You can’t beat a visit to the Yorkshire coast in the summer months and Whitby manages to combine the charm of a traditional fishing town with the appeal of a British seaside resort.
A trip there is always a great day out and you’ll find yourself wanting to return again and again. Here’s some of our favourite things to do on a weekend in Whitby!
Travel by train
There’s a handy Esk Valley train service that calls in at many North York Moors towns and villages so you can leave the car at home if you are staying nearby. Places on the route include Castleton Moor, Danby, Egton, Grosmont, Sleights and Ruswarp and you’ll see some lovely scenery during this relaxing journey!
Alternatively the heritage North York Moors Railway line is a lovely way to travel to Whitby by steam or diesel locomotive. The service starts at Pickering and other stations along the way include Levisham, Newtondale, Goathland or Grosmont. There are also special trains with coffee mornings, pie and peas, afternoon teas or even Pullman dining.
Take a boat trip
You’ll be spoilt for choice of boat trips in Whitby, ranging from a 20-minute trip into the bay to a daylong fishing expedition. You can also do a half-day coastal cruise or watch the sunset with a twilight trip. Many will offer some sort of commentary and as Whitby is a prime place for spotting whales I highly recommend keeping your eyes peeled as you head out to sea!
Prices start at just £3 for a 20-minute trip so it’s also very reasonably priced (prices correct as of June 2017).
Walk up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey
One of the great recognisable sights at Whitby is the fabulously gothic Whitby Abbey that looms high above the town. It was an inspiration to Bram Stoker for the novel Dracula and no visit to Whitby is complete without climbing the 199 steps to reach it.
Not only can you see the impressive Abbey close up but you’ll get a stunning panoramic view of Whitby and the surrounding coastline.
Walking down the steps is far easier and handily there is a shop selling Trello’s Ice Cream that you can reward yourself with at the bottom!
Get a pint of Whitby’s finest
Whitby has its very own micro-brewery that’s just a short walk from the Abbey so you can enjoy a refreshing beer when you’ve reached the top. There is outside seating for when the weather is nice of you can take a quick tour to see how the brews such as Whitby Whaler, Abbey Blonde and Smuggler’s Gold are made (there are 8 varieties to choose from).
You can also get a pint in many of the town’s pubs or get a bottle at the brewery to take away for later.
Whitby Jet and Lucky Ducks!
One of the things I love to do at Whitby is mooch around the quaint gift shops, cafes and tea rooms. One of my absolute favourites is the Lucky Duck shop where you can purchase a small glass duck which will give you good fortune throughout the year. You’ll also find lots of jewellers selling traditional Whitby Jet.
Fish & Chips from the paper (or something a bit fancier)!
There’s nothing quite like fish and chips at the seaside – even if you are on the strictest diet they can be hard to resist once you get their delicious smell. The ones sold at Whitby are particularly good (you really can’t get any fresher) and places to try include The Magpie Café, Hadleys and Quayside.
A new boy in town is The Star Inn the Harbour (Andrew Pern’s latest restaurant) which offers traditional fish and chips alongside fancier offerings such as North Sea Lobster, Halibut T-bone and Poached Lemon Sole Veronique.
We’ve just scratched the surface here and there are so many other things to do Whitby from hitting the beach with a bucket and spade to trying your luck in the arcades (I usually stick to the 2p) machines.
The Arnold Palmer putting golf course has 9-holes to try your luck at, the giant replica whale-bone arch on West Cliff (the original is in the Whitby Archives and Heritage Centre) is a great photo opportunity and you can always finish the day by scaring yourself silly at the Dracula Experience (just try not to shriek to loudly)!
If you fancy extending your visit to Whitby (there’s no way to do everything in one day) you can stay central at Spyglass 1708 which has views over the rooftops to the Abbey.
Alternatively there are lots of pretty villages in the North York Moors where you can easily access Whitby by foot, car, bus or train.
Crag Cottage is a 4-bedroom family property in Ruswarp – about 2 miles from Whitby and 7 minutes by train
Egton Cottage is a 2-bedroom country cottage in Egton – about 7 miles from Whitby and 20 minutes by train.
The Piggery is a 3-bedroom option in Sleights – about 5.5 miles from Whitby and 10 minutes by train.
Gorgeous Cottages have a range of holiday homes along the Yorkshire Coast. For more information call 01642 263 249.