North York Moors National Park is a quiet,
unspoilt upland area perfect for walking or touring. Goathland,
with its ‘Heartbeat’ connections, is within easy reach, as
is Grosmont, where the spectacular North York Moors Steam
Railway meets the Esk Valley line. Peaceful moorland
and gentle valleys with pretty villages, castles and abbeys
in abundance, lead to expanses of glorious countryside associated with James Herriot.
Along the coast, the Captain Cook Heritage Trail leads from
Great Ayton, where he lived, to his departure port of Whitby.
Staithes and Runswick Bay are quaint and picturesque fishing
villages. South of Whitby is Robin Hood’s Bay, and beyond,
the Victorian splendour of Scarborough.