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Whitby Abbey

Whitby AbbeyWhitby Abbey

Set on a headland high over the popular seaside town, Whitby Abbey is one of the most romantic and atmospheric ruins in Britain. 

Whitby's famous 199 steps, or Church Stairs, will lead you steeply up to the imposing gothic ruins of the Benedictine abbey. 

Since its founding by St Hilda around 657AD, it's been a bustling settlement, a kings’ burial place, the meeting place of Celtic and Roman clerics to set the date for Easter still used today, the home of saints including the poet Caedmon, and inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Discover the long history of the Abbey and the daily life of the monks who once lived here in the interactive visitor centre with its dramatic digital reconstructions. Or listen to the audio tour as you wander around the ancient ruins and enjoy the stunning views of the Yorkshire Coast.

For mystery and imagination, Whitby Abbey is one of the best visitor attractions and family day trips out in Yorkshire.


From the Whitby harbour area, the abbey can only be directly reached on foot via the 199 Steps. Alternatively, a well-signposted road leads from the town outskirts to the cliff-top abbey.

Disabled access (south entrance parking, charged). Toilets situated in the car park are not operated by English Heritage.

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