The quaint streets of Whitby, leading to the harbour, which provided the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula”, are now filled curios, antiques and small shops where personal service is still the rule, making browsing and shopping a real pleasure.
Perched high on the east cliff proudly stands the haunting remains of Whitby's magnificent Abbey, founded by St Hilda in 657ad. Adjacent to this is St Mary’s Church which features carved pews made by ship’s carpenters and craftsmen from Whitby’s once booming whaling fleet.
Whitby Museum gives only a hint of the rich history which can be found by wandering around Whitby’s streets. Inside the museum, discover the town’s most famous inhabitant. Captain James Cook, who sailed from this port to change the history of the world. His house, now the Captain Cook Museum, can still be seen on Grape Lane.
The North Yorkshire Moors National Park, bordered by the Cleveland and Hambleton Hills, is a quiet, unspoilt upland area perfect for walking or touring. From the magnificent panoramic views at the top of Sutton Bank to Grosmont, the junction of the impressive North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway to the Esk Valley line, lies peaceful moor land and gentle valleys with pretty villages, castles and abbeys in abundance.
Goathland with its “Heartbeat” connections, is within easy reach, as are the towns, villages and expanses of glorious countryside associated with James Herriot country.
Along the coast, where one can follow the Captain Cook Heritage Trail from his birthplace at Great Ayton to his departure port of Whitby, are the quaint and picturesque fishing villages of Staithes and Runswick Bay. Travel south of the town to Robin Hood’s Bay and beyond to the Victorian splendour of Scarborough.
Within easy driving distance are the cities of Durham, Ripon and York and, to the north, Hadrian’s Wall and Border Country are well worth a visit.
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Whitby images are provided by Mike Shaw of Flowergate Gallery, Whitby.