Whitby Tourist Office Information - Whitby Tourist Office information. A guide to whitby seaside port resort and the history of Whitby
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Whitby - Fishing Harbour and Tate Hill Sands
Whitby Harbour

Whitby - where there is something for everyone

Whitby
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.

 


Whitby - Ruins of Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey


Whitby - Fishing Boats in Whitby Harbour
Boats in Whitby Harbour

Whitby's past 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 trawlers 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.


Whitby - Map of Whitby
Map of Whitby

Whitby - Whitby Abbey Ruins
Whitby Abbey
 

The Monastery: 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.

Whitby - The late Rex Greenwood of Whitby, portraying Cat Cook
Mr Rex Greenwood as
Captain James Cook


Whitby - Old Wooden Swing Bridge of Whitby
Whitby Swing bridge

Whitby Swing 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.

 

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