Magnificent coastal views and haunting ruins at one of England's most evocative ancient religious sites.
Abbey Lane Whitby YO22 4JT 01947 603 568
One of England's finest abbey ruins occupies a glorious headland site above the town. It's a highly evocative place, full of mystery and history, with a terrific interactive visitor centre that fleshes out details of daily life in the medieval abbey. There are family activity days throughout the summer – pirates to Victorians – to keep the kids interested, while the soaring ruins themselves stand as one of the Yorkshire coast's most iconic images. You can drive up here (follow the signs), as there's pay-parking right outside the abbet, but that would be to deprive yourself of one of the most dramatic approaches to an abbey ruin anywhere in the world. Walk up the 199 Steps instead, with ever-better views of harbour and old town behind you, and the abbey walls slowly appearing in front, peeking over the gravestones in St Mary's churchyard.
I go to a lot of National Trust and English Heritage sites, and this has got to be my favourite. It's location high up on the cliffs is stunning, and the story you'll hear with the audio guide really brings it to life. We spent hours here, wandering, listening, sitting. Really is worth a visit.
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- Events & Activities
- Gardens & Grounds
- Gift Shop
- Sensational Views