There is so much to see and do in Whitby that it can be often hard to decide where you’ll explore on your trip. We’ve put together a list of must-visit places in Whitby to help you out!
The famous seaside town is filled to the brim with a rich history that is just waiting to be soaked in by tourists. To be sure that you get the best from your trip, the Whitby Guide has compiled a list of places that you must visit on your trip to Whitby.
If you have an English Heritage card you can enter the Abbey for free, or you can pay a small fee otherwise but it’s completely worth it.
Whitby Abbey is bathed in history, it’s one of the first Abbey’s built in England, and is also one of the Abbey’s that fell victim to Henry VIII’s reign, not only this but the Abbey is supposedly haunted by a number of ghosts, St Hilda is said to still haunt her grounds.
The Abbey ruins are spectacular and are a great adventure for families to go on, inside the old Cholmley home too there is a small museum with relics found by archaeologists around the Abbey with some headstones also kept, not only this but as you walk around the grounds there are artist impressions of what the Abbey would have looked like when it was in use.
St Marys Churchyard
St. Mary’s Churchyard, high on the East Cliff is Whitby’s Parish Church and was founded in 1110. Some parts of it date back to Norman times, the early 12th Century. It has been modified and extended over the centuries without being completely rebuilt.
The lovely interior is essentially 18th Century and an excellent example of pre-Victorian furnishing. That interior contrasts dramatically with the fortress-like exterior which fits well with the North Sea setting which can be wild and stormy at times. The location of the Church is close to the ancient Whitby Abbey and both receive a significant number of visitors each year.
You get a stunning view of the harbour from the benches behind the Church here, perfect for a quick break to take in the scenery.
Address: Abbey Plain, Whitby YO22 4JR
Not only is Whitby Abbey right next door to St Mary’s Church but it also sits on top of the 199 Steps. The origin of the steps is often disputed, the first record of the steps was in 1340 though it is widely believed that St Hilda would use the tiring steps to test her follower’s hundreds of years before.
They are an important part of Whitby history and in the 19th century when St Mary’s Church was still open for burials many people preferred to be carried up the steps in their coffin, when you walk up the steps you will notice a couple of benches and if you think they were made for sitting then you are wrong, the benches were actually placed there so pall-bearers could place to coffin on the bench and have a rest.
Address: Whitby YO22 4DF
Fortunes Smokehouse and Shop
Down from 199 steps, you will find the Fortunes Smokehouse and shop that is famous worldwide for its excellent quality kippers. The smokehouse is a must-visit when you come to Whitby, not only to get yourself some beautifully smoked kippers but to meet with the lovely owners and get some knowledge on Whitby’s fishing history.
In 1872 William Fortune founded the now historical, and only Whitby, smokehouse, it has since been passed down through the Fortune family and is currently on its sixth generation! Don’t worry if you think it’ll be difficult to find, the gorgeous smell of the smoked kippers will lead you straight to it.
Address: 22 Henrietta St, Whitby, YO22 4DW
W. Hamond, the Original Whitby Jet Shop
If you’re looking to get yourself some souvenirs from Whitby then there is no better treat than some famous Whitby Jet. If you’re wanting some history in your jet then head down to W. Hamond, the original Whitby Jet shop that was established in 1860. The skilled craftsmen still continue to make the finest quality jewellery some 150 years later, and the customers keep coming to buy a little bit of Whitby history.
Whitby Jet, which is found along the cliffs of Whitby, is from the early Jurassic period and around 182 million years old! Its famous deep black colour coined the term “Jet black” and “As black as jet”.
Falling Foss Tea Garden and Waterfall
This one you’ll need a car to get to as it is just outside of Whitby, but it’s definitely worth the short drive. The Falling Foss tea garden is set inside a small cottage on top of Falling Foss’s beautiful waterfall.
Not only is the charming tea garden somewhere for you to relax but the grounds are also very beautiful to walk around, the gardens are a favourite for children as their imaginations go wild whilst they run around the enchanting place, though saying this Falling Foss is suitable for any age.
The tea room is only open seasonally between April and September but the woodlands are available to walk all year around.
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats
Established in 1874, people have been coming to row on the idyllic River Esk for over a century. Ruswarp Riverside Cafe, Ruswarp Miniature Railway, and Chainbridge Riverside Retreats are just 2 miles from Whitby!
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats is a great place to hire a canoe, kayak, or rowing boat and spend some time relaxing or quality time with family. Take a camera to photograph the swans and ducks. This is the only river in Yorkshire where salmon can be found.
Address: The Carrs, Ruswarp, Whitby, YO21 1RL
Whitby Museum and Pannet Park
Whitby Museum is an independent Victorian museum bursting with exciting treasures. Here you can explore vast collections of local fossils, natural history, model ships, carved jet, toys, costumes, and social history. There are artifacts of the famous whaling family, the Scoresbys, and also the explorer Captain Cook. The museum has extended its scope to include items of interest from the last hundred years. The ‘Hand of Glory‘ is one such artifact. There is something for all ages in their extensive collections.
The park is home to Whitby Museum and Pannett Art Gallery. Pannett Park is an oasis of calm in the heart of Whitby. This expertly planted garden has an all year round planting scheme with state of the art play area, commemorative garden, community garden, a Jurassic garden, and a lily pool.
Address: Pannett Park, Whitby YO21 1RE
RNLI Whitby Lifeboat Museum
Since 1802 lifeboats crewed by the people of Whitby have been helping those in trouble at sea. Whitby Lifeboat Museum celebrates the long and proud history of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Whitby. 36 RNLI Medals for Gallantry have been awarded to courageous crew members. The collection of medals, paintings, and objects from rescues and wrecks are housed in the original boathouse that served from 1895 –1957. The boathouse displays the D-Class lifeboat OEM Stone III.
The museum is located at the end of Pier Road. Public car parking is available in town.
Address: Pier Rd, Whitby, YO21 3PU
Staithes is a charming, traditional fishing village on the Yorkshire Coast. It boasts wonderfully rugged coastlines, villages, and towns brimming with character, and rich maritime heritage.
The North Yorkshire seaside town of Staithes, just 10 miles from Whitby. It embodies many of the reasons why seaside towns hold such appeal. Once one of the busiest fishing ports on the North East coast, Staithes boasts a long proud history as the one-time home of famous Royal Navy captain and explorer, Captain James Cook.
There is so much to do in Staithes while you’re visiting Whitby it’s worth a trip. Fans of art and history will love strolling through the pretty town’s narrow cobbled streets and paying a visit to the elegant Staithes Art Gallery.
Robin Hood’s Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is situated within the North York Moors National Park making it an ideal base for walking, hiking, cycling, and exploring all the history that the area has to offer. It is also not far from the historic town of Whitby and the fabulous Scarborough.
Fishing and farming were the main trades here. Whole families worked in the fishing industry, either out in the open sea or taking the catch to market. However, smuggling was a rife tradition too. Boats from the continent brought contraband to their shore which was distributed to the contacts on land.
Whether you want to relax, get active, explore, or a bit of all three, this is the ideal location to choose. It has plenty of places to stay, things to do, restaurants and pubs, and a whole lot of history.
The village of Sandsend is just a short distance from the town of Whitby. North York Moors meet the Coast and add to the beauty and attractiveness of the whole region. Nature has reclaimed this area which once experienced significant industrial activity; the abandoned alum quarries here remain interesting. Walkers and hikers can combine their love of exercise and fresh air with a little exploration. The Sandsend Trail is just one of the possibilities.
Sandsend is also known for being the land of historical findings, such as prehistoric fossils and other ancient artifacts. Archaeologists and paleontologists from all over the world scope through this area on a regular basis throughout the year as part of their jobs, but you never know what you might find with a sharp eye and a little patience while you are enjoying your pleasurable vacation.
One of the best places to go in search of a little seaside fun is the North Yorkshire coastal town of Whitby. The trouble is though, Whitby has so many great beaches available that it can get a little confusing. So here’s a quick rundown of Beaches in Whitby.
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