Whitby and the North Yorkshire Coast

Whitby and the North Yorkshire Coast

It might only be small, but Whitby is perfectly formed — the jewel of Yorkshire’s coastal resorts, with a history and heritage that sets it apart from neighbouring seaside bucket-and-spade places like Scarborough. The long sandy beach and thriving harbourside are invitation enough, but Whitby also boasts a huddled Georgian old town and a famous abbey on the cliffs above, not to mention its fascinating Captain Cook and Dracula connections. It’s also a bit of a boutique destination these days, with contemporary bars, flash seafood restaurants and designer accommodation sitting comfortably alongside the more traditional B&Bs and fish-and-chip shops.

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Places to Stay

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Eat and Drink

You have not tasted the Yorkshire Coast unless you have tried their freshly caught seafood and some delicious Whitby fish and chips. There is a wide range of choice when it comes to restaurants and beyond Whitby itself, the idyllic towns and villages along the Heritage Coast are good places to find rustic pubs serving surprisingly good food. There are a multitude of cafes and delis in the area which range from offering light bites and snacks, to extensive menus that will keep you deciding for hours. Whitby has a strong local music scene, with particularly good folk nights in some of the pubs, something that comes to the fore during the annual Whitby Folk Week in august when the town is filled with all things music.


This is not the shopping capital of the northeast, but if you are looking for a place to while away a couple of hours browsing, then there are a few decent shops on offer. Traditional gifts and souvenirs can be found in the old town, across the river on Whitby's east side, while Quirky boutique shops in narrow streets will keep you occupied elsewhere. There are some great delicatessens for buying local food, ideal for a picnic on the beach, along with an amazing little music store that harnesses Whitby's folk music roots.

Things to Do

Whitby has a fascinating history that has left behind many attractions for those visiting the area, most obviously the towering ruins of Whitby Abbey, occupying a glorious headland site above the town. After climbing the 199 steps to its base (counting as you go) you can enjoy outstanding views of the town and harbour below. Other historic points of interest include the Captain Cook Monument, Scarborough Castle and a handful of museums. For most, of course, it is the landscape that draws them in, with fantastic beaches along the dramatic coastline, as well as the North York Moors National Park right on the doorstep. This region is therefore a top spot for hiking and cycling, making the most of Whitby's fabulous location.