Whitby Tourist Information
Whitby - where there is
something for everyone
on a steep wooded inlet of the
River Esk, offers a delightful
combination of fishing port and tourist centre.
The ancient town of Whitby has been the
scene of the Synod, held at the
Abbey of St Hilda;
nurtured Caedmon, the first English poet; has fostered the genius of Capt
Cook and his sailing ships, built in the town; fathered the abilities and
bravery of the Scoresby family, the finest sailors and whalers of their
day; hosted authors the likes of the great Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker
author of "Dracula". Today, Whitby is still a very busy fishing and
trading port and has become very popular for tourism, taking the family
holidays or a short weekend breaks. Whitby is well situated close to the
North Yorkshire Moors to visit other popular towns of Scarborough;
Bridlington; Filey; York where you will find the historic York Minster and
the National Railway Museum.
The old town of Whitby (East side)
where its ancient cobbled streets still wind beneath cliffs, dominated by
Gothic remains of our Abbey founded ( 657AD ) over 1300 years ago.
You can sea and smell the character of years gone by, where picturesque
red roofed houses nestle on the slopes above the river Esk.
Whitby is one of Britain's finest coastlines, with cliffs, panoramic bays and safe
sandy beaches. Whitby has been a port for more than a thousand years and is still a
seafarer's town, keeping it`s olde worlde character.
Boats in Whitby Harbour
and present have combined to make it known to millions throughout the
world, even the darker corners of our town have been immortalised in the classic Victorian
novel "Dracula". The author Bram Stoker set three quarters of his story
in and around
Whitby. It is still possible to retrace those steps of the undead when taking the
"Dracula Trail Tour".
The black stone has been found and worked by local craftsmen for centuries. Each piece
is handled ten times in a method of working that has not changed for over 150 years.
Craftsmen can be seen today working their skills on the black stone, known as
"Whitby Jet", turning it into the finest jewellery. Sales boomed on the death of
Albert the prince consort, husband to our great Queen Victoria, who insisted on nothing
better than the colour black for dress or jewellery.
Every visitor to Whitby sees the great Abbey which
dominates the East Cliff of the town and many tourists climb the 199 well worn steps to
take a closer look at the ruins. You can take in a show; climb the famous 199 steps;
browse in the Captain Cook Museum; take in the Dracula Trail guided tour; walk along the
harbour front and watch the deep sea
land their catches or just pick one of the
many panoramic views of Whitby, sit and watch the world go by. Whitby is centrally located
to visit all the places up and down the coast, Scarborough; Goathland (home to the TV
series "Heartbeat"); Grosmont and the Steam Railway; the ancient town of York;
local fishing villages, such as Robin Hoods Bay; Runswick Bay; Staithes and many more
attractions, not forgetting the lovely North Yorkshire Moorlands.
Map of Whitby
Whitby Abbey of Streoneshalh
from which arose Whitby Abbey, was founded in the year 657AD by Oswy, King of Northumbria.
Lady Hilda, then 44 years of age, was appointed the first Abbess, and dedicated to St
Peter. The ruins of the Abbey as seen today, were built over 500 years after the death of
Lady Hilda, who became a Saint and was known by the Anglo Saxon name of Hild, meaning
"battle" and was born into the Royal house of Northumbria.
Captain James Cook was born
on October 27 th 1728 in the village not far from Whitby, called Marston. The Cook family
moved to Great Ayton, where James went to school. At 17 years of age he was placed with Mr
William Sanderson, a shop keeper in the coastal village of Staithes . Later, he joined a
family from Whitby, the Walker brothers, who owned and sailed ships from the port, serving
his time apprenticed to the family business. After his apprenticed days, he sailed the
family ships, earning his living. Cook gave up eventual certain promotion to a Captain
within the Merchant Navy Services, taking the step to volunteer for the Royal Navy,
joining as Able Seaman. He soon rose through the ranks and became a Master, the highest
non commissioned post achievable and was highly respected by his superiors. Fame awaited
Captain James Cook, who went on to circumnavigate the world three times, mapping the
oceans of the world for the Royal Navy.
Mr Rex Greenwood as
Captain James Cook
Whitby Swing bridge
bridge which joins
the two communities East and West of the river Esk together, has been the scene of rivalry
in the earlier part of this century, where gangs of youths would contest the bridge with
" t`other side o` watter dogs ". The original bridge was first mentioned in 1351
and used to lie to the South of the present one, roughly aligned with Baxtergate.
Centuries ago, houses on wooden piles overhung the river above and below the bridge. A
block of early 18th century buildings on the south side was demolished in 1975. The
present swing bridge was built in 1909 and is electrically operated.
Whitby Tourist Information: