Whitby, England - a seaside adventure!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

If you live in the UK or are planning a visit here this summer I thoroughly recommend a long weekend away in the beautiful sea port of Whitby. Nestled in North Yorkshire the easiest way to get to Whitby is by car from London. But if you are truly adventurous (like me!) you can catch three different trains and enjoy the gorgeous English countryside whizzing by!

“This is a lovely place.  
The little River Esk runs through a deep valley which broadens out as it comes near the harbour… The houses of the old town are all red-roofed and seem piled up one after the other anyhow…
Right over the town is the ruin of the Abbey, a noble ruin of immense size.  
Between it and the town is another church, the Parish one, 
round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones.  
It descends so steeply over the harbour that part of the bank has fallen away, 
and some of the graves have been destroyed.”

Bram Stoker’s description of Whitby in his novel Dracula (published in 1897) 

And I think it's fairly safe to say that Whitby (bless this lovely town) hasn't changed too much in the last hundred odd years...

Whitby harbour - England
Whitby harbour

Today I would describe Whitby as... an ancient port, sandy beach, cobbled streets, intriguing and poetic history, a ruined and dramatic abbey, the best fish & chips around, friendly locals, a touch of sun, and all you could want in a seaside adventure!

Freshly caught and prepared seafood is a local speciality in Whitby, and we chose to eat at the famous Magpie Café - where I had some of the most perfectly cooked fish of my life. And with over twenty varieties of fish to chose from on the menu - you can't go wrong!

Delicious fish at the Magpie Café - Whitby, UK
my yummy fish lunch!

Whitby town is divided into two parts - the East and West by the River Esk that flows through the middle. The picturesque old town lies on the East Side, lined with cobbled streets that lead to the foot of the famous 199 steps, which lead up the cliff to Whitby Abbey...

... we paused to admire the view back out over the town and sea, and then followed the path through the graveyard of the Parish Church of St Mary, where we spent a few moments searching for ‘Dracula’s grave' before pushing on...

... it was a gusty day for climbing, sea salt in our nostrils and hair. And there she was - Whitby Abbey. Oh the view!!

Whitby Abbey - England
Whitby Abbey

The West Side of Whitby town hosts the town's main shopping streets (there's always time for a spot of shopping) and a statue of Whitby's most famous explorer - Captain James Cook, who learned his seamanship as an apprentice in Whitby. All three of Cook's ships that he sailed on his world voyages were built here too.

We walked out to the end of the west pier to admire the sea below... rather stormy don't you think? Some people seemed to think it was warm enough for swimming...

Whitby beach - England
Whitby beach

... I choose afternoon tea over swimming. Yum!

Whitby afternoon tea - scones with jam and clotted cream
afternoon tea - scones with jam and clotted cream

And then the weekend was over. Before heading home we took one last trip up to see Whitby Abbey again. Just as stunning the second time around.

Whitby Abbey - England

What's your favourite seaside town?

You Might Also Like

28 comments

  1. It looks so picturesque and as for the food!

    My favourite seaside town is Brighton.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love Brighton too. England does have some lovely coastal towns :)

      Delete
  2. Whitby is great (as is the Magpie Cafe), I love that it's one of those places that you can visit in summer or winter and it's good in both.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm sure year round Whitby holds it's charm. I haven't been in winter but can imagine it would be an adventure climbing up to the Abbey in sea winds!

      Delete
  3. Those scones look amazing! I loooooove afternoon tea! I'm so excited for my weekend away in November now!

    Charli | Charlotte Rose

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are going to have a blast!!! Can't wait to hear what you think :)

      Delete
  4. Love the literary connection! Rovinj, Croatia, was my favorite seaside town this year. Mostly for the truffles :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very cool right? Apparently back in the day Whitby was also a very popular spa town and visited by famous authors such as Lewis Carroll as well.

      Delete
  5. This looks so much like where I lived in Scotland!! My gosh I miss it! Whitby looks absolutely breathtaking and so quaint! The coastline of Yorkshire seems so beautiful from what I'm seeing on blogs and I definitely want to go :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Yorkshire coastline is just beautiful! I only wish it was a little easier to get to via public transport. Was so worth the train trip though!

      Delete
  6. They Abbey is beautiful! Great photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - although I think instagram can take most of the credit. Unfortunately I forgot my camera on this trip so had to relay on my phone!

      Delete
  7. It looks lovely, it really does! I love the name of your blog too, I love that song!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've been to Whitby a couple of times but don't think I've ever made it up to the Abbey! You're photos of it are beautiful! Usually we go to Bridlington which is nearby. By the way I have nominated you for a liebster award, you can read more about it here http://stylishimoto.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/one-year-of-blogging-and-liebster-award.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the nomination Anna, you're very kind :) Make sure you check out the Abbey next time you're in Whitby - it is definitely a highlight!

      Delete
  9. These pictures are so beautiful! Whitby looks like the sweetest, quaintest little town! And that abbey? Oh my! Gorgeous!

    Carly x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Carly. Whitby really is a great weekend escape - it has a bit of everything and is stunningly beautiful.

      Delete
  10. Whitby Abbey looks amazing! Great photos!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I recently spent an afternoon in Whitby, passing through on a few days walking along the coast to Scarborough. I loved it there. And Robin Hood Bay just a few miles away is also wonderful. I highly recommend visiting sometime.

    http://ablogbyrobert.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh thanks for the recommendation - I wasn't even aware of Robin Hood Bay. Adding to my list of places to visit in the UK :)

      Delete
  12. Wow what a picturesque town! It just screams ENGLAND to me :) and that Abbey! Wow!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Whitby certainly does scream England - in all the right ways!

      Delete
  13. What a cute town - I love English seaside villages like this one! And beautiful photo of the abbey. I went to Southend-On-Sea just after Christmas last year and enjoyed a lovely wander alongside the very end of the Thames - and some amazing fish and chips!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can't beat English fish and chips (unless you happen to drop by NZ). i do love the English coast!

      Delete
  14. Those abby ruins look incredible. I suppose you can see the sea from them - perhaps a great setting for any creepy tale. I haven't been to any seaside towns in the UK but I do love Stonington and Mystic in Connecticut.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love Whitby, I went for the first time a few months ago and I have been back a couple of times since! I think it is my favourite place in Yorkshire.

    ReplyDelete