Whitby Abbey

Abbey Lane Whitby YO22 4JT

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.

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