Whitby on the edge of the North York Moors, at the mouth of the River Esk, surrounded by some of the most impressive coastline in Northern England. Houses with red clay pantiled roofs, and cobbled streets, dominated by the ruins of the Abbey. Take a half-hour boat trip along the Esk and a short distance out into the North Sea, or an all day sea angling trip for those with good sea legs.
Climb the 199 steps to St Hilda's Abbey sacked by the Danes in the 9th century, the imposing ruins one can see today date from some 300 years later. St Mary's Church with box pews dating from the 15th century and a roof constructed by local shipwrights. Wander the East side with its narrow cobbled streets. Superb fish restaurants or an early morning buttie from the stall by the fish market. Lobster pots piled high.
Bram Stoker spent the summer of 1890 in the town. Dracula's shipwreck based loosely on that of a Russian vessel Demetrius a few years earlier. Its captain and a couple of crew were the only ones to survive. The events were retold to Stoker by local residents who remembered the cargo included fifty coffins whose remains were to be washed up along the coast over the next few months. Take a Ghost Walk.
Walk through the whale bone arch, a reminder of the prosperity brought to the town by whaling in the late 18th century. Scant mention is made of the fact our forefathers virtually hunted the species to near extinction. Nearby is the Captain Cook statue. Did you know all four of his vessels were built in the port?
Whitby from where Captain James Cook sailed on his various round the world explorations. To see his voyages plotted on a map of the world really brings home just what a superb seaman and navigator he was. Did you know that during his first voyage Captain Cook was the first person to chart the East Coast of Australia? And he produced the first accurate navigational charts for large areas of the Pacific.
Staithes- the old Town huddled around the Beck with its narrow cobbled streets feels as if time has indeed stood still. Robin Hoods Bay- twisting cobbled and so steep streets- very evocative photos from the late 18th century giving a hint to its smuggling past. Though the road down is now paved cars are encouraged to park at the top and the village has lost none of its charm. Try your luck on a fossil hunt. Please adhere to the collecting code of conduct. Keep away from the unstable cliffs, take heed of the tides, wear sensible footwear and safety googles. The mudstone and shales might yield an ammonite or if you are very very lucky and know what you are looking for a vertebra of a dinosaur. Alternative just explore the living marine life of the rock pools. Saltburn
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