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Whitby’s Illuminated Abbey 2023, Review And Best Bits!

We visited Illuminated Abbey 2023, and it was an experience like no other. We toasted marshmallows, drank hot chocolate and bumped into Dracula himself.

It’s back, we were excited to visit this year’s Illuminated Abbey event and Join English Heritage for an unforgettable evening. So, we wrapped up warm and headed out with the family for a night of spooky fun. We love to visit Whitby Abbey on a usual day; however, seeing it lit up for its annual Illuminated Abbey event is spectacular. Here are the best bits from our visit.


A magical evening

Illuminated Abbey 2023 Toasting Marshmallows.

We arrived at Whitby Abbey shortly before 6 PM to make sure that we had enough time to capture some memorable shots, indulge in some hot chocolate, and roast marshmallows before the start of the performance.

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The Illuminated Abbey Chestnuts

There were a variety of food trucks onsite, offering delicious options such as fish and chips, burgers, and more. For those with a sweet tooth, hot drinks and other treats were on offer, too. And for those in the mood for something stronger, alcoholic beverages were also available. There was even a traditional stand selling roasted chestnuts. It was the perfect way to kick off a magical evening at the Abbey.


The performance

Illuminated Abbey 2023 Performance.

What’s Halloween at Whitby Abbey without Dracula? We loved the live theatre performance on the night. The actors were incredible and so engaging. You follow a trail of lights around the Abbey and meet various characters from the Dracula novel.

The story continues from previous performances at the Abbey. However, you don’t need to have seen the other for this to make sense. You visit each character who shares stories and tales of unusual events. We won’t ruin it for you, but a seriously spooky surprise is at the end!

Illuminated Abbey 2023 Dracula Performance.

The performance starts at 6.30 PM and is repeated at 7.45 PM, except tonight, Friday 27th Oct, when the second performance begins at 8.15 PM.


A family-friendly event

Illuminated Abbey 2023.

The event is very family-friendly. There will be actors roaming around in costume that you can interact with, too; remember, they stay in character the entire time! The actors got really involved with our little one and even checked his teeth were not fangs; after all, the Abbey is now a Vampire free zone!

We saw plenty of families with young children having a fantastic time. There are many things to get involved with, and it’s a great way to spend time outdoors together.

We love any excuse to dress up, and everyone at Whitby Abbey loves to see your costumes too. Dressing up is always encouraged! Just make sure to wrap up warm, as Whitby Abbey can be cold and windy due to its position on the cliff.


There’s still time to get your tickets!

Family Friendly Event at Whitby Abbey.

This event was brilliant value for money and a different way to celebrate the spooky season. Your ticket gives you access to the entire event and the museum, too, which is worth a wander around to learn about the history of Whitby Abbey.

The event is held outside of site opening hours; therefore, it does not include entry during the day. You can buy an admission separately to visit the site before the event.

Illuminated Abbey 2023

  • Date: Sun 22nd – Tue 31st October 2023
  • Time: 6 pm – 9 pm

You can buy your tickets on the English Heritage website. Pre-booking guarantees your entry to Illuminated Abbey on the night you choose, and buying online saves you 10%. Or you can purchase tickets at the door on the night.


2023 Illuminated Whitby Abbey.

Come along tonight, Friday, 27th October, for an extraordinary evening celebrating Whitby Goth Weekend! Wear your best Gothic get-up, practice your best chilling poses and strut your stuff down their ‘bat’ walk. They will be looking for the best-dressed Goth, best-dressed Goth dog and mini Goth to award some very special prizes. Click here for info on prizes and full T&Cs.

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