Clean beaches awash with seaweed and driftwood, fat seagulls yawking overhead, a giant whalebone arch, terracotta rooftops and a sea that never seems to rest. Whitby, Staithes and Robin’s Hood Bay can feel like stepping into the pages of a child’s story book.
By contrast there’s a ruined abbey, a Goth festival and Whitby’s association with Dracula. This cluster of towns on the coast of North Yorkshire is one of my favourite places in the UK.
Take a stroll round the harbour.
Whitby lighthouse and a choppy sea.
Terracotta rooftops in Robin Hood’s Bay, just a short hop along the coast from Whitby.
Climb Jacob’s Ladder to the top of the cliffs and look back over the pantiled roof tops round the harbour.
Whitby Abbey at the top of the cliffs. This dramatic ruin was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
The main shopping street in Whitby.
Rummage round the main shopping street in Whitby for fossils, Goth clothing, an outdoor market, antiques and curios, fossils, handmade clothes, fossils, mountains of fudge and handmade chocolates – get one of Captain Cook’s cannon balls from Justin the Chocolatier and see if you can eat it in one go. (I can eat two).
Did I mention fossils? Whitby is groaning with fossils. You can even spot them on the town shield which features three ammonites with snake heads. And if you think buying fossils from shops is cheating, go on a fossil hunting trip and find them yourself.
Take an early evening stroll round the harbour, the roof tops and cliffs glowing as the sun goes down.
Note the reinforcements above the houses on the cliff. The cliffs beneath the graveyard are eroding quite badly, sending soil, rubble, stones and skeletons into people’s gardens. Skeletons? No, it was just a few bones but following a sensationalist article in The Sun newspaper (no change there then), the story was picked up and ghoulishly embellished by delighted school children – and no doubt quite a few adults too – who just loved to think of skeletons dropping into people’s gardens. And who can blame them?
Go up the steps (walk off those cannon balls), out of the town and along the cliffs. I snapped these beach huts on Whitby beach, they looked like a string of children’s toy houses.
high street foraging
boat trip endevour
walk up to abbey
fish and chips
crab fishing in harbour
captain cook memorial museum