Some of Our Favourite Things at the Riviera Guesthouse

We are so lucky to live and work in Whitby here on the North Yorkshire Coast.

This bustling resort with its year-round appeal is home to the mighty River Esk and the busy Harbour.

We have the often-packed town centre, and a thriving events calendar.

The town is famously connected to Whitby Abbey, Dracula, and Captain Cook.

Yet our staycation resort is also connected to three of our favourite things: Lucky Ducks, Whitby Jet and Botham’s.

Lucky Ducks

Whitby Lucky Ducks are made in the heart of the town in Sandgate at the emporium, Whitby Glass.

Founded in 1958, Whitby Glass is a small group of artists and craftspeople working in glass.

Did you know the Lucky Ducks come in 12 jewel-inspired colours?

Their colours match the gemstones that are considered lucky for each month of the year.

Find out more here! 


Protected Ducks


The Whitby Lucky Duck is so special it is protected by copyright.

Apparently, the idea was first ‘hatched’ when the little glass birds were made for friends of the firm with connections to the theatrical world.

These friends always carried a charm with them on stage or if they appeared in front of the cameras.

Many actors are superstitious and the Lucky Ducks were considered to be amulets by many thespians.


Going Global


Since these early beginnings, tens of thousands of glass ducks have been sold to holiday makers, businesses, actors, explorers, students, drivers … just about anyone!

The lucky ducks are found all over the world and many folks don’t travel anywhere without their own little glass duck.

The elegant little glass creations have been featured on TV, on the radio and in numerous print and online publications.


The Process


They are made of Venetian glass, and heated in a kiln to temperatures 200 to 250 degrees centigrade.

And in addition to their ‘paddling’ of glass ducks, Whitby Glass creates other handmade glass animals such as fish, octopus, swans and more.


Whitby Jet




Moving away from glass, we have blogged about  Whitby Jet, a fascinating subject before.

Yet Whitby Jet still holds a fascination for us here at the Riviera Guesthouse.

This precious black gemstone is synonymous with the town, as fragments can be found on the beach.

If you find some, then you’ll be surprised at how lightweight it is!


Jet Businesses


When Queen Victoria made jet popular during her reign, the jet industry became a big employer in the town.

It employed around 1,500 people in the late 1800s.


Buying Whitby Jet

Whitby Jet

Of course, you don’t have to forage for your own piece of jet, or have a good knowledge of the beach combing rules.

Simply relax and wander around the narrow, timeless cobbled streets of Whitby.

Make time to see the many independent stores selling stunning, highly polished necklaces, rings, bracelets and brooches.

Botham’s of Whitby



After all that retail therapy, it is time for some well-earned refreshments!

Whitby is festooned with foodie loveliness, yet if you want something connected with the town, Botham’s is one local concern that means business when it comes to baking!

Set up by Elizabeth Botham in 1865, Elizabeth started out by selling her bread and cakes from a basket at the local market.

Working hard, she bought the premises in Skinner Street

Now into its fifth generation as a family-run business, a visit to Botham’s is part of the Whitby experience.


Botham’s Favourites


If you visit Botham’s, or call into one of their shops, then don’t be thinking of calories!

The independent company is famous for its Whitby Lemon Buns, Yorkshire Brack and Plum Bread.



Inspiration for Botham’s 


The family are very proud of their Whitby connections and take inspiration from the rich and varied history of the port.

If you love a cup of tea, then the Botham’s house blend Resolution Tea is named after the famous ship, HMS Resolution.

Captain Cook captained the vessel, sailing the Pacific beneath its magnificent sails.

If tea isn’t your thing, then maybe a giant Captain Cookie is!

Again, giving a tasty nod to the famous captain, voyager and explorer, the cookies include flavours connected with his sea-journeys including coconut, lime and ginger.

Other Famous Whitby Connections


As well as Bram Stoker, who penned Dracula, other famous writers connected to the town include Charles Dickens, Elizabeth Gaskell  and Lewis Carroll, who wrote the Alice in Wonderland books.

Photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe captured iconic images with this camera and of course, our town is host to the Whitby Goth Weekend and Steampunk events each year.

Fish and chips, ice cream and beach chalets also make Whitby truly special.

Inspired By This Blog?


We haven’t mentioned the beautiful scenery, the glorious beaches and the numerous attractions in Whitby.

From heritage railways to National Parks, we are lucky to live here.

Our impressive film guide to Yorkshire gives you a rundown of the many films and TV dramas that have connections to the town.

One of the TV series we’ve rediscovered recently is ITVs Victoria: many scenes were filmed in Whitby! 


Our Place in Whitby


The Riviera Guesthouse is a family run business is one of many proud concerns in our hometown.

We run our 15-bedroomed guesthouse overlooking the North Sea and it has been a source of inspiration to us for many years.

Our family has grown over the years, yet our business has remained our constant.