Whitby Things to Do

  • Steam train pulling into Whitby Station
    Steam train pulling into Whitby Station
    by jduck1979
  • A4 Pacific
    A4 Pacific "Sir Nigel Gresley" at...
    by jduck1979
  • Looking up towards the Lighthouse (2011/12)
    Looking up towards the Lighthouse...
    by jduck1979

Most Recent Things to Do in Whitby

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    Grape Lane- Captain Cook connections

    by suvanki Updated Oct 8, 2012

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    Grape Lane, Whitby
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    Grape Lane, is one of Whitbys typical old streets, narrow and winding, with 'ghauts’ (narrow alleyways) that would have led to the River Esk below.
    There are some attractive buildings and shops (mainly antique and art shops as well as a few 'alternative' shops (A witchcraft shop?) and cafes)

    Apparently, the name of the street was once Grope Lane - either due to earlier 'shenanigans' on this street (It being the 'red light area' in the Middle Ages, or due to people having to grope their way in the dark - before the arrival of street lamps!
    Read Wiki's explanation NOT FOR THOSE WHO ARE EASILY OFFENDED!

    Look out for the dolls hospital in Botany Bay Antique shop (pic below)
    UPDATE - During my recent visit (October 2012) I didn't see this Dolls Hospital, so I'm not sure if it has re-located or closed down.

    The Captain Cook museum is at the end/ start of this street.

    The Captain Cook trail runs by here too (A guided walk- collect brochure from Tourist Info Office)- a walk around Whitby, with places of relevance to the life of Captain James Cook being marked by these orange plaques.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Historical Travel

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    THE GUN FROM SS AFRICAN TRANSPORT

    by DAO Written Aug 23, 2012

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    THE GUN FROM SS AFRICAN TRANSPORT
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    This gun is an interesting bit of World War I history. The 12 Pounder (5.7kg) gun was used for protection by the cargo ship SS African Transport. Sadly it wasn’t much use when the ship was torpedoed by the German submarine UB-88 on 25 June 1918. The gun was recovered by Mr. J.P. Stevenson and was placed on the seafront in 1986. The wreck of the African Transport is intact and is a dive site today.

    As for the UB-88, its captain and crew surrendered after the war and the UB-88 was sunk of the California coast in America after being used for target practice in 1928.

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    • Museum Visits
    • Photography

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  • The Grand Turk

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    Filming part of
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    The Grand Turk is a full-sized replica of an old sailing ship, only difference being that modern safety regulations mean it has to have diesel engines for emergency back-up.
    It was originally created for some TV series called "Hornblower".... and I recall it was also the venue for when Billy Connolly launched his own brand of Tea a few years back.

    It is semi-permanently berthed in Whitby Harbour, occasionally going off to participate in events in other parts of the world, so it's not always here.... and there was recent speculation as to whether it was going to remain here after it was put up for sale (yours for a mere $5million or so).

    More recently (May 2008), it has been used in filming for a NEW £17million American drama series called "Robinson Crusoe" for NBC television.

    UPDATE: No longer there, got flogged off to the French or Belgians in 2010/2011

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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  • Pannett Art Gallery & Whitby Museum

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    The Town's main Art Gallery & Museum, located at the top end of Pannett Park.
    Entrance to the Art Gallery is Free, but you have to pay to enter the museum (unless you have proof of permanent local residency upon your personage).

    Items on display range from the usual Captain Cook related items, along with stuff to do with the Scoresby Family...... to more unusual things such as the legendary "Danby Hand of Glory", and "Dr George Merryweather's TEMPEST PROGNOSTICATOR" (originally shown at the Great Exhibition of 1851). There's even an outstanding collection of Dinosaur fossils, including several ichthyosaurs, a plesiosaur and a teleosaurus (crocodile) as well as slabs of rock with dinosaur footprints. There's also a few other fossils of International Importance. See Museum website for more details.

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    • Archeology

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  • Whitby Archives & Heritage Centre

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    This is what to look for when trying to find it.

    I haven't really been to this spot since they got booted out of their original base on Grape Lane, and relocated to part of the Church on the junction of Flowergate & Skinner Street.

    It features loads of pictures of Whitby in the past, and it's also the place to research your family history if you have connections with the area.

    Apparently admission is free during the summer, and charge a small fee during the winter months.

    Definately worth a look to find out more about the town's long history beyond The Abbey & Captain Cook (though there's bound to be something about them too no doubt).

    Update: Closed / relocated yet again due to a rent disagreement with the Church.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • Tate Hill Pier & Beach

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    Looking back down Tate Hill pier from the end.
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    This scenic spot is located off the cobbled part of Church Street (head down the narrow lane nr the "DUKE of YORK" pub, and it's on the left), across the harbour from the Band Stand & West Pier.
    Tate Hill pier is constructed from Stone, kinda rough... not accessible by wheelchair, but is possible with a pushchair if you carry it down the steps. Has an old anchor displayed at the end of it.
    The Beach next to it is possibly safer than the "Whitby Sands" stretch of Beach stretching from the West Pier up towards Sandsend, and like the Pier has an eye popping view up towards the Harbour Entrance out to Sea.
    Possibly not the place to go if your shy in your swimsuit 'cos the beach is visible for quite a distance from all angles (Captain Cook Monument, Khyber Pass, both main piers, etc).

    Related to:
    • Beaches
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Family Travel

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  • St. Mary's Parish Church

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    St. Mary's Church
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    One of the most Prominent features on Whitby's East Cliff, and probably known to most as "The Church next to Whitby Abbey" (I'm always forgetting it's proper name!)..... The Church & the Church Yard are located at the top of the 199 Steps, almost right on the very edge of the Cliff.
    Apparently the Church is Norman in origin, and regarded as a must see by Architecture & interior design buffs because "Stuart and Georgian alterations to this Norman church have left a mixture of twisted wood columns and maze like 18th century box pews. The 1778 triple-decker pulpit has rather avant-garde decor - ear trumpets used by a Victorian rector's deaf wife".
    Not only that, but the view from the Church Yard is jaw dropping.... especially on a clear(ish) summer day with 69ºF+ heat like when I took these accompanying photographs yesterday.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Religious Travel
    • Historical Travel

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  • A walk along the East Pier

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    Viewed from Cliff top nr former site of TV mast
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    The Est Pier in Whitby is almost the same as the West Pier on the other side of the harbour, except it ain't in quite as good a shape........ access to the East Pier was restored once again around 2001/2002 with a (very steep) ramp down from the Street replacing a bridge like structure that had to be demolished due to "Structural integrity issues", but no sooner was this sorted, then the bridge over to the Pier Extension on that one had to be removed (also due to Structural integrity issues), with Scarborough Borough Council being too cheap to replace it (don't know why.... amount they charge for council tax round here)...... which is a bit of a bugger, as the place was listed in "The Art of Fishing" as a Hot spot for Shore fishing for Mackerel.
    The walking surface has always been more rough than the west pier, and never really been much in the way of guard rails, except on the extension........... but the scenery is just as good (though getting back up that ramp isn't as easy as going down it).

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    • Beaches

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  • A walk along the West Pier

    by jduck1979 Updated Mar 28, 2012

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    Looking up towards the Lighthouse (2011/12)
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    We have two piers here in Whitby, jutting out into the sea..... the West Pier is in the better condition of the two, and has a lighthouse you can climb to the top of (for a small fee) on some days in the summer.... and further on an extension (closed when the weather is crap, and the sea rough as a result).

    Along the stone main part of the pier (with concrete paving) you'll see some arty-farty type person has been engraving dinosaur fossils into the concrete...... and the scenary is stunning: on one side, you have the East Cliff, with the Abbey + the TV transmitter (which is soon to be relocated before it falls off the edge of the bloody cliff)........ on the other, is the view across the bay, along Whiby Beach towards Sandsend / "Sandsend Ness" (the sticky out cliff bit, according to the Ordanance survey map, that's what it's called).
    After the lighthouse comes the Pier Extension..... the top part of which is a surefire cure for constipation if you don't like heights, as the surface consists of boards like railway sleepers with 1cm gaps between 'em. At the end (below the green tower thingy) is some steps down to the concrete lower part of the extension, which is a pretty good place to sea fish (seem to get bigger crabs than near the swing bridge there).... while there's a view out to sea that's seems never ending, but I think it's about level with Denmark on the world atlas, viewing range I estimate at about 15-20miles going by an Oil Exploration rig they had 13miles out to sea about 10+ years ago.

    Update 2012: Campaign underway on Facebook to save the Piers, temporary scaffolding Structure currently in place to get onto the West Pier extension after structural integrity issues were discovered with the footbridge, West Pier lighthouse now also temporarily(?) closed to visitors due to Strutural integrity concerns too.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beaches

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  • Evenith666's Profile Photo

    Whitby Abbey

    by Evenith666 Written Oct 8, 2011

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    Whitby Abbey

    Dominating the Whitby skyline is its famous Benedictine Abbey. Disestablished under Henry VIII and left to ruin, the Abbey is now in the care of English Heritage.

    The first Abbey on the site was founded in the year 657 by Oswy, King of Northumbria, under the name 'Streoneshalth', thought to signify 'Fort Bay' or 'Tower Bay', referencing a former Roman settlement at the site, although the connection was never proven and various other theories exist. This original monastery however was destroyed by successive Danish coastal raids in the 800's and remained desolate and ruined for 200 years.

    Reinfried, a soldier of William the Conqueror, became a monk and travelled the the old Abbey of Steoneshalth. Planning to start a brand new monastery, he approached William de Percy, who gave him the ruins and surrounding land. The second monastery, the one which we can still see today, operated until 1540 when Henry VIII destroyed it during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Its remnants were mined for stone, and it was shelled by German Battlecruisers in 1914, aiming for the signal post on the end of the headland. However, it was still consistently used as a prominent landmark for sailors.

    Entry to the Abbey and the museum in £6 for adults, £5.40 for concessions, £3 for children and £15.60 for a family ticket. English Heritage members gain free entry.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits

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    The Royal Crescent

    by Myfanwe Written Aug 24, 2011
    The Royal Crescent
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    The building of Royal Crescent was inspired by George Hudson who was born at Howsham, in the East Riding of Yorkshire on 10 March 1800.

    After attending the local school, Hudson was apprenticed at a draper in York, quickly making his mark and fast becoming a partner in the business.
    In 1827 he was the beneficiary of £30,000 in the will of a distant relative. This was to be the start of both his entrepreneurial exploits and his eventual downfall.
    Hudson bought shares in the newly established North Midland Railway. It was the success of this venture that spurred him to set up his own railway company to link York with towns in the West Riding. He raised £446,000 and the line was completed on 29 May 1839.

    There are some great gardens in front of the Crescent with some lovely colourful floral displays - a lovely place to sit and read during the summertime.

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    • Architecture

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    The Dracula Experience

    by Myfanwe Written Aug 24, 2011
    The Dracula Experience

    Bram Stoker stayed in Whitby and was inspired by the spooky surroundings to write the world famous Dracula.

    The Dracula Experience is a unique tour through the Dracula story and the connection to Whitby. Using animated scenes, electronic special effects and live actors.

    In 1885 the Russian Schooner The Demeter was hit by a wild storm and ran aground in Whitby harbour on Tate Hill Sands. Mysteriously all the crew were dead including the captain who was lashed to the helm. The instant the Demeter ran aground a huge black dog was seen to leap ashore and run up the 199 steps towards Whitby abbey. The dog was known to be one of the many forms into which a vampire could transform itself. Bram Stokers Count Dracula had arrived in England...

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    Go to the Beach

    by Myfanwe Written Aug 24, 2011

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    Whitby Sands
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    Whitby has a fantastic sandy beach. The large expanse of sand seems to go on for miles and miles - as far as the eye can see. At the area near the town you can take a Donkey ride, bounce on a trampoline or have a go on an inflatable slide. If a peaceful day on the beach is what you're looking for I imagine it's a bit quieter the further along you go and there is even a cliff lift near the Pavillion to help you out with the climb.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Beaches
    • Sailing and Boating

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    Take a boat trip

    by Myfanwe Written Aug 23, 2011

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    Pleasure boats in Whitby
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    During the summer months there are many different tour operators eager to entice you into their boat for a trip out to sea. You can take a trip on an old lifeboat, a speedboat or sail away in style in a small replica of Captain Cook's ship Endeavor. We didn't take a boat trip due to time restrictions but I would love to set sail on the attractive looking Endeavor. The boat trips were all at affordable prices - up to £5.00 per person.

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Budget Travel

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    Shop til you drop....

    by Myfanwe Written Aug 23, 2011

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    Shopping streets of Whitby
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    There are some great shopping streets in Whitby. The cobbled streets and alleyways are jam packed with shops of every shape and size, Jewellers, craft shops, Gothic memorabilia and plenty of quaint cafe's and delicious looking cake shops thrown in for good measure.

    Related to:
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    • Women's Travel
    • Arts and Culture

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Whitby Things to Do

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