Enjoy a pleasure boat trip and learn how to enjoy the water that surrounds Whitby.
We all know there are a plethora of reasons to visit wonderful Whitby. There are beautiful beaches, super shops, dastardly Dracula, scrumptious seafood, and much, much more. Whitby is certainly a destination where there’s plenty to see and do.
However, perhaps a little hidden amongst the much, much more, but actually in plain sight, is the nautical North Sea and the ravishing River Esk. Both of these offers a wondrous world of adventure and activity that is sometimes a little ignored. But not for very much longer! We are going to show you a world of watery wonder that you will be dying to explore.
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The Water World Of Whitby
The North Sea is a stretch of water that covers 570,000 square kilometres or 220,000 square miles in area. It is harsh, cruel, and not for the faint-hearted to take a dip in. It is, however, home to over 230 species of fish and many varieties of crustacean. It is also the breeding habitat of dozens of birds and a place to spot marine animals such as seals, whales, porpoises, and dolphins.
The murky depths are also home to a myriad of shipwrecks along the Whitby coastline including the HMHS Rohilla, the SS Brentwood, and the Admiral Von Tromp.
Running into the sea at Whitby is the serene River Esk. It runs a course of around 45km or 28 miles through the valley of Eskdale. Not only is this river a fabulous place to relax and watch the world go by, but it is also home to a salmon run. Spawning takes place right up the river through Eskdale due to a number of leaps being provided. You may also spot a large population of trout close to Whitby and water pearl mussels.
The Endeavour Experience
It would be impossible to mention the waters of Whitby without at least briefly talking about Captain Cook. His notoriety of sailing some of the finest missions known to man, and his roots being in Whitby make him very important to the town. Apprenticed to a draper in the harbour of Staithes, Cook fell in love with the sea. Due to this he moved to Whitby and became trainee to a local shipping company.
From here, Cook joined the Navy and quickly rose through the ranks. He went on, as we know, to command three voyages in which he sailed thousands of miles. He mapped lands, named features, recorded islands, and coastlines on European maps for the very first time.
Captain Cook’s first voyage was on board the HMS Endeavour in 1768. A fine ship that Cook sailed to Australia and New Zealand and now resides in Whitby. Well, OK, the original HMS Endeavour it is not. However, it is a replica all to scale and an experience that should not be missed.
By day the Endeavour experience allows its visitors to dive into the world and rich history of Captain Cook and the HMS Endeavour. It is packed to the brim with interactive displays and nuggets of knowledge like how sailors on board went to the toilet and what became of their urine!
By night, however, the HMS Endeavour becomes dining heaven where you can experience dining in a replica mess. They hold various special events throughout the year such as steak nights, murder mystery evenings, and live music.
The HM Endeavour is open to the public every day from 10 am to 5 pm. Tickets cost £7.50 for adults, £4.50 for under 16’s, and children under three are free.
More information: www.hmbarkendeavour.co.uk
Location: Endeavour Wharf, Whitby, YO21 1DN
Cruise Around Whitby In Style With Whitby Coastal Cruises
Whether you fancy a cruise along the coast of Whitby or down the River Esk, you can find both being offered by Whitby Coastal Cruises. These trips are suitable for all and include some amazing sights, whether you choose to take advantage of them through the day or in the evening. Trips include:
- The River Special – A one-hour trip up the River Esk passing through the legs of the New Bridge and the stunning Larpool Viaduct. This cruise is a chance to also see various types of wildlife. From otters to seals, and herons to egrets, they are all found here.
- Trip To Staithes – A unique cruise north to the photogenic and beautiful village of Staithes. Once there, you will dock in the tiny fishing harbour where the tide allows you an hour to explore.
- The Twilight/Sunset Cruise – As Whitby is one of the only two towns in the UK where the sun rises and sets in the sea as you face due north, the twilight cruise is not to be missed. It is a magical experience where your camera is a must and allows you to view Whitby from another perspective.
- The Bay Trip – Step aboard one of the ‘yellow boats’ and enjoy a short trip into the bay. Lasting just 25 minutes this voyage is perfect for those unsure of their sea legs and a chance to view Whitby from the sea.
Boat trips run most days, however, sea conditions may affect the schedule.
Tickets cost from £6 for adults, £3 for under 14’s, under 5’s may travel free.
For more details, booking information, and to check trip schedules you should contact www.whitbycoastalcruises.co.uk
Whitby Whale Watching Trips
Whitby has an incredibly long history of whaling with over 2761 whales being caught off her shores. A sad figure considering that most no longer believe that whaling is an acceptable practice, but a sign of success and large numbers being off the coast in very different times.
Happily, though whaling is no longer a practice that Whitby partakes in, the whales have not stopped visiting. They follow the herring, on their migration path, which takes them off the coast here from May to September. Minke, Fin, Sei, and Humpback have all been spotted in Whitby, and you can see them too.
Whitby Whale Watching offers trips between four and eight hours long out to sea to spot the whales. Of course, there are no guarantees offered with these trips but rest assured you will not go home disappointed. Dolphins, porpoises, seals, jellyfish, sharks, geese, ducks, and many seabirds also grace these waters. You are bound to see something you will never forget on one of these trips.
The whale-watching trips are not suitable for children under 12 years of age due to the cold and often rough sea conditions. This may also not be the trip for you as an adult if you suffer from seasickness.
For schedules, prices, booking and more information you should contact www.whitbywhalewatching.net/trips.html
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats
If you fancy something a little gentler but still lots of fun, why not try Ruswarp Pleasure Boats? Here you can spend some leisure time on the beautiful River Esk whilst spotting the local wildlife including Salmon.
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats cater for parties of all sizes and tastes in boats. There are traditional row boats for those wishing to take it easy on these quiet and sheltered waters, and canoes for those a little more active.
Ruswarp Pleasure Boats are open 7 days a week from March to October, 9 am to 6 pm.
More information: www.ruswarp-pleasure-boats.co.uk
Diving At Whitby
If you enjoy diving Whitby has a plethora of fabulous sites for you to take advantage of. They are relatively easy to travel in between due to all been in a fairly small sized area. The season runs from May to September and is dependent on the weather and sea conditions. Some of the most popular dive sites include:
- The HMHS Rohilla – Caught in a severe Southeast gale the HMHS Rohilla ran onto a reef and sank just one mile South of Whitby Harbour. There were many heroic rescue attempts made to save the crew which in the main was incredibly successful. The HMHS sank on Friday, October the 30th 1914 and is a special place to dive.
- The Admiral Von Tromp – The sinking of the Admiral Von Tromp occurred on the 30th October 1976 and remains a mystery to this day. Why? Because she was sailing in good weather and left to her own devices would have been just fine. However, she ended up 90 degrees off course, heading towards some of the worst rocks on the coast, and the direction change seemed to be deliberate!
- The UC70 – One of the most popular dives off the coast of Whitby the UC70 was a German submarine. A seaplane dropped a bomb on it large enough to cause critical damage, and she sunk in Whitby waters on August the 28th 1918. This Whitby shipwreck is listed as a war grave so should be treated with respect.
More information on diving Whitby and other shipwrecks can be found here www.eskside.co.uk/dive_whitby
Whitby Fishing Trips
Whitby Fishing Trips offer a great variety of fishing experiences for beginners to expert fishermen. They are great for families, groups, and solo fishermen alike and include:
- Summer Evening Trips – A 2-hour trip that targets mackerel close to Whitby pier end. This trip is great for families and groups and runs from 6 to 8 pm weather permitting.
- Taster Trip – Lasting 3 hours the taster trip is ideal for those with children. It travels fishing marks around 3 metres from Whitby harbour.
- Wreck And Reef Trips – With the intention of catching codling, billet, and mackerel the wreck and reef trips are more suited to the experienced angler. They last either 6, 8, or 10 hours and cover various wrecks where fish like to hang out.
Trip times vary with some needing to be pre-booked. For more information contact www.whitbyfishingtrips.co.uk
A Bit Of Doggering
If you don’t fancy fishing or want to let the kids have a go without taking them out to sea, why not try a bit of Whitby doggering? This is an ancient tradition here that translated from ‘Whitby’ into common speech simply means crabbing.
Simple handheld lines are used to catch crab at Whitby with tasty bait on the end. Any crabs you catch should, however, be treated with care and kept in a bucket of shaded water. These crabs are not suitable for eating, they are too small, and should always be returned to the water gently.
Water Sports In Whitby
Whitby and the surrounding area is hugely popular for those who participate in a myriad of water sports. Canoeing, sea kayaking, sailing, windsurfing, surfing, and stand up paddle boarding are all participated in here.
However, if they all sound a little bit too energetic do not fear, for Whitby has a water sport for you too. Simply dip your toes or, if you’re really brave, go for a swim in the cold but glorious waters. A dip in the North Sea it has to be said is not for the faint-hearted. Dipping your toes, however, now that’s a different kettle of fish, and surely a seaside staple?