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Follow The Whitby Dracula Trail, A Fun Activity For Kids And Adults

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The Whitby Dracula Trail is an exciting adventure that takes you through Whitby. This trail is perfect for kids and adults who love exploring and discovering new things.

It’s an excellent opportunity to learn about Bram Stoker’s connections to Whitby while having fun exploring the town. Following the trail, you’ll discover exciting facts about Bram Stoker’s famous novel, Dracula, and see the places that inspired the author. So, let’s go; fangs and cape are optional.

1. Starting point for the Whitby Dracula Trail: Bram Stoker’s Memorial Bench

Bram Stoker Memorial Bench.
Bram Stoker Memorial Bench.

Did you know that there’s a bench in Whitby dedicated to Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula? The bench is called Bram Stoker’s Bench and was erected in April 1980 by the Council and the Dracula Society.

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It offers a stunning view of the East Cliff, the same view Stoker had when conceiving the novel. Bram Stoker’s Bench is the perfect place to start this trail!

Bram Stoker’s Bench, Whitby YO21 3QA

You’ll find the East Crescent on the right-hand side, behind the seat. This area was established in the 1850s to accommodate summer visitors and was initially known as ‘The Crescent.’ One of the houses on The Crescent is where Mina and her friend Lucy are enjoying their summer holiday.

Interestingly, at no.7 lives the lawyer hired by Count Dracula, who was responsible for managing the import of his mysterious shipment from Transylvania, consisting of fifty cases of common earth.

2. Cross the top of Khyber Pass and take the steps leading to the East Crescent

Looking down from the West Cliff to Khyber Pass.
Looking down from the West Cliff to Khyber Pass.

Stroll down the pavement until you reach the junction with North Terrace, right beside the Royal Hotel. At the edge of the cliff overlooking the West Pier, Mina takes a break in her search for Lucy, who sleepwalks at night. As she looks out towards the churchyard, she spots a figure in white that she thinks she recognises and what appears to be a dark shape bending over it.

Royal Hotel, West Cliff, Whitby YO21 3HA

3. Walk under the Whalebone Arch and follow the steps down

Whalebone Arch in Whitby
Whalebone Arch.

At the top of these stairs, the girls pause to watch the sunset on their way home for tea. They see a dark figure sitting on their favourite churchyard seat and two glowing red light points.

Mina imagines these might be reflections from the sunset and the church windows. Lucy utters the words ‘His red eyes again’ in a dreamlike state.

Whalebone Arch, North Terrace, Whitby YO21 3HA

4. Follow the steps down to the bottom of Khyber Pass

Khyber Pass to Pier Road.
The walkway from Khyber Pass to Pier Road.

Here, Khyber Pass curves to join Pier Road. After glimpsing Lucy in the moonlight, Mina races down these steps and along the quay, desperately trying to reach her. She runs past the fish market and to the Swing Bridge.

5. Follow the harbourside to New Quay Road

This will bring you to Whitby Train Station, formerly the terminus of the old North Eastern Railway line from York. Between the station and the harbour, there used to be extensive goods sidings, and it is from here that Count Dracula leaves Whitby for London after staying for ten days. He is transported in one of his fifty boxes on the 9.30 goods train to King’s Cross.

Whitby Train Station, Whitby YO21 1YN

6. Head back the way you came to the Swing Bridge

Whitby Swing Bridge
Cross over the Swing Bridge.

You’ll cross over an iron swing bridge when you reach the Swing Bridge, also known as The Drawbridge in the novel. Interestingly, even after the old wooden lifting bridge was demolished in 1835, the Victorians still called it The Drawbridge. The current swing bridge was built in 1908 to replace the old one.

Whitby Swing Bridge, Bridge St, Whitby YO22 4BG

7. Turn left at the top of Bridge Street into Church Street

Church Street in Whitby
Church Street in Whitby

Church Street was the Old Town’s main street and looks as much today as when Bram Stoker visited. Yards and passages lead off between the houses and down to the harbour. Mina runs past Market Place and Old Town Hall before reaching Tate Hill to reach the churchyard.

Market Square Clock Tower, Church St, Whitby YO22 4DD

8. Head left down Tate Hill to Tate Hill Pier

Tate Hill Pier.
Tate Hill Pier.

Here you can see a stone jetty extending into the Lower Harbour and the pretty Tate Hill Sands beach.

According to the novel, a powerful storm caused the Russian Schooner Demeter, which Count Dracula had chartered, to crash into the jetty. The storm drove the ship into the pier and through the harbour entrance.

Tate Hill Beach.
Tate Hill Beach.

When the ship was examined, the Captain was found dead, and the entire crew was missing. The only creature found on board was an enormous dog-like animal that leapt and bowed on the jetty before disappearing into the darkness among the alleys below the cliff where the churchyard hangs over the laneway to the East Pier.

This area is known as Henrietta Street, and it is said that the Yorkshire Barguest used to haunt the lane, previously known as Haggerlythe. Bram Stoker based this on a real-life incident involving a Russian schooner in 1885.

Tate Hill Pier, Whitby YO22 4DL

9. Retrace your steps and head to the foot of the 199 steps

Foot of the 199 Steps.
Bottom of the 199 steps.

199 stone steps lead to St Mary’s Churchyard. In her frantic dash to rescue Lucy, Mina runs up the stairs. When she reaches the churchyard, she sees Lucy on their favourite seat, looking asleep but not alone. There is a black figure beside her, but by the time Mia reaches Lucy, the figure has gone.

119 Steps, Whitby YO22 4DE

10. Endpoint for the Whitby Dracula Trail: St Marys Churchyard

St Mary's Churchyard Bench.
St Mary’s Churchyard bench.

St Marys Churchyard beside Whitby Abbey is a great place to end this trail where Count Dracula took human form and took refuge in an unhallowed grave.

Whitby Abbey Dracula sign.
Whitby Abbey.

You can extend your walk by visiting Whitby Abbey. The ruins of Whitby Abbey dominate the landscape, and the eerie setting of the ruins may have inspired Bram Stoker.

He also visited a local library and found a book written eight decades earlier. This book mentioned an evil 15th-century villain in Romania known as Dracula, who impaled people on wooden stakes.

If you have visited Whitby, you can imagine St Mary’s Churchyard on Whitby’s windswept headland, with dramatic Abbey ruins towering over it and surrounded by swooping bats!

Church of St Mary, Abbey Plain, Whitby YO22 4JR

For even more, visit the Dracula Experience

The Dracula Experience, Whitby.
The Dracula Experience.

This is so much fun if you enjoy Bram Stoker’s famous novel. It delves into the story of Dracula and its connections to Whitby and features live actors and impressive special effects that will leave a lasting impression.

With eight terrifying scenes telling a different part of the story, this is another excellent way to celebrate Dracula in Whitby. Learn more about the Dracula Experience.

Or take the guided Dracula in Whitby tour

Dr Crank's Guided Whitby Dracula Tour.

In the 1990s, Harry Collett, a long-term resident of Whitby, dedicated himself to thoroughly researching the connection between Bram Stoker and the town. He offered informative guided walks to the thousands of Dracula fans who visited each year. Although Harry is no longer conducting these tours, you can still enjoy them through Dr Crank, who dresses in traditional Victorian costume and insists that the walks happen after the sun goes down – after all, it is a tour of Dracula in Whitby. 

Join Dr. Crank to learn more about Whitby and the legend of Count Dracula. You will hear the myths and legends that Stoker would have heard from the fishermen and labourers of the time, the very myths and legends that helped create his timeless novel Dracula. 

The Whitby Dracula Trail is a fantastic activity for kids and adults. It offers an opportunity to explore the beautiful town of Whitby and takes you on a journey through the pages of Bram Stoker’s classic novel. Perfect for and of Dracula or those wanting to learn more about vampires and villains! Let us know if you follow this trail and what your thoughts are in the comments.

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