Whitby is probably one of the best known (and arguably best-loved) towns on the Yorkshire Coast and it certainly sees hordes of holidaymakers flocking there throughout the summer to get their fill of its famous fish and chips and lemon tops (a delicious combination of ice cream and lemon sorbet for the uninitiated).
However, step just a few miles outside of Whitby and you’ll find an array of pretty Yorkshire villages just waiting to be explored. Here, in no particular order, are six of the villages we love and some Gorgeous Cottages to try in each of them, or if you’d like to see our full collection of cottages near Whitby, click the button below.
This charming coastal fishing village is less than 6 miles from Whitby and was once a haven for smugglers. You can still see glimpses of this past within the cobbled streets and historic cottages that once hid the contraband goods. Today, Robin Hood’s Bay has an assortment of shops, cafes and restaurants to browse as you explore the winding paths that take you from cliff-top views to the sandy beach of the bay. Heralded as one of the prettiest beaches in Yorkshire, this sweeping stretch of pristine sand on the Heritage Coast has long been a favourite with fossil hunters and families, and as it’s dog-friendly all year round, it’s a big hit with our four-legged friends too.
Lucky guests who stay in this beautiful 17th-century barn conversion can look forward to uninterrupted views of the sparkling Yorkshire coastline.
This lovely village in Yorkshire is 9 miles from Whitby and is home to a North York Moors Railway stop that was once used as Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter films, and was also used as the fictional village of Aidensfield in the popular Heartbeat TV series. It’s easy to see why it was chosen as the charming pub, tearooms and village stores are surrounded by stunning countryside (and a few wandering sheep)! Set amongst the wild and romantic North Yorkshire Moors, this picture-postcard village is perfect for walkers and lovers of the outdoors, with the Mallyan Spout Waterfall and the Goathland Viewpoint just two of the beauty spots to discover.
This bijou hideaway for two is perfect for couples in need of some R&R, with a luxury welcome hamper, an honesty drinks tray, complimentary toiletries and fluffy white robes and slippers.
Set on a steep, winding hill, the village of Ruswarp is just a couple of miles west of Whitby in the tranquil Esk Valley. It is small and beautifully formed with a 9-hole golf course, a miniature steam railway, and Ruswarp Pleasure Boats if you fancy spending a lazy day along the river amongst the ducks and swans. After a bite to eat in the welcoming local pub, you can walk to Whitby from the main street in Ruswarp by following signs for the Esk Valley Walk.
Stay nearby at: Crag Cottage, sleeps 8 + 2 dogs
Perfect for a large family or group of friends, this five-star retreat boasts a crackling wood burner which will soon get you warm and toasty after a day exploring the coast.
Located 3 miles above Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast with some great views of the Abbey, Sandsend is a small fishing village with a beautiful sandy beach. You’ll find lots of places to sample some freshly caught fish and seafood along the promenade, perfect after a day of fossil hunting and sandcastle building! Lace up your walking boots and take a wander along its two trickling streams, or follow the Sandsend Trail, discovering the village’s rich industrial past.
As if plucked straight from the pages of a storybook, this fairy-tale cottage, which dates back to the 17th century, offers elegant interiors, award-winning gardens and a peaceful, secluded location.
Just 6.5 miles from Whitby, Egton is a great choice if you fancy spotting some wildlife as its location in the heart of the Esk Valley and close to the River Esk is a natural habitat for birds, fish and mammals alike. Watch out for otters, voles, and kingfishers amongst others while enjoying a peaceful picnic. Every year in August, the village plays host to the Egton Show, one of the largest agricultural shows in the area, and you’ll find several good pubs in the village including the excellent Wheatsheaf Inn.
Stay nearby at: Egton Cottage, sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
With its country-chic interiors, views of the North York Moors beyond the garden fence, and a friendly pub just opposite, this is a wonderful choice for a Yorkshire holiday.
Sleights (which rhymes with heights) is another quaint little village in the Esk Valley, 4.5 miles from Whitby. It has some picturesque walks and a salmon leap where you can spot salmon swimming upstream. The river is a good spot for fly fishing (with the proper permissions), but if you don’t manage to catch anything head to the excellent local butcher and deli, Radfords, to get something delicious for your supper.
After enjoying the sun, sand and surf of Whitby, this Grade II listed former sea captain’s house is the perfect place to put your feet up, relax, and soak up wonderful views of Whitby Abbey.
Have any of these pretty villages near Whitby caught your eye? If so, have a browse of our cottages in and around this gorgeous seaside resort and start planning a holiday in Yorkshire to remember. For even more inspiration read our Insider's guide to Whitby.
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please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.