Beware when travelling on some roads across the moors outside Whitby. There is an excellent grid of roads crossing the moors but many are single track in the more remote areas. There are passing places but luckily it is rare to meet another vehicle coming towards you on these roads. If you are planning to travel and use minor roads buy an Ordnance Survey map and work routes out carefully.
There is only one bridge across the river in the town centre and when a ship needs to sail in or out of the harbour there can be long delays to people and traffic whilst the bridge is opened and closed.
Staithes is only a small town and really is designed for those that are walkers. The car park is at the top of staithes, just off the main road, however to get down to the harbour and the older houses, the road down is extremly steep, and is a great challenge. There is no parking in the town or on the seafront as this is residents only, however it is possible to drive down to the seafront with the car and drop people off , and then return the car to the car park at the top. There are benches on the seafront where it is possible to wait.
The rocks on staithes also arent for the easily scared, unless the tide is at low tide, you do have to climb over some boulders to get onto the cliffs and rock areas whilst this is fun, it is best to be dressed correctly for this as it can be slippy and you may fall over.
Beware the hungry seagull. Whitby seagulls especially have a taste for fish and chips and ice cream and are not afraid to pester you for a bit. Also dont stand underneath any of them for two long - else you never know what may land on you!!!!
Whitby is of course part of the north yorkshire moors and is therefore surrounded by hills. This can be a problem for road access also for getting round in whitby itself.
Road access can be a problem as many of the moors roads into whitby are steep, small and windy, there are various banks along the way which can be an issue for the more wary driver. The locals however are aware this can be daunting for others, and infact take their time on the roads themself.This will be covered in more depth on the north yorkshire moors page.
In whitby itself there are also a number of steep banks, there are steps into whitby town from both the west cliff, and east cliff parking areas, and down from the abbey, both of which can be very tiring and may be difficult for wheel chair users. Those in a wheel chair on the west cliff can get down by road rather than the steps however this is a slightly longer journey and the hill is still quite steep for getting back up.
There are a couple of beaches in the town centre and they are lovely but beware of the very fast tide that comes in as if from nowhere. The first picture shows you us on the beach whilst the second picture admittedly in storm and the highest tide Britain has seen in 15 years or so, shows no beach whatsoever...just huge amounts of foam!
You may be aware that Whitby is administered by Scarborough Borough Council who like to collect council tax from Whitby to spend on Scarbrough. However since house prices have gone through the roof in Whitby it has now been identified as a juicy spot for development. Since Scarborough has the last say as to planning permission Whitby is in danger of turning into another Benedorm so visit now while you can.
Get your fish and chips from Green Lane fisheries on Church Street and take them onto the terrace of the Fleece pub also on Church Street. You can buy your drinks including tea or coffee and sit and look at the harbour while you nosh you fish and chips.
Tell them the Tom Brown sent you and tell them I'll see them when she doesnt know I'm out.
Whitby understandably attracts LOTS of visitors, especially at weekends and during the summer months. The crowd size multiplies further during any of the many festivals, or when The Endeavour docks in Whitby.
The narrow streets can become quite congested, so if you prefer to wander around in a more relaxed manner, it may be best to plan your trip for out of season, or early morning/early evening, to enjoy a more peaceful experience.
Besides the legendary queues at The Magpie (see restaurant tips) other establishments also become quickly filled with people hungry for their fish n chips, so again, plan to eat earlier/later than the masses! ( or find an off the beaten track cafe/ fish n chip shop)
When you are eating your fish and chips near the harbour, beware of these scavengers!! They'll gather nearby, hoping to catch a crumb or two!
In my experience, they're not as bad as the gulls in Scarborough, or Bridlington (Where I've been bombarded by them, and been covered in seagull cr**p!!) :-(
Whilst we were looking for fossels in Runswick we had to quickly dash out of the way of rocks falling from the cliffside. So do beware that rocks could drop on your head while you are rummaging about below the cliffs.