It's no secret that we love Whitby, it’s a beautiful place to visit all year round. However, we actually favour visiting during the Winter. Here are 8 things to do in Whitby in winter.
Though it gets busiest in the summer, many people favour coming during the winter months. Thankfully, there are plenty of things to do in Whitby in winter if you decide to visit.
This could be due to it being quieter but there’s something about Whitby during the months of October to March, it’s peaceful and the true beauty comes out when it’s not bustling with people. For a moment you can stand still and take in the hauntingly beautiful atmosphere.
To convince you that Whitby is still as entertaining in the colder months, we have compiled a list of 8 things to do in Whitby in winter, get ready to pack your bags!
1. Wrap up and enjoy a Ghost Walk
You’re going to have to fetch your coat, hat, and scarf to wrap up warm for this one. Don’t worry it’s completely worth it. There are various ghost walks available in Whitby to scare yourself silly but the one we recommend the most is Rose Ryland's ghost walk.
Rose Rylands is a locally born storyteller. Rose shares intimate knowledge of the coast and surroundings, along with local folklore, history, mysteries and legends. By private booking only, she runs a variety of guided walks, including guided walking tours of Whitby and ghost walks in Robin Hood’s Bay and Whitby.
Don’t worry, the walk is family-friendly and pet-friendly and Rose is incredibly interesting with her knowledge on haunted Whitby, it is also a great way for tourists to be shown around the town. She also provides storytelling evenings for visiting school groups, as well as public speaking for weddings and events. All walks and events can be found on her website.
2. Visit for Goth Weekend
Twice a year Whitby is flooded with goths that have come from far and wide to celebrate Whitby Goth Weekend. There is one event in April, and another in October, which is usually over the Halloween weekend, the latter of the two is definitely the most popular.
The whole weekend is packed with different events; music, theatre, and people adorn themselves in beautiful victorian goth, traditional goth, and steampunk gear. It’s a wonderful sight. The whole of Whitby becomes an exciting place filled with people buzzing and the town is thrown back in time with this amazing event.
3. Try your hand at some Fossil Hunting
Get ready to wrap up warm again, but trust us when we say it’s worth it. Whitby has been well known for its fossil collecting and is even documented as having the most intact fossil of the Teleosaurus Chapmani (an early ancestor of the crocodile).
The best beach to go to for fossil hunting is Saltwick Bay, which is just near Whitby Abbey, Saltwick Bay is so full of fossils that you don’t even need to painfully look through all the rocks for a hint of a fossil, they are easily found. From dinosaur bones to dinosaur faeces, everything has been found on this beach.
The beach is relatively quiet during the winter as it’s a bit of a hidden gem in Whitby, you’ll usually have the beach to yourself. You can now book guided fossil hunting trips with palaeontologist Byron Blessed.
4. Ride the North York Moors Railway
To escape the cold a little bit you can hop aboard the North York Moors Railway, there are several events run throughout the year including the very popular Pullman Dining Experience which lets you watch the beautiful scenery of the North Yorks Moors pass by as you sample some gorgeous food and wine. It’s a wonderful experience for adults, but if you have kids there are other daily opportunities for them to experience the famous National Park from the warmth and excitement of a train.
This October half-term (2021), you can bring the whole family to experience a sensory light and sound journey on board their new Light Spectacular Express. This is an hour-long round trip, with onboard narration and music. It departs from Pickering Station for Levisham Station every evening at 6 pm and 7.45 pm from 23 to 31 October 2o21.
5. Witness the wonderful Illuminated Abbey
There isn't anywhere spookier to visit at Halloween than Bram Stoker's inspiration itself. Visit Illuminated Abbey with awe and wonder as it is bathed in dramatic illuminations. Don't forget to take your camera as you capture around the gothic ruins lit up with all the colours of the rainbow, you will never have seen it as magical as this before. This is an evening of Victorian Gothic entertainment beneath the soaring illuminated remains of Whitby Abbey, an evening suitable for the entire family.
6. Step back in time at Eden Camp
Eden Camp is a 50-minute drive outside of Whitby, however, it is definitely worth the travel time. It’s one of the biggest museums in the UK which are solely dedicated to military history, more specifically World War 2, it is located on an old POW camp.
The museum is a fantastic day for all the family and somewhere that children love, even giving them the opportunity to learn whilst having fun. Don’t worry if you have a dog, dogs are allowed to also learn the history of World War 2 so long as they are on a lead and kept under control at all times!
7. Spend the day at Robin Hood’s Bay
You can still enjoy a beach walk in the winter sun. If you’re a dog lover your dog will thank you for it too. The beach is dog friendly so you are free to roam the entire stretch with your four-legged friend in tow. Then rest up in the Bay Hotel for a pint or a warm-up with a hot chocolate!
Those who love history can stop by Robin Hoods Bay Museum. There are fishing, shipping, history and geology displays. You can also learn about the shipwrecks that used to be a common occurrence in Robin Hood’s Bay. Learn about the fishing and smuggling village whilst having fun.
8. Simply wander around wintery Whitby!
Finally, you could just wander around beautiful Whitby, enjoy fish and chips and cosy up in front of a log fire in a local pub for the evening! The list is endless. Soaking up the atmosphere around the town in the colder months is one of our favourite things to do in Whitby in winter.
We're imagining we have inspired you and you’re already digging out your thermals and your biggest coat ready to take a trip this Winter. We certainly will be!