After many trips to Whitby, we have discovered some hidden gems we feel you need to see or visit. They are just as worthy as the famous spots!
When you’re visiting Whitby it’s easy to stick to the tried and tested famous tourist spots. There’s no shame in this, who doesn’t want a photo on the 199 steps or to walk through the ruins of the Abbey? However, there are so many hidden gems in and around Whitby, we have listed some of our favourites for you to note down for your next trip.
Situated just down the road from Whitby Abbey is Saltwick Bay. It’s a small beach that was once used as an alum quarry back when mining was one of the biggest industries in Whitby. These days it’s a place where families can spend the day collecting fossils or walking their dogs.
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, in 1824 the biggest fossil was found. The 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.
Directions: Saltwick Bay, Whitby, YO22 4JU
Raithwaite Estate Gardens
Most of the places we have found we have just stumbled across whilst wandering around, and Raithwaite Estate Gardens was one of those gems we found whilst walking aimlessly. The estate is beautiful and we had no idea we had made it onto Raithwate Estate Gardens until we saw the hotel. we spent a while walking through the garden. It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and we thoroughly recommend it.
Directions: Sandsend Road, Whitby, YO21 3ST
This one is a little different from 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 gems and crystals in there that can range from £1 to £1000. we tend to go in for the unique fossils and relics that can be found, our best purchase was some spearheads that are always a talking point when anyone ever comes to the house.
If you love fossils, take a look at our Whitby fossil soaps here.
Directions: 20 Grape Lane, Whitby, YO22 4BA
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, 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.
Directions: Mulgrave Castle, Lythe, Whitby, YO21 3RJ
W Hamond Museum of Whitby Jet
If you fancy learning more about the Jet you’ll see in the numerous shop windows in Whitby then visit the Museum of Whitby Jet. It is home to the world’s largest piece of original Whitby Jet in the rough and many other beautiful, interesting, and priceless objects.
The museum is located midway along Church Street, so don’t walk past it! The Museum of Whitby Jet homes an unrivaled collection of Whitby Jet as well as other important historical items involving the Whitby Jet industry. Curated by world-renowned Whitby Jet expert, Rebecca Tucker the collections change continuously with new pieces of antique Whitby Jet being discovered every day. This means that no two visits to the museum will ever be the same.
Directions: Wesley Hall, Church St, Whitby YO22 4DE
Fortunes Smokehouse and Shop
Fortunes are one of the most traditional businesses in Whitby. Located on Henrietta Street they still smoke kippers just like they used to all those years ago. The smell is simply divine, you’ll smell it before you see it! To peep inside the famous Fortune’s smokehouse is to awaken your senses to the flavours, tastes, and smells of long ago!
You can buy kippers in their shop which have been smoked the old-fashioned way. Their kippers are recommended in many Good Food Guides for their superior taste and flavour and people travel from all over Britain and from abroad to try them.
Directions: 22 Henrietta St, Whitby, YO22 4DW
Visit Falling Foss Tea Rooms
The Falling Foss Tea Rooms are the ideal place to rest for a few minutes and enjoy a cup of tea and a cake. Admire the wonderful view of a waterfall as you sit outside and enjoy the sound of the flowing water. The children can explore the forest and let their imaginations run wild as they explore the outdoors. It’s a rustic, outdoor setting. Think picnic tables and wellington boots rather than fine china and linen table cloths. Falling Foss Tea Rooms are open seasonally from April until September.
Directions: Midge Hall, Whitby, YO22 5JD
For a small fee, you can climb up the steps of the famous Whitby West Pier Lighthouse and look out at the gorgeous view, try not to get too dizzy! You will see the town like never before.
You will be soaking up a piece of history that is so important to Whitby. In Whitby, lighthouses have played a vital role in making sure sailors made it to port safely, it was also bombarded with shells during World War Two.
Directions: Whitby, YO21 3PY
Goathland and the Malayan Spout Waterfall
Goathland isn’t quite the secret spot it used to be! It has become an increasingly popular tourist destination over the years. Famously used as the location for the television show Heartbeat. The train station in the area is also linked with the Harry Potter films as well.
You can also park at the Mallyan Spout Hotel and walk down to the Mallyan Spout waterfall. It’s a beautiful forest setting with a breathtaking waterfall.
Sherlocks Coffee Shop
The pretty Victorian-themed Sherlocks Coffee Shop is one of the must-visit cafes in Whitby. It’s dog-friendly too. Their tempting menu features a seriously tempting range of cakes so you will have to go back for multiple visits to try everything.
Sherlocks Coffee Shop can be found right next to the harbour so it’s in an ideal spot if you want to carry on exploring or go on one of the many tours available.
Directions: 10 Flowergate, Whitby, YO21 3BA
We hope you liked our hidden gems of Whitby. Please share your own hidden gems by commenting below.