Visitors flock year-round to Whitby, the most atmospheric town along the Yorkshire coast. The famous Whitby Abbey ruins on the clifftop and cobbled Georgian old town below form a beautiful backdrop to days on the sandy beach or strolls around the vibrant harbour.

Captain Cook learned his trade here in the 18th century, while in the 19th century Whitby expanded with the arrival of the railway. Steam trains still serve the town, on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway from Pickering and Grosmont, while the Esk Valley Railway offers a scenic trip through the heart of the beautiful Esk Valley.

Standing proud on Whitby’s east cliff overlooking the town, St Mary’s Church dates back to the 12th century and holds many rare finds, including a Royal Coat of Arms, antiquated box pews, and a large 17th century gallery. Outside, the churchyard is filled with weathered tombstones and monuments to those who lost their lives at sea but don’t waste any time hunting for Dracula’s grave! Look out for Caedmon’s Memorial Cross, standing almost 20 feet high and made of stone from nearby Hadrian’s Wall. It depicts Saxon saints, Biblical figures and kings and has an inscription remembering Caedmon.

Captain Cook is remembered in the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, housed in the harbour-front building where Cook lodged as an apprentice seaman. All Cook's ships of exploration were built in Whitby - Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure and Discovery.

The coast off Whitby and the National Park is the source of jet, the fossilised remains of the ancient monkey-puzzle tree. It's been used as jewellery for thousands of years, and was popularised in Victorian times by Queen Victoria, and several shops still continue the tradition, including W. Hamond, the town's oldest surviving jet shop.

From here head round the corner to Tate Hill where the Russian ship ‘Demeter’ ran aground, with the only apparent survivor a mysterious dog that disappeared up the 199 steps. At least that's how Bram Stoker's novel Dracula starts, inspired by his holiday to Whitby in 1890, when he also enjoyed walks to Kettleness and Mulgrave Woods, both now in the National Park.

Eating fish and chips in Whitby Credit Daniel Wildey Photography
Whitby, it's not just about fish & chips! Credit Daniel Wildey Photography

Whitby isn’t just about fish and chips, you’ll find an array of great places to eat, including The Whitby Deli and Pizza West. Plus there are many interesting independent shops, art galleries and eating places to discover, and hidden corners with quirky names like ‘Arguments Yard’.

There are plenty of events and festivals celebrating the town’s rich cultural heritage too. From the venerable Whitby Folk Week with traditional music and dance, workshops and street entertainment to Whitby Regatta, which takes a different tack, showcasing four days of yacht racing, rowing races and entertainment, finishing with a spectacular harbourside firework display.

Plan your visit

Plan your visit

Getting here

Esk Valley Railway – from Middlesbrough to Whitby

Whitby is on a number of bus routes:

Arriva X93/94 regular daily bus service from Middlesbrough or Scarborough

Arriva X4/X4A regular daily bus service from Middlesbrough and Saltburn to Whitby

Coastliner from Leeds and York to Whitby

Arriva 96 (Whitby to Lealholm)

Whitby Park & Ride Y021 1TL (from April to October)

Catch the North Yorkshire Moors Railway steam train from Pickering

North York Moors Cycleway passes through Whitby

Join the Moor to Sea Cycle Network, our long-distance off-road cycle route, linking Danby with Whitby

Walk 7 miles from Robin Hood's Bay along the Cleveland Way National Trail


Various car parks across the town

Nearest public EV charging points – Whitby

Bike racks – See map of bike parking

Nearest cycle repair stations: Ruswarp (MiniMonsterz), Sandsend (Raithwaite) and Robin Hood's Bay (Victoria Hotel)

Bike hire available from Bayhire with delivery service

Cash points

Weekly market

Hotel, restaurants, cafés, pubs


Visit Whitby town information

Whitby Tourist Information Centre, Endeavour Wharf Car park (YO21 1DN)

Public toilets

Marina car park - Changing Places and accessible (RADAR key needed) (maintained by Scarborough Borough Council)

The Beach – accessible (RADAR key needed) (maintained by Scarborough Borough Council)

New Quay Road, Pier Road, West Cliff, Abbey Headland and Market Place (all maintained by Whitby Town Council)

Care for our coast

Please respect our coast and the wildlife that live there. We want to ensure it remains a stunning place to live and visit for generations to come.

View all share with care
Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

Give nature a chance and take your rubbish and dog poo home

If it’s busy, go elsewhere

If it’s busy, go elsewhere

Respect wildlife

Respect wildlife

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