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About Whitby



Town is situated in one of the most picturesque ports in England. Whitby and its harbour are set in a ravine at the mouth of the River Esk. Dominated by the clifftop ruined Abbey, the narrow alleys and quaint streets climb down to the busy quayside, with its harbourside houses and small shops filled with crafts, curios, and antiques. From these centuries old streets, 199 steps lead up to the parish Church of St Mary, one of the finest Anglo Saxon churches in the country, featuring carved pews made by ship’s carpenters and craftsmen from Whitby’s once booming whaling fleet.

Whitby harbour lies at the mouth of the River Esk and is the only natural harbour on the coast between the Humber and the Tees. This haven, surrounded by the North Yorkshire Moors, attracted the Saxons to found an abbey here and the development of a town followed at the base of the cliffs that enclose the harbour. The ruins of Whitby Abbey are, today, a highly visible landmark for travellers over land and seafarers alike.

The development and history of Whitby has over the centuries been connected to the sea; shipbuilding, fishing, whaling and trade. It was home to Captain James Cook who, sailing in ships built in Whitby, discovered much of the new world.


But Whitby’s treasures are not only linked to the sea. The silky black Whitby Jet, a black amber, is famous for jewellery settings. Another claim to fame is Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” story which is set in Whitby. The renowned early photographer, Frank Sutcliffe is yet another famous Whitby son and his images of the area from the time he established his studio here in 1875 until his death in 1941, can be seen in The Sutcliffe Gallery. Today, the port is still active with fishing and the coal and alum that it shipped in its hey-day has been replaced by cargoes of paper. However, the traditional industries have been overtaken by tourism. Whitby’s reputation has spread and draws visitors and residents alike to its charming harbour and twisting streets.


The blue-flag sandy beach and probably the best fish & chips and kippers to be found anywhere, add it to its fine reputation as a lively and happy place to visit, with our Whitby holiday apartment  an ideal base for your stay.

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