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Despite an association with all things spooky—goth festivals, Bram Stoker, and decrepit abbeys—Whitby remains one of the most popular seaside towns in England. Replete with natural beauty, the town is small enough to explore on foot and boasts numerous attractions that appeal to a cross section of visitors.
Coastal Whitby makes for a family-friendly day trip or weekend destination for travelers in northern England. Explore Whitby’s dual seafaring and literary legacies on specialized tours that appeal to history and literature fans alike. Or, opt for a comprehensive group or private tour that stops by multiple points of interest.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Accommodation may be limited during Whitby’s biannual Goth Weekend in spring and fall.
- Be careful when shopping for Whitby Jet, a black gemstone—cheap fakes abound.
How to Get There
Situated on the east coast of Yorkshire, Whitby is easily accessible by train. Take the North Yorkshire Moors steam railway, and get off at Whitby Station. If you’re driving, take the A171 road and follow the signs for Whitby. Parking is often limited on weekends. If you’re short on time, consider joining a hassle-free tour of Whitby that includes round-trip transportation.
When to Get There
The east coast of Yorkshire isn’t known for reliably pleasant weather. To increase your chances of a sunny day, plan to visit in summer. If summer doesn’t work for you, Whitby has plenty to enjoy year-round, including Goth Weekend in spring and fall.
What to Do in Whitby
There’s no shortage of things to do in Whitby, whatever your area of interest. Explore the gothic Whitby Abbey, perched high on the craggy coastal cliffs. Or, grab some famous fish-and-chips, snap selfies near the whale bone arch (which frames a view of the town and the abbey), then wander through the Captain Cook Museum.
Address: Whitby, North Yorkshire, England
2 Tours and Activities to Experience Whitby
Famed for its historical landmarks, seaside vistas, and literary lore, Whitby is one of Yorkshire’s highlight towns—and this full-day, private tour makes planning a trip seamless. Following morning pickup from your York hotel, travel in the comfort of a private vehicle, and admire the scenery of the North York Moors as you go. Upon arrival in Whitby, discover Captain Cook’s former house, visit the ruined Whitby Abbey (which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula), and try the local fish and chips (own expense).
Taking safety measures
Face masks required for guides in public areas
Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
Social distancing enforced throughout experience
It’s not easy journeying to Whitby, so it’s important to make the most of your time here. On this self-guided audio tour, I'll introduce you to major local characters, engrossing legends and hidden treasures in this historic town, over a millennium in the making. Whether this is your first visit or your thirtieth, this tour is certain to make you look at Whitby in a new light. It also provides an ideal introduction to sites like the Whitby Abbey, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum and the Endeavour Experience, which you can return to at the end of the tour. On this tour, you'll hear about: • Some of the greatest voyages of exploration of all time • Why people once thought the town was infested with serpents • How Whitby jet, a gemstone, inspired the novel Dracula • An illiterate poet • Why there’s a polar bear in the town centre • Why the houses with the best views were some of the cheapest • The Hand of Glory and where to find it
Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
What's the best way to experience Whitby?
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