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 a range of pretty villages just waiting to be explored. Here, in no particular order, are 6 of the villages we love and some Gorgeous Cottages to try in each of them:
Robin Hood’s Bay
This charming coastal fishing village was once a haven for smugglers and you can still see glimpses of this past within the cobbled streets and historic cottages that 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.
Holiday cottages in Robin Hood’s Bay
The lovely bedroom at Apple Farm Cottage
This lovely village is home to a North York Moors Railway stop that was 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, tea rooms and village stores are surrounded by stunning countryside (and a few wandering sheep)!
Cottages to try: Holiday cottages in Goathland
Entrance to The Potting Shed
The village of Ruswarp is just a couple of miles west of Whitby in the beautiful 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. You can walk to Whitby from the main street in Ruswarp by following signs for the Esk Valley Walk.
Cottages to try: Cragg Cottage
The impressive dining room at Cragg Cottage
Located just above Whitby on the Yorkshire Coast with some great views of the Abbey, Sandsend is small fishing village with a great sandy beach. You’ll also find lots of places to eat, perfect after a day of fossil hunting and sandcastle building!
Holiday cottages in Sandsend
The beautiful garden – The Retreat Sandsend
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, kingfishers amongst others while enjoying a peaceful picnic. Each August the village plays host to the Egton Show and you’ll find several good pubs in the village including the excellent Wheatsheaf Inn.
Cottage to try: Egton Cottage
Sleights (which rhymes with heights) is another great little village in the Esk Valley. 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 for your supper.
The gorgeous view from The Piggery