Whitby – Home to Captain James Cook and the trails of Count Dracula:
Mention Whitby and “holiday resort and fish and chips” come to mind. To the unsuspecting modern day traveller, Whitby presents as a sleepy Victorian holiday resort and fishing town.
But, Whitby has a long history as an industrial port and a shipbuilding town and is also home to a few famous residents. And, those with vivid imagination or a belief in the supernatural may see more when they look up the cliff at St. Mary’s Churchyard – was it a wolf, or a bat, or maybe Count Dracula himself!
Whitby is set among the fine stretches of the North Yorkshire coast with spectacular cliffs, beaches and bays. Arriving in town, the sights that make an immediate impression are the cliff-top ruins of the beautiful 13th century Whitby Abbey and its quaint harbour with two striking piers.
This traditional maritime town with its old cobbled streets and picturesque houses is popular as a short break destination. Some even come just to enjoy the fish and chips that Whitby is famous for.
Whitby and Captain James Cook
History buffs and those who were diligent in their history studies know that Whitby was where James Cook did his apprenticeship as a sailor and learned his craft from Whitby’s mariners. It was from Whitby that James Cook set sail in 1768 in the Endeavour and charted the coast of New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia. Two of the vessels he used on his long and perilous voyages – ‘Resolution’ and ‘Endeavour’ were built in Whitby.
Count Dracula and Whitby
Thanks to Dracula, Whitby is now famous the world over and millions have come to know about Whitby through three chapters of the novel set in this town. Bram Stoker knew Whitby well, loved the place and was inspired by it. You can have a Dracula experience by doing the Whitby Dracula Trail starting at the Dram Stoker Memorial Seat at the south end of Spion Kop, West Cliff. For a guided walk, check with the Tourist Information Office.
There’s a range of things to see and do in Whitby, including the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, following the trails of Dracula, Victorian Jet Works, Pannett Park and Whitby Museum.
For those who enjoy active holidays, there’s mountain biking, sailing, cruising on the replica of the Endeavour, fishing, walking and much more in Whitby itself and the neighbouring bays and counties. Whitby is also a good base for a driving holiday around the North Yorkshire coast.
Whitby is well serviced with many seafood restaurants, pubs and old world English tea rooms serving freshly baked pastries and Yorkshire teas. This is the town where some say has the best fish and chips in England.
There’s a good selection of Guest Houses, Hotels, B&Bs, Farms and Camping and Caravaning in Whitby and along the Yorkshire Coast.