When visiting Whitby, it can be easy to stick to the tried and tested tourist hotspots (no shame in that), however, sometimes you need a change. We have compiled a list of some hidden gems in and around Whitby.
Situated just down the road from Whitby Abbey, and on the doorstep of Whitby Holiday Park, Saltwick Bay is a small beach that was once used an alum quarry back when mining was one of the biggest industries in Whitby. These days it’s only a beach where families spend the day collecting fossils or walking their dogs, though Saltwick Bay is still relatively unknown, and it’s mostly frequented by local fossil hunters. You can usually find ammonite, reptile fossils, and shells on the beach though some have been known to find Jet, but in 1824 the biggest fossil was found. The now famous fossil of Teleosaurus Chapman was found in the Alum Shale whilst it was being excavated, a carpenter noticed the fossil and dug it out himself, then sold it for £7 to preserve the fossil. It sits in the Whitby Museum and is the most intact fossilised Teleosaurus Chapman ever found, with only a few bones missing.
Raithwaite Estate Gardens
Most of the places I find I have just stumbled across whilst walking the dog, and Raithwaite Estate Gardens was one of those gems I found whilst walking aimlessly. I obviously clipped our dog on the lead as we entered the breath-taking estate, I had no idea I had made it onto Raithwate Estate Gardens until I saw the hotel. I spent a while walking through the garden, it is truly beautiful and the dog loved all the different smells she was getting from the flowers. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and I thoroughly recommend it.
This one is a little different than the others on our list as it isn’t hidden within nature, in fact, Natural Wonders sits just next door to the Captain Cook Museum on Grape Lane. Owned by Paleontologist, Byron Blessed, Natural Wonders is an interesting little fossil shop and gallery. Most of the fossils are found and prepared by Byron himself so you can even talk to the lovely man about the history and location of the fossils. There are also lovely gems and crystals in there that can range from £1 to £1000. I tend to go in for the unique fossils and relics that can be found, my best purchase were some spearheads that are always a talking point when anyone ever comes to the house.
If you walk from the Hayburn Wyke Inn, through the wooded valley, this leads to a private little sea inlet, which is a suggestion as to where the name “Hayburn Wyke” comes from. Hayburn is an Anglo Saxon word for ‘hunting enclosure by a stream’ and Wyke is the Norse word meaning ‘sea inlet or creek’ which suggests that many years ago the little inlet was used as a hunting place that was enclosed. Carry on your walk through the woods and you’ll eventually stumble upon the most beautiful little cove with a waterfall as your backdrop. Not many people know about this because of how small and out of the way it is, but once you find it you’ll never forget it.
Although Mulgrave woods is a very well-known walk in Whitby, the castle that is nestled inside of it is still somewhat of a secret. The castle you will find is one of three, this one is the second built and was obtained during the Norman Conquest. It’s hidden well in Mulgrave Woods but is easily accessible by foot and the paths are very clear, when you get to the castle you will even find information posts that tell you all about the history of the Norman Castle, who it was built by, and how it was used. There is plenty of it left to walk around and every now and again, if the moles have been up, they push up old pieces of the castle that were buried long ago.
We hope you liked our hidden gems of Whitby. Please share your own hidden gems by commenting below. We will add your suggestions to our article.