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Illuminated Abbey 2021, Our Opening Night Review

We were lucky enough to be invited by English Heritage to the Illuminated Abbey opening night at Whitby Abbey. We toasted marshmallows watched live theatre and witnessed Whitby Abbey drenched in all the colours of the rainbow. 

We love to visit Whitby Abbey on a usual day and be surrounded by its immense history, however, visiting Whitby Abbey lit up for the Illuminated Abbey event is truly spectacular and not to be missed! Here we answer a few of your questions, let you know what we thought of the event and if you're thinking of visiting, why you should! The event is running each evening until 31st October 2021. 

The Illuminated Abbey

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Why should we visit the Illuminated Abbey Event?

We were impressed immediately as we entered the event, the staff were all very kind, friendly and helpful. We chose to grab ourselves some marshmallows first and toast them over the fire pits to warm up while we waited for the actors to begin.

The Illuminated Abbey Marshmallows

We think this event is a brilliant value for money and a fun way to celebrate Halloween. Your ticket gives to access to the entire event and the museum too which is worth a wander around to learn about the history of this wonderful place.

The Illuminated Abbey Chestnuts

Is the event family-friendly?

Yes, the event is very family-friendly, we saw plenty of families with young children having an amazing time. There are lots of things to get involved with, marshmallows to toast, food to enjoy and it's a great way to spend time outdoors together under the rainbow lights of the Abbey.

The Illuminated Abbey Actor

There are actors roaming around in victorian costumes to interact with, we saw them having fun and chasing the odd person around. They stay in character the entire time so if you have very young children just be slightly wary of that. Also, don't worry if you're a scared adult (like me!) they can easily be avoided too.

The Illuminated Abbey Actors

What does the event entail?

Guided by a trail of lights we were taken on a route around the Abbey to meet different victorian ghostly characters. Each giving us their stories and tales of unusual events and goings-on that evening.

The Illuminated Abbey Theatre

There were lots of Victorian characters wandering around the event trying to deal with a force beyond their control that has been unleashed on Whitby. What is it? Can it be reasoned with? What does it want? We helped the characters stop it before it took over the Abbey and began its reign of terror.

Will there be food and drink available?

The Illuminated Abbey Food

Along with incredible performances and illuminations, you can also enjoy a range of tasty food and drink. Available here will be locally sourced fish and chips from Fuscos or you can get your hands on a burger and sausage sandwich made with local meats. Head over to the fire pits for toasted marshmallows and grab a drink by popping to the trailer bar, for a hot gin, hot chocolate or hot mead.

Don't forget to take your camera!

Take a camera to this event and you won't be sorry. Capture dark history this Halloween and take photo's of Bram Stoker's inspiration in a completely new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations once again.

The Illuminated Abbey Rainbow

Halloween is one of our favourite occasions to celebrate. We just love this time of year and it was so wonderful to celebrate gothic literature and all things supernatural.

How do you can tickets?

This event is held from 23 Oct – 31 Oct 2021. 

Tickets are available on the door, or in advance via the English Heritage website here. Advance bookings offer a 10% discount. 

Please be aware the Abbey closes for general admission at 5 pm and will re-open at 6 pm for Illuminated Abbey. Find more information and buy tickets here.

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