Located in North Yorkshire, Whitby is a charming and fascinating seaside town. Steeped in legend and filled with attractions, it is a destination that attracts many tourists every year.
This town is considered the birthplace of Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’, as he took his inspiration from Whitby Abbey. It is also a town with strong connections to Captain Cook, as he lived and worked in the town before becoming a legendary explorer.
This is the perfect town for those looking for unique history and culture. It attracts all sorts of visitors, from families and couples through to Goths and more. It is a town of stark contrasts, with everything from its fascinating Abbey through to its Blue Flag beaches.
Although there are plenty of things to do in Whitby itself, there are also plenty of day trips you can enjoy if your stopping in Whitby for more than a few days. Here is a selection of day trips that are located within an hours drive of Whitby.
Take a day trip to York, around 1.15 hours drive from Whitby
York certainly has a number of sights and attractions that you will want to try for if you have the time. Clifford’s Tower is one of the most beautiful attractions in York, and it is a glorious symbol of England’s Medieval Kings. There is also the York Art Gallery, which houses some of the most stunning artwork in the whole of the UK. The Yorkshire Museum is yet another place that many people who visit York flock to, and it’s certainly worth checking out. Of course, no trip to York is complete without visiting the stunning York Minister Cathedral. This Cathedral is one of the largest of its kind in Northern Europe and the impressive building is one of the top tourist attractions in Yorkshire.
Around 1.15 hours drive from Whitby, York has a lot of different things to offer if you're considering a day trip. You will find some outstanding restaurants, including the famous “Jamie's Italian“, founded by Jamie Oliver and his Italian mentor, chef Gennaro Contaldo. York’s Chocolate Story is a fascinating place to visit if you have a sweet tooth. The Yorkboat river cruise will provide you with a tour of the area along the River Ouse, which is the perfect way to see certain parts of this historic city. York is really one of the best day trips you can take if you are staying in Whitby.
Eden Camp Museum, around 45 minutes from Whitby
For a fun and educational family day, a day trip to the Eden Camp Museum is a great idea. This is an award-winning attraction that enables you to learn about British social and military history from the onset of the First World War. There are many different ‘huts’ you can visit at Eden Camp, each of which offers a slice of fascinating history such as the rise of Hitler and how Britain prepared for the war.
If you're interested in the local history, check these other Whitby Museums.
Discover Staithes, around a 20-minute drive from Whitby
Staithes is an alluring little fishing village located on the Yorkshire Coast, just a short drive from Whitby. If the weather is good, head to Staithes and enjoy a few hours on the beach before relaxing in the Cod & Lobster pub in the harbour, where you can spend hours watching the world pass you by or enjoying some freshly cooked local food.
Real Staithes Day Tours will give you the opportunity to learn a lot about the area and see some truly beautiful scenery. The Captain Cook & Staithes Heritage Center is a small museum where you can see some interesting artifacts related to Captain Cook, who was born in Staithes. Although Staithes is a small fishing village, there are plenty of things to keep you entertained for a few hours, even if it is just walking around and soaking up its idyllic beauty.
Visit Robin Hoods Bay, a short 15-minute drive from Whitby
The charming fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay makes for a wonderful day trip. Part of the Dinosaur Coast, it is filled with attractions, beautiful beaches, fossils, rich history, and much more. You can enjoy a range of activities such as a visit to the Robin Hood’s Bay Museum or even an award-winning ghost walk. There is also plenty of opportunity for recreational outdoor fun.
Take a ride on the North York Moors Railway
If you want a fun day out for the whole family, take a ride on the North York Moors Railway. This heritage railway runs through the North Yorkshire Moors National Park. You can enjoy taking in some stunning scenery as you relax during your ride. The kids will love hopping aboard a steam or diesel train, you can look forward to mile upon mile of great scenery.
Visit Goathland, a short 20-minute drive from Whitby
The charming village of Goathland is fun for kids and adults alike. Fans of the TV series “Heartbeat” will know it as ‘Aidensfield’, as it was used in the popular series. It also features in the Harry Potter movies, so the kids will love spending time there too. The heritage station in the village was used as ‘Hogsmeade’ station in the movies. In addition to this, there are some great walks and hikes to enjoy in this area.
Head to Flamingo Land, approximately 40 mins from Whitby
You will find plenty of exciting family fun waiting for you at Flamingo Land. This is a great way to spend the day as a family, with plenty to see and do. You can enjoy the thrill of the rides in the theme park, explore nature and wildlife at the zoo and conservation centre, and even look forward to educational experiences for the kids.
Pay a visit to Scarborough, approximately 45 mins from Whitby
Whether you are looking for fun and attractions or exciting nightlife, Scarborough has plenty to offer. You can enjoy beautiful beaches, lots of events, and many attractions. Some of the key attractions to explore here include the Sea Life Centre, Scarborough Castle, and the Alpamare Waterpark amongst others. You can also enjoy a trip on an open-top tour bus to make the most of your day here.
Explore the North York Moors
For more than half a century, these moors have formed a National Park. The beauty of these moors is astounding, with a huge carpet of purple heather as far as the eye can see. If you love nature and the outdoors, you will love exploring these moors. There are many paths and tracks where you can enjoy hiking and cycling, making it a great choice for outdoor enthusiasts.
Enjoy a visit to Bridlington, approximately 1.15 hours from Whitby
The seaside town of Bridlington is a great place to spend the day. You can relax on stunning, family-friendly beaches, explore the fascinating Old Town, spend time in the historic harbour, and enjoy traditional seaside entertainment. You can take an open-top bus tour and enjoy the sites in comfort, visit Sewerby Hall and Gardens, or try out a number of adventure trails.
Day trips that offer fun, excitement, and history, all within a short drive of Whitby
With the wide range of day trips that you can take when stopping in Whitby, you will never be short of things to keep you entertained. These trips offer a combination of fun, excitement, history, culture, and much more. By adding some of these day trips to your itinerary, you can make your visit to Whitby all the more memorable.
If you would like to add some more day trips to this list, please comment below.