A Day Out in Whitby, England
Updated: Jun 29
I've not explored England's east coast as much as I would have liked, so I did a bit of research and took some recommendations into account, and decided Whitby looked like a good place to start. I looked at some photos online before going, but nothing prepared me for how beautiful this North Yorkshire seaside town really was. For our day out in Whitby we parking on the West Cliff, where we had a good vantage point over the bay as we made our way through the town towards the abbey. There is always a lot going on in Whitby, so you can easily find something that everyone will enjoy. My favourite facts? Of course it would have to be that it was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula and that they host a Goth Weekendevery year.
There are a number of fantastic historical attractions in Whitby to visit, and this North Yorkshire seaside town more than lives up to its reputation for being one of the most beautiful towns in the whole of England. Here's what I got up to during my day out in Whitby:
Things To Do in Whitby
Whitby town centre is not the easiest to drive through, or find parking in. We decided to park on the West Cliff and take a stroll into the centre from there. It's only about a 15 minute walk, and the views of the town and the abbey are incredible.
The first Whitby attraction we came across was the Captain Cook statue which stands atop the West Cliff, overlooking Whitby Bay. This bronze statue was built to commemorate the men who sailed with him as well as the men who built the Whitby Ships.
One of the best free things to do in Whitby during a day out is to walk through the Whalebone Arch. The 20-foot jaw bones were erected in the mid-nineteenth century to recognize the importance of the whaling industry in Whitby. It sits right next to the Captain Cook statue so is easy to locate if you're on the West Cliff.
The East Pier stretches out into the sea, and is lovely to walk along on a sunny day. To the right you can see the abbey perched high on the cliff, and to the left you'll be able to look out over the beach, which is a popular spot in the summer.
There are plenty of boat tours you can go on as well, which take you around the Bay of Whitby. There's also a replica of Captain Cook's ship that you can travel on. Unfortunately I didn't have time to go on a boat tour, but it's considered one of the best things to do in Whitby.
Buying a stick of Whitby rock is an absolute must. The entire town is filled with independent sweet shops for you to sink your teeth into, and many of them also serve a wide variety of ice creams too.
Did someone say ice cream? Just near the East Pier there was a stall selling "gothic" ice cream. I had no idea what the flavour would be, but it turns out it tastes like vanilla, and the black colour comes from charcoal extract. In my opinion, no day out in Whitby is complete unless you try one of these.
The old cobbled streets leading up to the abbey are gorgeous and full of quaint little shops and pubs. Most of the pubs are packed with people though, so if you can find a spot in one of them you should take it quickly.
How do you get to the abbey? Well first you need to trudge up the famous 199 steps to the top of the cliff, and then take a stroll through the "Dracula" graveyard. The steps themselves are a major tourist attraction, and were once thought to be a test of Christian faith. Those who made it to the top of the steps were deemed to be faithful.
I don't think there's any point in walking up the 199 steps to get to the abbey and not go inside. It's a beautiful historic site to walk around, and has recently been named Britain's most romantic ruin.
The best way to end a day trip to Whitby is by grabbing some of their famous fish and chips. We stopped at Silver Street Fisheries, after doing some research online, and sat down to take in the views from the West Cliff one last time.
There are many things to do in North Yorkshire, and I can't wait to explore more of what this area has to offer. If you find yourself with some free time, I couldn't recommend having a day out in Whitby enough.
I'm slowly making my way around England, so if you need any recommendations on what to do in Manchester, Liverpool, or Bath, check out my blog posts about these cities. And remember to follow me on Instagram to keep up to date with my latest adventures!