Whitby Beach

Things to do in Whitby

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Midway between Scarborough and Middlesborough on the North Yorkshire Coast lies Whitby, a small, attractive seaside town. Horror fans will be happy to discover that the ruined Whitby Abbey provided Dracula author Bram Stoker with inspiration for his gothic classic. 

There are several other fascinating historical attractions and memorable sights to enjoy during your visit. Whitby can be reached in just under an hour’s drive from Haven’s Blue Dolphin or Primrose Valley holiday parks.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

Let’s begin with the impressive ruin that inspired Dracula’s creator, author Bram Stoker, who stayed in Whitby. The Abbey was a 7th-century monastery that later became a 12th-century Benedictine abbey, and was again further expanded in the 14th century. Its remains stand proudly on East Cliff overlooking the town and the sea. 

From the Abbey site, there are great views down to Whitby and the beach, and Gothic horror fans might like to access it via the 199 steps featured in Stoker’s book. St Mary’s Church, also on the same site, dates back to the 12th century, although its interior is Victorian.

Whitby Museum

Whitby Museum
Whitby Museum delves into the town's past, including the lifespan of Whitby Abbey

A quirky, independent museum, this attraction features a unique collection of geological, historical, cultural, and maritime exhibits including model ships, costumes, and photography. With exhibits extending back to the stone age, there’s no shortage of information in the varied and surprising displays. 

It’s a spacious and award-winning attraction, so you’ll need to allow a couple of hours. The building is situated a little way inland at peaceful Pannett Park, which has ornate decorative features such as its sunken pond and themed gardens.

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Nestled in the heart of the pretty Sneaton Forest, the Falling Foss Tea Garden is a delightful woodland retreat. This charmingly rustic garden, complete with its cascading waterfall, includes a café offering homemade delicacies and freshly brewed teas. Set aside some time for a leisurely visit. 

The location is beautifully remote and you'll feel at peace with nature here. The kids will especially enjoy the 'Witch's Cottage' and the magical woodland walk.

199 Steps

199 Steps
Whitby: a well known wonder by the sea

An iconic Whitby landmark, the 199 Steps lead up to the magnificent Whitby Abbey, offering breathtaking views of the town and harbour. With each step seeped in history and folklore (some believe her steps are over 700 years old) the journey is as captivating as the destination.  

Despite the climb, the steps are a must-see, so prepare to pace yourself. Positioned near the town centre, the steps offer views of Whitby's charming, red-roofed townscape and expansive sea. Artists and photographers can often be seen recording the steps’ charms.

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Museum of Victorian Science

A distinctive and educational attraction, the Museum of Victorian Science dives into the fascinating world of 19th-century science. Discover the era's electrifying inventions and scientific breakthroughs in an interactive, immersive setting.  

Allow a few hours to fully explore the numerous intriguing displays and exhibits. The museum is a short trip from the town centre and adds an air of Victorian nostalgia and wonder to the Yorkshire countryside.

Whitby Harbour

Whitby Harbour

An active and bustling harbour, Whitby Harbour teems with charm and maritime heritage. With its captivating view of the boats at sail and the delightful array of local shops, pubs and eateries, there’s plenty to explore.  

Give yourself a morning or afternoon to soak up the atmosphere and engage in a spot of people-watching at a cafe. The harbour is centrally located, an ideal spot for those seeking both scenic beauty and the lively pulse of Whitby life.

Captain Cook Memorial Museum

Situated in the 17th-century house where Cook once lodged as an apprentice, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum is a tribute to the famed explorer's life and voyages.  

The museum boasts a rich collection of artefacts, models, and maps which may take a couple of hours to explore. The historic Grape Lane location adds to the immersive experience, transporting visitors back to Cook’s seafaring days.

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