Whitby is full of exciting twists and turns. Here are 7 Iconic Whitby Streets from the past that you must visit.
There is much history within the cobbled streets of Whitby. History of its shipbuilding past, the sea, the importance of fishing, and the popularity of Whitby jet. Wherever you go in Whitby, you will find something of interest, the streets themselves, the old cottages or the quaint shops. Visitors come from far and wide on day trips for weekends and more extended stays in season. Here is a selection of some of the most important streets of Whitby, from its shipbuilding past to its modern-day tourist attractions.
Church Street is found below the 199 steps leading up to the Abbey. It was originally known as Kirkgate, and if you walk along the cobbles, several of the cottages and tiny houses that you will see date back to the 15th Century, when the Abbey prospered until Henry VIII’s intervention.
It is thought that the Street first had buildings in the late 14th Century. If you look down the narrow alleyways leading off the main street, can you imagine the smugglers looking to evade the customs officials and the youths running from press gangs looking to crew a boat?
Get there: Church St, Whitby, YO22 4AS
Sandgate, which leads off Market Place, is an excellent place to find a selection of Whitby Jet Shops. Incidentally, if you want to know more about this gemstone which is, in fact, fossilised remains of monkey puzzle trees, head to the Museum of Whitby Jet. The Market Place at the end of Sandgate has been a trading area since the middle of the 17th Century, and you will still find stalls today.
Get there: Sandgate, Whitby, YO22 4DB
Every visitor to Whitby should make sure that they go to Grape Lane because it is the home of the Captain Cook Memorial Museum. Cook was from North Yorkshire, and there are many places that students of his life of adventure and exploration should visit in the Region. This Museum is undoubtedly among the most important, while elsewhere in Whitby, next to the Whale Bone Arch at the top of the Khyber Pass, is an impressive bronze statue of Cook. The museum building was once the home to local shipbuilders John and Henry Walker, who employed Cook as an 18-year-old merchant navy apprentice.
Get there: Grape Lane, Whitby, YO22 4B
West Cliff is a famous accommodation district for visitors to Whitby; hotels, cottages for rent and guest houses. Few visitors to Whitby are more prominent than Bram Stoker, who came here in the late 19th Century and stayed in Royal Crescent. The sight of Whitby Abbey inspired him to write the Dracula novel, in which Dracula lands like a black dog from a shipwreck off the Whitby coast. The Dracula Society still visits Whitby twice a year, dressing in period costumes and wandering its streets.
Homes that formerly belonged to Whitby’s fishing community are found close to the beach on the east side of Whitby below the Abbey and a short walk to the Pier. The streets are cobbled as they were when the houses were first built but they have been modernised and refurbished to become popular accommodation for families visiting Whitby. The world-famous Fortunes Kippers is located here, the divine aromas from the smokehouse still waft through the streets each morning.
Pier Road & Endeavour Wharf
The Harbour in Whitby could tell many a story. It has seen adventurers set sail, whalers and fishing boats, and the most famous shipwreck just off the coast of the SS Rohilla, a hospital ship that ran aground in 1914. It was sailing from Scotland to Dunkirk when it got into difficulties. Eighty-three people lost their lives as frantic attempts were made to save everyone but the remainder of the 229 on board were saved. Today, the harbour area is full of shops and cafes with great views up to the Abbey across the Esk River.
The RNLI Lifeboat Museum is small but full of exciting exhibits, models, photographs and stories about the Service and its history. Visitors are made very welcome, and the dedicated people who work for the RNLI deserve nothing other than praise. The Town’s War Memorial is in a small square opposite the harbour. It is a distinctive modern design of an obelisk made from a piece of granite erected in 2013.
Get there: Pier Rd, Whitby, YO21 1YW
The River Esk flows right through the centre of Whitby to the North Sea. The Swing Bridge that crosses the River was built in Victorian times. It is for both vehicles and pedestrians, and when open, it stops many activities in the heart of Whitby for a brief time.
If your next plan is to eat, you will find a few places along Bridge Street only too happy to oblige. Whitby has quite rightly earned a reputation for some of the best fish and chips, and you must see what the fuss is about.
Get there: Bridge Street, Whitby, YO22 4BG
Explore the streets of Whitby with this video tour
This video tour takes you over the Swing Bridge to Bridge Street, along Sandgate, along Church Street and up the 199 Steps. Then, we head back down the steps and wander over to the west side of Whitby. This video follows us on our walking tour through the historic streets of Whitby.
Let us know your favourite street to wander down in Whitby in the comments.