What are the Ten Best Places to Visit in Whitby?
A recent report states that Whitby is the staycation capital of the North!
North Yorkshire property consultancy, Hendersons, shared the news recently and it was picked up by the regional media.
Here at the Riviera, we’ve always known Whitby is one of the nicest towns in Yorkshire to visit.
Of course, we’d love you to stay with us during your staycation and visit the ten best places in Whitby!
We are handy for the Whalebone Arch and the Whitby Pavilion. Whitby Beach is also a short walk away. The following is just a small selection of things to see while you stay ‘by the sea!’
We thought we’d put together a list of ten places to visit during your stay.
There’s lots more beside these!
There should be something for everyone in our list. Here goes …
North Yorkshire Moors Railway
North Yorkshire Moors Railway Whitby Railway Station, near the harbour.
Our favourite heritage railway! Of course, we’re biased but we often hear the steam trains puffing their way out of Whitby Railway Station.
With a station and platform in the heart of Whitby, this steam locomotive attraction takes passengers through the heart of the glorious North York Moors National Park.
Stations en-route include Levisham, Grosmont and Pickering.
A mix of steam and diesel engines pull the carriages, and you can’t beat the sights, sounds and smells of a steam locomotive for a truly special sensory experience.
The 199 Steps
Leading up to Whitby Abbey.
Yes, you can count them as you climb these famous steps! They are a challenge that most visitors tackle and there is a step-free (if somewhat bumpy) pedestrian route to the top too.
At the summit you are greeted with stunning views over the town, of Whitby Abbey and St Mary’s Church.
The steps get a mention in the famous gothic novel, Dracula, written by Bram Stoker.
It is thought stone from nearby Sneaton replaced original wooden steps in the mid-1770s.
If you find yourself getting a bit out of breath, there are some resting places as you make your way up.
Whitby Abbey From Abbey Lane.
Now cared for by English Heritage, this impressive sight is an iconic one in Yorkshire.
The first monastery was founded here in around 657.
Today the remains seen date from the 13th Century church of the Benedictine Abbey, founded after the Normal Conquest.
The site of the Abbey has an impressive history, dating back to the late Bronze Age.
It is one of the finest monuments in Yorkshire and must be seen to understand the size and scale of this dramatic building and its history.
Whitby Museum In Pannett Park
This is an independent museum that occupies a building in the lovely Pannett Park.
It includes a fascinating mix of fossils, natural history, model ships, carved jet, costumes, and social history. The museum also includes artefacts of the Scoresby family and the explorer Captain Cook.
With a renewed interest in historic Arctic exploration, William Scoresby Junior published his famous book, Account of the Arctic Regions in 1820 and he also mapped out a large section of Greenland’s East Coast.
You can happily while away a few hours in this fascinating museum which covers many aspects of Whitby’s complex history.
St Mary’s Church
Near Whitby Abbey.
Commanding one of the most impressive views in Yorkshire, St Mary’s Church was founded in 1110.
The interior dates from the late 18thCentury and is now a Grade I Listed building.
The church includes a peal of ten bells and the three-decker pulpit.
Inside discover the wooden pews and some of the carvings made into the timber, probably by bored youngsters during long sermons!
Captain Cook Memorial Museum
Captain Cook Memorial Museum In Grape Lane.
Dedicated to one of the world’s greatest explorers, the building dates from the 17th Century.
All sorts of treasures and artefacts are just waiting to be discovered.
Captain Cook lodged here in 1746 while he was an apprentice and returned in the winter of 1771-1772 after his first voyage.
The museum includes several important collections including Cook’s letters, a number of paintings and prints, and lots more.
Outside there is the Cook Museum Courtyard Garden including 18th Century-type plants.
It is well worth a visit to this property which has strong connections to one of the world’s best-known explorers.
On West Cliff.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Riviera Guesthouse, Whitby Pavilion is a one-stop venue for live entertainment in the town.
Established in 1878, it includes an auditorium and a proscenium arch, a cinema, exhibition hall and fantastic views of Whitby Beach.
Of course, the Pavilion has been closed due the Covid-19 Pandemic but is starting to promote events for later in 2021.
On West Pier.
What is it with Whitby and all the steps! The sandstone Whitby Lighthouse on the West Pier is another ‘must do’ for visitors. It is a steep climb to the top, but the views are amazing!
On North Terrace
Whitby’s connection to the whaling industry could be seen as a troubling one considering today’s need to help keep our seas healthy and full of sea creatures.
Back in the mid 1700s, though, whaling helped Whitby become a thriving coastal town.
It was a hazardous way to make a living, tackled in freezing conditions many miles from home.
At the peak of the whaling industry 55 whaling ships sailed from Whitby.
Tradition says that when a ship had a successful catch, they would display a whalebone on the mast.
Products that were made from whales included oil, bones for corsetry and glue.
A Whalebone Arch on Whitby’s West Cliff has stood on the cliffs for many decades and the bones you see today are a replica.
The good thing is locals and visitors can see whales in their natural habitat as many of them swim in the North Sea and not far from Whitby Beach.
Pannett Park Pannett Park
A complete haven of peacefulness, this oasis of calm includes a play area (which can get a bit rowdy!), Lily Pond, Commemorative Garden, Jurassic Garden, South Sea Garden, a Community Garden, and the famous Floral Clock.
Pannett Park provides a nice, sheltered area away from the sea breezes and is well worth visiting.
So that’s the top ten places! Of course, there’s so many other attractions in Whitby. For example, we’ve not mentioned the Dracula Experience, the Museum of Victorian Science, the Open Top Bus Tours for when your legs can’t manage one more step and the many fabulous shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Whitby also has its fair share of fabulous events, with the Regatta being one of the most well-known.
It is nice when Whitby gets recognised as one of the top places to visit in Yorkshire.
It is fair to say many businesses have felt the pinch in the last year … it will be great to see Whitby (safely) busy again when the time is right.