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image for Town item typeWhitby




The famous 199 steps leading down towards the old town of Whitby and over the harbour towards the distance North Yorkshire coast at dusk.


Whitby is an ancient port with a fascinating history, a ruined abbey and a working harbour. It also has sandy beaches, donkey rides and rock pools, not to mention some of the best fish and chips in the world.

The River Esk flows due North through the centre of the town dividing it into East and West Sides, linked by the renowned ”swing-bridge”. The Abbey and Abbey Visitor Centre can be accessed by road, but most visitors follow the traditional route through the old town. The cobbled Church Street leads you to the foot of the famous 199 steps leading from the town to St Mary’s Church and the Abbey Headland.

The West Side of the town has some equally historic fishermens’ cottages, hidden in traditional yards behind the fish market and main shopping streets. Slightly further away from the noise and bustle of the harbour are many fine Georgian town-houses, built during Whitby’s most prosperous era in the days of sail. They cluster around the delightful Pannett Park, also home to the town Museum and Art Gallery.
The Whalebone Arch and bronze statue commemorating Whitby’s most famous explorer, Captain James Cook, stand proudly on the West Cliff, facing directly across the harbour to the Abbey. James Cook learned his seamanship as an apprentice in Whitby and all of the ships used on his three world voyages of exploration were built on the banks of the Esk below.
The many hotels and guest-houses on the West Cliff were largely built during Victorian times when Whitby became a highly fashionable spa resort, visited by artists and writers including Turner, Lewis Carroll and Charles Dickens.



See location of Whitby on Google mapsSee location on Google maps

Map reference: NZ 898108  Lat: 54.48507 Long: -0.61445


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