I remember visiting Whitby as a child. Not often, but I have hazy memories of Crazy Golf on West Cliff and walking some serious steps from Sandsend to Robin Hoods Bay. I have heard fellow northerners say I simply must return as an adult, so consequently in my eight month of being back up north, I took that advice.
Whitby is wondrous.
In February, Whitby is a quiet seaside town, with breath-taking coastlines, cobbled streets, haunting Abbeys and a history that is rich in Yorkshire culture. Over the course of two days I walked over twenty miles exploring the nooks and crannies of this gorgeous tiny town, and left with magical memories and a desire to return, quickly.
Whitby’s beaches spread out for miles, encompassing cute little bays and stretching into a magnificent harbour. Dog friendly through the winter, four legged furry friends chase the waves and scamper after balls whilst children play on the sand in coats and hats.
You can walk a pleasant walk across the beach from Whitby to Sandsend, it is about three miles then you can settle in for a treat of a salmon sandwich at the Sandside Café before heading back to town across the cliff top, via Pannett Park for an extra treat.
Pannett Park is home to Whitby’s Art Gallery where you can browse for free, and then catch your breath by sitting amongst the beautifully kept gardens and children’s play area.
My travels took me through the beautiful cobbled streets where holiday cottages, sweet shops, and quaint jewellery stores entice you in.
199 steps lay between myself and Whitby Abbey, which sits high on a cliff, staring out over town. The haunting ruins show why Whitby has a gothic reputation most commonly linked with Count Dracula himself.
You can see Whitby from a height by standing in front of the Abbey or climbing the lighthouse in the town below.
And of course then there is the food…
The smell of fish cooking in scores of restaurants lingers tastefully in the air. Queues can be seen, even in winter, outside the favoured Fish and Chip shops. Seagulls circle hopefully as everyone tucks into their tea by the harbour.
Two days of good food, long walks, historic sightings. Where I learnt about Captain Hook, talked to fisherman, and drank good wine as the sunset over the beach.
Who needs to go abroad when you have such beauty on your doorstep.
Whitby – I will be back.