Whitby is surrounded by moors on three sides and the North Sea on the other, the town is full of character and is certainly worth a visit. If you staying for a week then its always best to visit midweek as the weekends do get very busy.
Captain James Cook was an apprentice in Whitby and chose his ships from here to carry him on his great explorations. Until the mid-18th century, when a turnpike road from Pickering was built, the sea was the town’s main means of communication to the outside world and then Victorian times brought the railway linking it to Pickering, York, Middlesbrough and Scarborough.
The town has two sides, both very different. The winding narrow streets of East side the streets have a great atmosphere probably similar to market days back in the 17th century. Fascinating and irregular streets have a range of more unusual shops and lead to the bottom of 199 steps which rise to the magnificent but stark ruins of Whitby Abbey. On this side of the river a few of the jet shops still trade as a reminder of an industry that once supported 1,400 workers in the workshops and mines. The old market square with its stalls, casual entertainment and cobbles has a charm all its own and is surrounded by a mix of cafes, gift shops and tiny buildings.
Fish still plays a large part in the town and fresh fish as well as smoked kippers can be found here alongside the many fish and chip restaurants popular with locals and visitors. No visit to Whitby is complete without a Fish and Chip supper) try The Magpie or Trenchers) and don’t forget to bring back some kippers for breakfast, they are very good!
On the far side is the fish quay where trawlers and the smaller cobbles unload their catches for sale at the market. Behind are the attractions of holiday making, amusement arcades, assorted souvenir shops and seafood stalls. Narrow streets with a variety of more modern shops climb to the hotels, boarding houses and gardens from the 1800s.
One restaurant on the quay side is in a building that was once used as the town’s baths, museum and library and which was erected in the 1820s. On the top of West Cliff stands a statue of the great mariner and explorer Captain James Cook, who was an apprentice in the town and who chose Whitby-built ships for his historic voyages of discovery.
In recent years the Endeavor regularly stays in Whitby harbour has served to regenerate Whitby to the very busy town it is today. Whitby hosts a series of very successful and varied events from Folk festivals to a regatta and not forgetting the Gothic events inspired by the Dracula connection. Whitby is certainly the place to be on Halloween!