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Whitby Present and Past

What makes Whitby such a fantastic place to stay?

It could be all down to the history absorbed, captured and preserved on the cliffs and the shoreline of the Esk. Like the fossils and jet embedded in the cliffs, the history of Whitby is an ingrained treasure you can feel and touch. It surrounds you with echoes of those who have lived, loved, worked and died in the bay of light.

History

We'll be adding loads more about the history of Wynd Cottage and Whitby. This is work in progress but We have made a start here.

Ceadmon's hymn - Translation, notes and context.

 

Modern Day Whitby

There's plenty to see, do, eat and drink in Whitby - here's a few ideas to get you started

All for Free

Lets start with what's absolutely free:

The Beaches -

West Cliff Beach: Wide and sandy, it can get busy close the the piers and further down towards the chalets. For the safest swimming, make your way along to the life guard patrolled section. The surf can be good for body boarding and proper surfing. At high tide only a small area of beach is left dry, so plan your beach times around the tides.

Tate Hill Beach: A small beach within the harbour on the east side. Plenty of sand at high tide and calm waters for little ones paddling.

Other Beaches: The West Cliff stretches all the way to Sandsend which makes a pleasant change in a little village full of character. Further afield by car or cliff walk is Saltwick bay beach. Robin Hoods bay is always a good trip out, with a bit of beach, plenty of rock pools and then there's the village to explore. Runswick Bay is also worth a visit.

Perambulating around Whitby -

Just walking, looking, exploring. There are so many paths or yards, alley ways and little streets. You can spend days exploring and only see half of Whitby. Once you've wandered the piers and up the steps to the church and abbey or along the inner harbour to see all the boats you might want to go a little deeper.
There are some great books and pamphlets in the cottage which highlight some of the places and things you might want to see. You will find some fantastic new views and learn more about the history of Whitby

Free Places and Things-

You might feel obliged to make a donation but there's places for you to see for free. Start with the churches, St. Mary's is fascinating and then there are many in the town open to visitors.
There is Panet Park with lots to see and for the kids, next to the Whitby Museum is a fun play area and the Jurassic Walk. While you are there the art galley of the museum is free.
If the kids are in to skateboards, scooters, etc. they need to check out the Skate Park on the West Cliff. Nearby is the Archery Field which is a good place for kite flying if you can't get down to the beach.
Crabbing from the harbour and piers can entertain children (and adults) for hours at a time.
The Whitby Lifeboat museum is worth a good look as is The Whitby Jet Heritage Centre on the East Side.

Watching the world go by -

Just sitting and watching the world go by. There are plenty of benches dotted around Whitby with some fantastic views. With binoculars you can zoom in on any action. Check the ships out at sea or listen to the scanner to hear the harbour comings and goings.
During the many events that take places throughout the year you might spot some colourful characters and see some unusual street entertainment.

Window shopping -

OK it's only free until you spot that must have item, or a present for Aunty so and so. There is such a variety of shops, galleries and boutiques you will always find something to your taste. Sandgate and Church Street on the East side are very popular but dont miss out on the West side shops on Skinner Street, Silver street and Flowergate.

Short walks -

If you start when the tide is going out you can make it to Sandsend and back along the beach. If you've left it a bit too long you can always get the bus back.
Heading in the other direction, signposted from the square outside the Abbey, is the costal path. Following this brings you first to Saltwick Nab, the beach at Saltwick Bay, the fog horn station then the lighthouse. Carry on and you will end up at Robin Hoods Bay.
If you fancy going inland you can follow the river up to Ruswarp. Another path on the way back takes you up to the old railway, now the cinder track cycle way where you get a spectacular view from the viaduct.

There's plenty of other options, you will find some books and guides in the cottage.

Walking further afield -

Exploring further afield {either walk all the way or drive to a start point). The whole of the Noth Yorkshire Moors and Coast Line are on your doorstep. There's an OS map in the cottage to help you plan routes. If you do plan anything adventurous please be careful and make sure you are fully prepared for however the weather may change.

 

For a Bit Extra - Activities

By no means an exhaustive list but here a few ideas.

The Abbey is a must see, audio guides come with the entrance fee and there are often events included during peak times. For full details see the English Heritage Website

Boat trips are always on offer with a choice of boats to go on. The Old Lifeboat is a particular favorite or Little pirates might preffer the the Bark Endevour.

Fishing Trips. Many boats are available to charter for fishing or join a regular sea angling trip.

Captain Cook Museum, learn about how important Whitby was, the ship building and the skillful mariners who started off here. www.cookmuseumwhitby.co.uk

Whitby Museum. Set a aside a good few hours to make the most of this facsinating and diverse collection. It is still a proper museum that hasn't been taken over by interactive displays. There's plenty for kids to find whilst the more grown up get chance to read some of the lables. www.whitbymuseum.org.uk

Surfing / SUP (Stand Up Paddling). Take a lesson or hire what you need from Whitby Surf School.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway - Steam you way to Pickering stopping at Goathland and Grosmont. Various options time tables and special dining or beer trips available. www.nymr.co.uk

Evening Ghost Walk - A spooky / entertaining walk around Whitby. For all but the very young and those that might struggle to keep up. Look for the signs near the Whale Bone Arch for start times.

Catch a show or a film - There is always something on the Pavilion from touring shows, special events, musicals, plays and the latest films releases. www.whitbypavilion.co.uk

 

Self Catering Shopping

One of the advantages and popularities of self catering in Whitby is that there is no shortage of shops.

There is a big Co-op within walking distance of the cottage, a Sainsburys just a short car or bus ride away and a Lidl to the West of town. Both the Co-op and Sainsburys will deliver.

On Baxter Gate you'll find some quality independent food shops as well a Heron for frozen produce. You don't need to go that far though, the butchers at the top of Golden Lion Bank is excellent and the green grocers on Flower Gate has a high turnover of fresh fruit and veg. For a bakery you cant beat Bothams on Skinner Street. For fresh seafood just nip down the steps behind the cottage and you'll come out right next to the Whitby Catch. For the mundane stuff there's a Poundland at the bottom of Cliff Street.

Unique Shops

Part of Whitby charm is the abundance of independent shops, retailers, makers and service providers. Just a Few:

Jet Jewellers - Many to choose from on the East side. Some will take on commissions if you want something extra special.

Craft and Art Galleries - Many showcasing the the work of local artists and craftspeople. Original pieces and limited edition prints are often available.

Clothing, fashion & unusual stuff - There's lots to see and tempt you, dont miss those of the beaten track like Gutsy Gingers and and the shops on Silver Street & Skinner Street

A Special Mention for:

The Sutcliffe Gallery for iconic photos of Whitby's past and some spectacular modern images as well. www.sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk

Scott Wicking Photography. He has a shop on Brunswick Street showing examples of his work, worth a call if you fancy a professional portrait of your dog. Best checking his website and ringing well in advance to make sure he's available. www.scottwicking.com

 

Eating Out

You'll be spoilt for choice whatever you tastes. There is generally a Seafood focus to many of the eateries but there's plenty of other high quality food available. There's food to suit all budgets, the choice is yours.

Many of the pubs serve food, from the normal pub style food to more gastro style eating.

Many Fish & Chip shops have seating for eating in, others are restaurant based offering a range of dining.

There are plenty of small cafes where you can find everything from a full English breakfast to afternoon teas.

Just a few of the eateries with good or growing reputations:

Humble Pie and Mash Shop - Exceedingly tasty home-made Pie ‘n’ Mash, all baked on the premises, fresh each day, using the very best of local and natural produce. An excellent range of meat and vegetarian pies all at a fixed price. Simple delicious and filling.

Harry’s Bar - Harry’s is a modern mixture of Cafe, Restaurant & Cocktail bar in the heart of historic Whitby with fantastic harbour views. The signature menu is a unique dining experience; all the dishes are starter size portions. Daily Lunch & Evening Specials Menu’s are also available. They claim all food is prepared freshly on the premises with seasonal produce sourced locally wherever possible. www.harrysloungebar.co.uk

The Marine - A varied menu with an emphasis on local freshly caught seafood. They also offer a wide range of other food with meat, fish and vegetarian options. tHey also offer a breakfast menu. Their menu is aimed at the top end and has oysters and caviar dishes to go with your Champagne or cocktails. www.the-marine-hotel.co.uk

Moon & Sixpence - Providing a relaxed and stylish place to meet for a drink or meal during the day or evening, with some of the best views in town. The brasserie serves fresh, local food from breakfast through to evening meals. www.moon-and-sixpence.co.uk

Moutreys - Offers a fantastic choice of freshly prepared food, you can see being cooked in the open kitchen with its wood fired oven. Their menu has a selection of homely Italian cuisine, fresh pizzas and pastas, great meat dishes and freshly caught seafood. The ingredients are local where possible. www.moutreys.co.uk

Magpie Cafe - Many people swear they do the best fish and chips in the Whitby area. One thing is certain they have built a national and international reputation. The menu includes all the popular seafood classics plus many more. Locally it is just as well know for the queue that forms outside at popular times in the day. www.magpiecafe.co.uk

The Duke Of York - A wide range of Pub Grub available from 12 noon till 9 pm. They offer an affordable priced menu to cater for modern lifestyles along with a range of daily specials on the blackboards. If you can get a window seat you'll have great harbour and sea views. www.dukeofyork.co.uk

The Board Inn - Good hearty food, traditional and modern, served in the restaurant downstairs overlooking the harbour or in the pub. The perfect place to fuel up before tackling the 199 steps. www.theboardinnwhitby.co.uk

White Horse & Griffin - Is a "Bistro" restaurant serving many British classics in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. There is a wide range of traditional and some adventurous modern dishes, all featuring locally sourced produce where possible. There is special Sunday lunch menu available. whitehorseandgriffin.com

 

 

Pubs of note that you might miss

We've not covered the main pubs in the centre, you'll come across those yourself. They aren't all "traditional" style pubs, there are some modern bars where cocktails and wine are the refreshments of choice.

There are plenty to choose from, all with their own charms and character. The list below is just a few that are away from the centres. Some get busier than others, some do food, all (at the time of writing) are dog friendly. Many have a different character over weekend evenings so you they are worth a few visits at different times.

On Flowergate / near the cottage:

The Elsinore - A smallish traditional pub well known for its quality live music. It's a popular must visit pub for many visitors and has a good following of locals. Busy most evenings.

The Little Angel - Always a good night, a good friendly pub with plenty of real ale to chose from. Away from the town centre circuit so it's customers want to be there.

The Granby - Skinner Street - Well know for it's food, it's out of the centre so offers good value food and drink. More chance of finding a seat on an evening.

Down the hill:

The Station Inn – A popular pub for beer lovers, plenty of well kept real ales. Live music most nights and very popular, so you might want to do your beer tasting earlier in the evening.

Over the bridge and turn right:

The Endeavour - A warm and friendly pub close with a good selection of beers and wine. There are fancy bar snacks available but the landlord encourages customers to bring in their own food even fish and chips in. It doesn't tend to be packed out on an evening so it's comfortable for you and your dog when other pubs are crowded.

The Fleece - Another traditional pub with something for everyone, big screen TV, live music acts, pool table, good beer and family friendly atmosphere. A unique outside space right on the harbour front gives a great view to accompany alfresco refreshments.

Middle Earth Tavern - A pleasant walk along the inner harbour brings you to the famous Middle Earth. A destination pub for many with a fantastic atmosphere and friendly staff. You might end up stopping longer than you intended.

 

 

 

 

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