Here at Gorgeous Cottages we absolutely LOVE a trip to Whitby – at any time of year. From eating fish and chips from the paper to walking up 199 steps to Whitby Abbey, here are our Top 10 things to do in Whitby!
10 things to do in Whitby:
#01 Take a boat trip
You’ll find a selection of boat trips to try from Whitby Harbour ranging from full day fishing trips to a 25 minute round trip to Sandsend. It’s a great way to view the beautiful North York Moors coastline and other options include sunset and twilight cruises.
One of our favourites boats is a replica of the HMS Endeavour – the ship famously sailed by Captain James Cook. While onboard you’ll hear about the history of Whitby, the life of Captain Cook and can even join in with a sea shanty or two!
#02 Walk up 199 steps to Whitby Abbey
Walking up the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey is a must-do when in this pretty seaside town on the Yorkshire Coast. Not only was this Gothic abbey the inspiration for Dracula but there are stunning views of Whitby from up here.
There’s also a fabulous micro-brewery up here so you can enjoy a refreshing pint after your walk (see point number 5). It definitely makes our Top 10 things to do in Whitby!
#03 Shop for Whitby Jet and Lucky Ducks
I love browsing the range of quaint shops located in the cobbled streets of the old town. This part of Whitby is just before you reach the 199 steps. You’ll find shops selling Whitby Jet (this is actually fossilised wood and the finest quality in the world comes from the North Yorkshire Coast), trinkets, ice creams and (my personal favourite) Lucky Ducks!
Small glass Lucky Ducks have been sold by Whitby Glass Ltd for more than 50 years – I swear by mine!
#04 Take a picture by the Whale bones
The huge arch of 20 foot whale bones is a famous Whitby landmark. I think it’s the perfect place for a picture to commemorate your visit with both the cliff and abbey in the background . There’s been a whale bone arch in Whitby since 1853. The originals are now in the Whitby Archives and Heritage Centre and the latest pair were donated to Whitby in 2003 by Alaska.
#05 Get a pint of Whitby’s finest
Whitby has it’s very own micro brewery and you can get ales with names like Whitby Whaler and Smuggler’s Gold in many of the town’s pubs. There’s something for everyone from The Marine, a contemporary restaurant and bar that overlooks Whitby Harbour, to The Star Inn a friendly traditional pub with live music at weekends.
#06 Enjoy fresh fish and chips (and maybe an ice cream)
No visit to Whitby would be complete without some delicious fish and chips. Whitby is a fishing port so you are always guaranteed the freshest fish from their ‘catch of the day’. You can get tasty fish and chips all along Pier Road but notable fisheries to try include The Magpie Cafe and Quayside
The new kid in town is The Star Inn the Harbour. It’s Andrew Pern’s latest venture and has a range of local Whitby seafood, along with some meatier options, on the menu.
#07 Stroll along the beach to Sandsend
There’s so many walks you can try from Whitby – you can head into the nearby Esk Valley with pretty villages like Ruswarp, Egton, Aislaby and Sleights all nearby. You can head along The Cleveland Way to Robin Hoods Bay for some stunning cliff top views. One of my favourite walks to do though is to stroll along the beach to nearby Sandsend – you can even hunt for fossils along the way.
#08 Spot the local wildlife
You can spot lots of varieties of seabird in and around Whitby including Guillemots and Razorbills. There’s also lots of sealife to spot off the coast of Whitby including Minke and Humpback whales. One of the best ways of trying to spot one is one a whale watching cruise. Obviously a sighting isn’t guaranteed but you never know…
#09 Visit The Dracula Experience
Whitby is well-known for it’s connection with Dracula. Author Bram Stoker used Whitby Abbey as inspiration for this classic gothic novel so it’s no surprise there is a Dracula Experience in the town. It’s a bit of fun for children and adults alike with various things jumping out at you in the dark. Other family-friendly activities in the town include the Arnold Palmer Crazy Golf and Pleasureland Arcade. I’m a sucker for the 2p machines but it also has games including bowling and basketball hoops.
#10 Catch the NYMR train to nearby Goathland
There’s something very special about travelling through steam train, especially when it is travelling through the scenic North York Moors. The uniforms and train interiors are exactly how they would have been. You’ll be transported to the past as you whizz through the scenic countryside.
Travel all the way to Pickering on an NYMR steam train or get off at pretty Goathland.
This village was used as Aidensfield in Heartbeat and the station was used in the Harry Potter films as Hogsmeade on the Hogwarts Express!
What do you think of our Top 10 things to do in Whitby? Let us know in the comments section if we have missed any of your favourites. What are your top 10 things to do in Whitby?