Whitby has plenty to discover, from exciting events to visiting museums. Here’s our list of 10 free things to do in Whitby.
If you’re visiting Whitby on a budget, don’t worry, there are plenty of free things to do in Whitby. These 10 ideas will allow you to watch your budget, spend a little less money but still have a fantastic time.
There are many activities and sights to see that cost absolutely nothing. From breathtakingly beautiful coastal views to incredible historical architecture, this small town has something for everyone. You could stroll along the pier, visit many museums, or even find a piece of Whitby jet. Here’s all the information you need on what you can do in Whitby without breaking your budget.
1. Fossil hunt on the beaches
Affectionately known as the ‘Dinosaur Coast’, The cliffs and coastline around Whitby provide an ideal space for fossil hunters looking for many different types of fossils and even Whitby jet. You don’t need fancy tools or equipment; just household items will do, with a bit of knowledge and luck. Fossil hunting is a popular pastime for Whitby locals and visitors. Plenty of fascinating things are found along the shoreline, from dinosaur remains to ammonites. However, it’s important to remember to check tide times before heading out. You can learn more about fossil hunting and the best places in Whitby to give this a go by reading our fossil hunting article.
2. Visit the Whitby Lifeboat Museum
You can visit the Whitby Lifeboat Museum in Whitby completely free. The museum features a variety of exhibits, interactive displays, and even some original equipment used by RNLI lifeboat crews. Overall, visiting the RNLI Museum in Whitby is an educational and enjoyable experience. It’s worth seeing and leaving with newfound knowledge about how rescue operations have evolved. Although free to visit, Whitby RNLI always accepts donations for their incredible work. You can donate and find more information here.
3. Walk up the 199 Steps
The 199 steps in Whitby are an iconic landmark in the area. Initially built for access to St Mary’s Church, they symbolise Whitby’s religious history and the incredible parts of its culture. Some historians believe that St Hilda would use the steps as a test to confirm the faith of her followers. This tested the Christian faith of those who wished to worship in St Mary’s Church. You might be out of breath when you reach the top, but we promise it’s also a great place to get a beautiful photo of Whitby. You can learn more about the 199 Steps in our in-depth article.
4. Visit the Whitby Jet Heritage Centre
You can visit a Victorian jet workshop totally for free. The workshop was discovered in the attic of a derelict property in Burns Yard. It was found by a local builder sealed in the building. The workshop was carefully removed and set up at the Whitby Jet Heritage Centre premises shortly after its discovery so that many people may view the only remaining example of a Victorian jet workshop. You can Visit the Whitby Jet Heritage Centre and Shop and view pieces of restored Jet too.
5. Enjoy Whitby’s Beaches
Whitby is home to some of the most beautiful and impressive beaches in the United Kingdom. The beaches here are stunning, especially Whitby West Cliff, a large and sandy beach with an expanse of rocks that runs from Upgang Beach to the mouth of the River Esk. This is the most popular beach in the area; here, you will find Whitby Surf School.
Tate Hill is a small, sandy beach within the sheltered harbour entrance. It’s a popular place to relax, watch boats go in and out of the harbour, soak up some sun, and hunt for fossils. Dogs are allowed on Tate Hill Beach year-round, and it’s a popular spot for campfires, picnic lovers and metal detecting. You can find more information about Whitby’s beaches in our extensive article here.
6. Visit Falling Foss
Falling Foss is a waterfall you can visit near Whitby. It’s a popular spot for locals and tourists, and its unique beauty will take your breath away. Falling Foss has been described as one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Yorkshire due to its sheer force, with water plunging into a deep pool at the bottom. Many different plants and shrubs surround it, creating various colours that add to its charm. Plenty of trails surround it, so you can explore the area without getting too wet! It makes an excellent and affordable day out, and you can even visit the Falling Foss Tea Garden for a cuppa! Find more information about Falling Foss and how you can visit here.
7. Walk along Whitby’s Piers
Whitby’s Piers are fantastic to photograph. Wander along or sit down and enjoy some fish and chips. Perhaps best of all is that walking along Whitby’s Piers is free! It doesn’t require any special equipment or outfit. All you need are comfortable shoes and some energy to explore this picturesque part of the North Yorkshire coast. A top tip is to visit from June to November; you might even be lucky enough to spot bottlenose dolphins from the piers. They follow shoals of mackerel and herring swimming south from the Arctic. In addition, several whales, porpoises, and dolphin species can be spotted off the Whitby coast. Learn more about Whitby’s Piers and their history here.
8. Walk the Cleveland Way Coastal Path
The Cleveland Way Coastal Path follows the cliffs just south of Whitby, offering stunning sea views and rugged landscapes. The Cleveland Way is one of England’s longest National Trails, stretching from Helmsley to Filey. The walk near Whitby covers about 36 miles of coastline, with plenty of nearby villages and attractions to explore on your journey. However, you don’t have to tackle it all in one go. There are plenty of places to rest or spend the night along the route. You can learn more about the Cleveland Way and how you can access it by reading our article here.
9. Cycle the Cinder Track
The Cinder Track is 21 miles long and is a way of exploring the spectacular North Yorkshire coast on foot or by bike. This captivating route stretches from Whitby to Scarborough. The old railway line may have closed in 1965, but its remnants remain today for adventurers who want to soak up every bit of scenery and history along their journey. You can learn all you need to know about the Cinder Track here.
10. Visit Pannett Park
Visiting Pannett Park in Whitby is a must for anyone who loves nature and the beauty of the outdoors. This park offers excellent views, plenty of walking and cycling trails, beautifully landscaped gardens, and fascinating wildlife. It’s also home to Whitby’s Museum, telling stories of life in historic Whitby through its displays and interactive activities. You can learn more about visiting Pannett Park here.
We hope that you have found this article helpful. With plenty of free things to see and do in Whitby, you will make fantastic memories and get great value for your trip. Let us know if we have missed anything you think needs adding to this article in the comments.