Friday 29 May 2015
Whitby is a coastal town in North Yorkshire which is situated on the mouth of the River Esk. Any first time visitor to Whitby will instantly recognise that this seaside town has a maritime history. With its impressive harbour walls and inland harbour the town has been an important fishing port for centuries. It is also famous for the fact that Captain Cook learned his seamanship here.
A large swing bridge divides the town and the old town is situated on the Abbey side of the harbour. With its quaint houses of brick and stone and narrow roads, the visitor gets a glimpse of what it might have been like in past years. Whitby today is a tourist destination. The town changed from a fishing village to a popular tourist destination during the Georgian period and tourism increased further with the arrival of the ralway in 1839.
There has been a settlement at Whitby since 656 and several earlier monastries which were either destroyed or rebuilt. Whitby is known for its Jet Jewellery. Whitby at its peak in 1790 was the third largest shipbuilder in England. The ship HMS Endeavour that took Captain Cook to Australia and New Zealand was built in Whitby in 1764.
On the Old Town side of Whitby there are 199 steps that lead up to the Church of St. Mary which is famous for giving Bram Stoker the inspiration for his famous book - Dracula. The ruins of St Hilda's Abbey dominates the skyline are cared for by English Heritage for which there is an entrance fee. Interestingly the Abbey also claims to be the inspiration for Dracula.
The town of Whitby with its lobster or crab baskets on the quayside is a typically English seaside town. The main harbour area and old town are a delight to explore and there are plenty of cafes, pubs and restaurants available as well as many small independent shops. A definite 'must visit' location if you find yourself in this part of the world.
For more photos of Whitby click here