A picturesque English seaside resort at the mouth of the river Esk, Whitby is the jewel of the North Yorks coastline; an ancient and pretty town refreshingly unspoilt by the types of development frequently associated with British coastal resorts. Whitby successfully retains a sense of its long and rich history in its ancient inns, churches, the market place and the clusters of elegant houses clinging to the cliffs; an enduring legacy of the wealthy ship owners who made the port their home during the town’s maritime heyday. Whitby’s proximity to both the quaint and charming fishing villages and larger resorts of the stunning North Yorks coast and to the tranquil and unspoilt beauty of the North Yorks Moor National Park make it a consistently popular choice for a Yorkshire coast holiday cottage stay.
One of Whitby’s most famous landmarks stands high on the cliff top dominating the town; here, in the churchyard of St. Mary’s Abbey, Bram Stoker found the inspiration on which to base his famous novel, Dracula. The Dracula Experience, with life-like models and recreations, special effects, and memorabilia from the Dracula films is popular with holidaymakers. A visit here can be followed up with a guided walking tour of the darker corners of the town, following the Whitby Dracula trail. But the best-selling story of this most well known of vampires is far from the town’s only claim to fame. Captain James Cook was a local seaman who set sail from the port of Whitby to change the course of history, and his extraordinary journeys, as well as his life and times, are well chronicled in two of the town’s best museums, the Whitby Museum and, more extensively, at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, the latter set in the explorer’s former home in Grape Lane. On an altogether different theme, another popular place to visit is The Whitby Wizard on the town’s West Cliff; an innovative and quirky interactive science exhibition quite unlike any other, which will keep both younger and older visitors intrigued and entertained far beyond the duration their visit.