Whitby is tremendously well-loved. The Whitby tourism site calls it ‘the jewel in the crown of the Yorkshire coast’, and we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. From its wide sandy beach to the abbey ruins, this sea-side town makes for a superb day out. If you’re a bit overwhelmed by all that’s on offer, don’t be – we’ve narrowed down all the best ways to spend your day.
First, start off with the only real reason you need visit Whitby – Java’s Cafe. This communal cafe space boasts trendy decor, beautifully presented dishes, an ever-evolving menu and best of all, reasonable prices. Though you’ve got some choice (bagels, veggie brekkies, barm cakes, pancakes) you won’t regret choosing their fry up. And if you can stand to ditch the coffee, try it with one of their delicious very berry smoothies.
After your hearty breakfast, pop over the river for a stroll around the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, full of stories about Captain Cook and his historic voyages. Its the first building you’ll see after the swing bridge, so there’s no excuse (it’s a lot bigger on the inside!). If you head a little further down the river, a certain Curse of the Vampire Treasure Trail awaits your adventure-seeking kids. As a self-guided Treasure Hunt themed walk, you can go at your own pace and discover where the author of Dracula stayed in Whitby and what inspired his dreaded character.
We can’t resist fish and chips when we are by the sea, and where better to go than the Magpie cafe? This cafe is somewhat of a legend in Whitby; the queues have been known to snake down the street. Fish and chips this delicious are certainly worth waiting for and to top it all off, you’ll be treated to beautiful views across the harbour. If anyone in your group isn’t a big seafood fan, there are also other meals to choose from.
Arts and Crafts
Back over the river for some creative fun. Send the kids to Doodlepots. Doodlepots Ceramind Cafe is a pottery club and is the perfect activity to occupy the kids for a while as they create their masterpiece. Make sure you give them a ring first and let them know you’re coming to avoid disappointed kids! Additionally, 15 minutes away, we have the beautiful Falling Foss Tea Gardens. These photogenic gardens provide a real back-to-nature edge to your day and allow you to spend some quality bonding time out in the wilderness. See if you can spot the waterfalls and make sure to take one of their circular walks to see the best of the gardens.
If you’d rather stay in the centre, there’s still much left to see. Primarily, Whitby Abbey. It’s a sight you can’t miss. This gothic abbey built in 657AD requires a grand total of 199 steps of the Church Stairs to get you there, but rest assured it’s worth it. You’ll pass St Mary’s Church on your way and navigate through its eerie graveyard. It’s also the perfect spot to gaze upon the North Sea as the twilight sets in. Whitby Beach is also an essential visit; a place where there’s always something to see. In high-season, take a donkey ride and if you’re feeling brave, get in the water for a paddle and a splash.
For dinner, make it Ditto Restaurant. A highly commended establishment with beautifully executed dishes, Ditto is the place to dine in Whitby. Book an evening table (open Wednesday to Saturday only) and test out the two courses for £25. It’s a family run place with a lovely atmosphere. Additionally, with a delicious range of options that change with the seasons this restaurant will surely end your day in Whitby on a high note.