A small seaside town in Yorkshire, what it lacks in size, it certainly makes up for with the number of things to do and see. Boasting endless golden sands lined with traditional beach huts, breathtaking views of the east and west cliffs, and a little history, Whitby is up there on the must-see places in England.
Whether you’re searching for that ever-romantic retreat, somewhere to enjoy with all the family or are heading for a weekend with all the girls, there is surely something to suit all interests. Plus, even when you think you’ve exhausted all of the offerings of this town, there are still many more things to do closeby.
Here at Snaptrip, we think the UK’s beaches need to be celebrated more. So, we’re gonna shout about them, loud and proud. From Cornwall to Cleveland and Whitby to Wales, wherever you’re based, the UK has its very own slice of the Mediterranean. Read on to find out about the best things to in and around Whitby – and don’t forget to check out these luxury holiday cottages too!
Top attractions in Whitby
This Yorkshire coast isn’t just great for fish and chips and postcode pictures. Boasting loads of attractions that the whole family will enjoy, it’s certainly worth a visit.
Captain Cook Memorial Museum
Best for: the whole family
Adventure to the stunning 17th century, that was previously owned by John Walker and where James Cook famously resided in. The museum now celebrates his incredible voyages of discovery. With special exhibitions and events, taking place throughout the year, be sure to check what’s on before you travel. Plus, look out for the Captain Cook Memorial statue.
Pannett Art Gallery
Best for: older couples
Located in the peaceful Pannett Park, in the centre of town, this sophisticated art gallery offers a mix of 19th and 20th century paintings. Plus, you’re sure to remember this trip for years to come with a memento from the on-site shop.
Best for: boys and their toys
Once a RNLI lifeboat station, now this Victorian building celebrates the area’s award-winning lifeboat history. Featuring paintings, photographs, medals and more, prepare to pose next to the full-sized lifeboat, which is displayed in the window.
Best for: breathtaking views
One of the most famous things to do in Whitby, this abbey can be reached by climbing the 199 steps. Situated above the North Sea on the East Cliff, the Abbey is said to be a centre of the medieval Northumbrian kingdom.
Best for: young couples
A beautiful place for a stroll on a clear day, head to the harbour and experience real traditional coastal living. From creamy ice cream to crunchy fish and chips, there’s endless places to fill up on. After all, they do say sea air makes you hungry…
Best for: solo travellers
Built in 1908, this bridge crosses the River Esk, allowing pedestrians and vehicles to move safely. But will you be fortunate to see it opening?
The Whalebone Arch
Best for: history geeks
While the original arch was made out of a real whale jaw bone, the current one is a replica. However, it is still one of the area’s best attractions. Originally erected in 1853, the 20-foot jaw bones were said to honor a time when the bones were a sign that whalers had survived the hunt.
Whitby Whale Watching
Best for: animal lovers
Whether you look out to sea from land, or take a boat trip, you may be able to spot whales here. Daily cruises take passengers in search of water’s biggest animals including whales, dolphins, seals, sea birds & other native wildlife.
The Dracula Experience
Best for: movie fans
Whitby and Dracula are connected thanks to Bram Stoker’s 1897 book. After visiting the area in 1890, Stoker found inspiration for his vampire tale. While there are several Dracula related activities in the area, one of the best ones takes place at 9 Marine Parade in a building dating back hundreds of years. And rumour has it, that a young girl with ringlets playing on the first floor is actually the resident ghost!
Top attractions near Whitby
Museum of Victorian Science
Best for: all ages
Fun for all the family, this intriguing place offers jam-packed demonstrations, scientific fun and guided tours. Look out for railway tubes, a telegraph system and Jacob’s ladder. It’s a great way to educate your little ones about the Victorian times, with plenty to do for all ages – if the weather’s not on your side.
North York Moors National Park and Railway
Best for: taking great pictures
All aboard one of these traditional steam trains and travel through the Moors. Take in the breathtaking scenery, the fresh outdoor air and enjoy spending good quality time with your loved ones.
Robin Hood’s Bay
Best for: food
A stunning bay and small fishing village within the North York Moors National Park and just 5 miles south of Whitby, Robin Hood’s Bay is great for walks, shops and places to eat
Poets Cottage Shrub Nursery
Best for: those with green fingers
Know your Damask Rose from your Dog Rose? This beautiful nursery on the banks of the River Esk is right up your street. Close to the train station and local car park, it makes for a great day out. Plus, why not take a picnic and make the most of the day?
Falling Foss Tea Garden
Best for: treating the ladies in your life
There’s nothing better than a traditional cream tea and this pretty garden cafe gets it spot on. Enjoy sweet sensations and savoury treats – and why not go all out with a glass of crisp fizz?
Best for: a day trip
A nearby town with plenty more attractions to enjoy, Scarborough has 2 sandy bays, a historical castle and breathtaking Peasholm Park Japanese gardens. A favourite for many is also the Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary’s marine displays. With lots of places to eat and drinks, it’s a great day trip for all.
North Yorkshire has a number of gorgeous beaches ideal for picnics, sports and relaxation. Some of the closest to Whitby include Sandsend, Upgang, Whitby Sands and Saltwick Bay.
So there you have it, Snaptrip’s top picks for things to do in and around Whitby. Whether you want to enjoy the fresh outdoors, get the kids involved in the area’s local history or relax on the beautiful sands, Whitby has something to offer. It’s the perfect place for a gorgeous beach getaway.