Have Yourself A Merry Whitby Christmas! Christmas Shopping In Whitby; Find The Best Christmas Gifts In Whitby
Whitby is highly unlikely to be the first place you think of when it comes to Christmas and all the festivities. After all, Whitby is far better known for its gothic leanings and being home to the tale of Dracula. However, just as Dracula could metamorphose from beast to man, Whitby can do the same from spooky to Christmas spectacular!
As the beach huts are packed away and the donkeys are stabled for the winter, Whitby becomes a town of woolly hats and scarves rather than buckets and spades. That doesn’t mean, however, the beaches and streets are empty, rather they are just full of people all wrapped up.
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By mid-November, Whitby is all geared up for Christmas with its festive tinsel adorned trees, twinkling lights and the aroma from the hot chestnut stands. The cobbled streets resemble a Charles Dickens novel with their charming brightly lit shop windows displaying their festive wares.
Our Finest Gifts We Bring, Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum
(The Little Drummer Boy)
If you’re looking for something a little different, from somewhere a bit different, to give as Christmas gifts this year then look no further than the stores of Whitby. Here you will find fantastic independent retailers, like Whitby Whole Foods, selling anything and everything you could wish to find.
Honeyz is a family run business launched in 2005 and selling the finest, most gorgeous, natural, and fun homemade bath products. Made daily and only in small batches, Honeyz use only the finest ingredients in their wares.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, that bath products are not an unusual gift, but you’re wrong! At Honeyz you will find unique creations such as massage bars for rubbing into your skin after your bath and shampoo bars that look like soap but are a shampoo. Weird but fabulous, yes?
If that wasn’t enough, have you thought about having a Christmas soap cake? No, well, I bet you will now. Honeyz offers a bespoke soap cake making service with your input on colour, design, and fragrance welcomed. Imagine your family’s reaction to your Rudolph and Santa created from soap!
The Green Dragon
The chances are the men in your life are not going to be half as impressed with a soap cake, bath bombs or bath marbles as your female friends and relatives are. Don’t despair, however, as Whitby offers a great array of gifts for the men too.
The Green Dragon is a real ale and craft beer supplier that pride themselves on studying the trends of ale and bringing them to their customers. They stock international beers, largely Belgian and American, and a fantastic range of locally sourced ones too. With a choice of over 200 varieties, you are sure to find something the men in your life will love.
From beer to glass although not the sort of glass you put your beer in! Rather, Whitby glass makes the ornamental sort such as lucky ducks, flowers in vases, animals, and teddy bears. They also stock the John Beswick Snowman collection based on the Raymond Briggs story.
Whitby Glass have been working magic with glass since 1958 and I dare you to try pass and not enter. A glistening, brightly lit window displaying all the colours of the rainbow means it’s just not possible. You will not be able to resist the urge to go in.
Christmas would not be Christmas without a little chocolate shaped like Santa, a snowman or Rudolph, and in this Whitby will not let you down. Simply head to Justin Chocolatier close to the 199 steps beneath Whitby Abbey and enter chocolate heaven. This gem of a shop also sells the best tasting fudge, chocolate slabs and cannonball truffles.
Speaking of being let down, no trip to Whitby Christmas shopping would be complete without visiting at least one of the fine Whitby Jet Shops. We recommend Ebor Jetworks on the historic East side of Whitby where you will find this fantastic 17th-century workshop.
Owned by Sarah and David Steele, Ebor Jetworks create fabulous gift and jewellery pieces using only the finest and hardest Whitby Jet. Jewellery collections include British icons, Whitby jet and macronite, the ammonite collection and antique pieces. Gifts include thimbles, key-rings, cocktail swizzlers, and money clips. Be assured no one will be let down by the gift of Whitby jet at Christmas!
O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree
Thy Candles Shine So Brightly
(O Christmas Tree)
As you wander around Whitby Christmas shopping, no doubt you will stop to admire its array of fabulously decorated and lit trees. Believe me, however, when I say that you have not seen anything yet, or until, you have visited St Mary’s Church trees!
As one of the most prominent landmarks in Whitby, St Mary’s Church sits high above the harbour and beneath the Abbey. Its graveyard is the very place that Dracula was seen in his canine form running into. Forget Dracula, however, as at Christmas St Mary’s Church is a place of festive wonder.
Every year, at Christmas time the people, businesses and schools of Whitby decorate and display a tree to be placed inside St Mary’s. In total, you can expect to see over 90 of them! Many of these trees are in memorial of family members no longer with us but remembered at this special time.
Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire
Jack Frost Nipping At Your Nose
(The Christmas Song)
Chances are that after climbing and descending the 199 Steps and shopping Whitby’s delights you will now be chilly, hungry, and in need of a hot chocolate to warm you up. Whitby has many options when it comes to warming your cockles and satiating your hunger but here is a couple we recommend.
The Willow Branch
Located on Golden Lion Bank, the Willow Branch is a coffee lounge offering light lunches, cakes, and scones, freshly ground coffee, hot chocolate and tea. They also hold a liquor license in case you’d like a little warming nip!
Bothams Of Whitby
Dating back 150 years this family-run bakery and cafe is still in the hands of the original proprietors family and uses the original recipes. This shows in their famous Whitby Gingerbread loaf which is plain and simply to die for! Do not be fooled into thinking this bakery and cafe is just a bakery and cafe, however, as it’s not.
Bothams Of Whitby also offers a fabulous range of gifts ideal for giving at Christmas. These include mugs, afternoon tea gift vouchers and for the men in your life malt whiskey hampers, landlords suppers and kipper hampers.
I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas
I Don’t Think Santa Claus Will Mind, Do You?
(I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas)
Now that you’re warm and satiated you need to get back to your Christmas shopping because there are so many more Whitby stores that you just cannot miss. So without further ado, let’s get on with it!
Ok, kicking off with the weird but wonderful we have Natural Wonders where you will find……..drum roll………. All things fossilised! Yes, that’s right, the coast that Whitby is on is known as the Jurassic coast where lots of fossils have been found making it’s the perfect place for a fossil store.
Opened in 1998 by Byron Blessed, Natural Wonders has every kind of fossil that you can imagine from ammonite to trilobites, vertebrates, and dinosaur. They even have museum quality pieces. These, however, are not for the faint of pocket and can run into the thousands of pounds!
Who wouldn’t want to own a Megalodon tooth though, right? More affordable pieces are also available including piranha-like extinct fish, T-Rex claws, Triceratops teeth, and fossilised spiders.
You don’t, however, need to be into these things to find a wonderful Christmas present here as their ranges of jewellery have been made with everyone in mind. For those serious about their witchcraft, all pieces have been made with respect and dedication to the goddesses and deities involved.
Whitby Photograph Shop
If you or your loved one’s love Whitby you can take a real piece of it home with you when you buy a photographic product from Whitby Photograph Shop. All photographs here have been taken by Glenn Kilpatrick who loves Whitby and photography and it shows.
There is a scene for everyone including the Abbey, harbour, Whitby in the snow and my personal favourite Whitby fog at the bottom of the 199 Steps, it’s stunning. You can also have these scenes in a variety of ways such as coasters, phone cases, calendars, and prints.
It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas
Everywhere you go
(It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas)
Speaking of wonderful views of Whitby if you go down to the front marina car park during the second weekend of November you will see a fabulous sight. This is the spot that hosts the annual Whitby Christmas festival!
Hosted by many Whitby and outside artists and artisans the Whitby Christmas Festival has something for everyone. There’s market stalls, Santa's sleigh, fairground rides and Santa himself. During the evening there will be music and dance, storytelling, a world war one fashion show, a lantern parade, and fireworks.
Later We’ll Have Some Pumpkin Pie
And we’ll Do Some Caroling
(Rockin Around The Christmas Tree)
If you decide to stay late in Whitby during your Christmas shop visit so you can see the fireworks or lantern parade you’re going to need to get something to eat. Whitby again, like with cafes, has many options to choose from but here are a couple of the best.
Here's our guide to:
The Duke Of York
With its traditional hospitality, you can relax and enjoy the harbour views at The Duke Of York. With an affordable menu packed with pub grub favourites, you’re sure to find something you fancy.
Food is served from 12-9pm daily in their historic decor lounge that has been trimmed up with harpoons and bronze propellers.
The Black Horse Inn
In the heart of old Whitby town is the fabulous Black Horse Inn with its fascinating history. Not only has this building being a pub, but it has also been a funeral director, spirit warehouse and even, dare I say it, brothel!
With its Victorian style and 16th-century roots, you may expect the usual pub food here, but that’s not what you’ll get. The Black Horse Inn favours tapas with delights such as Yorkshire cheese boards, tapenade, bread, and oil dips and olives with pate all being on offer.