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Reviewed on 22 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 20 Mar 2020
Reviewed on 21 Mar 2020
The northern town of Whitby has everything a seaside resort should – bustling fish markets, a pretty harbourside and long swathes of sandy beach. Throw vintage attractions along the promenade, some intriguing seafaring history and the ruins of an abbey that inspired a notable book into the mix, and you've got the makings of the perfect holiday. It's a rather splendid looking town, with houses stepping down the sides of two hills to the River Esk, which cuts through on its way out to sea. Along the seafront, multi-coloured beach huts line up along the water's edge and residents' yachts bob around in the protected harbour.
To truly get to grips with any place, you're going to need to start with the basics. Fortunately, Whitby is awash with bed and breakfasts, which offer the perfect base from which to explore. Most Whitby bed and breakfasts are found within the rows of century-old terraced houses. They were once the toast of Victorian seaside splendour, so you can expect some fine places to lay your head. Some are elegant properties, whose spacious, traditionally-decorated guestrooms are furnished with 4-poster beds. Some have a refreshingly modern feel, with whitewashed, seaside-inspired interiors. Others are found within cosy farmhouses, surrounded by the rolling green Yorkshire countryside just outside the town.
Whichever you pick, you can expect most of the facilities you would find in a hotel, along with a personal touch and warm welcome from the Yorkshire owners. The guestrooms often have minibars, flat-screen TVs on the walls and coffee-making facilities, and you'd be hard pushed to find somewhere that didn't offer private ensuite bathrooms and complimentary WiFi. Checking the Expedia Whitby bed and breakfast pages is the most convenient way to find your spot. Here, you can filter by price and location, before scrolling through the photos and descriptions to find your perfect home-away-from-home. It doesn't matter if you pick one of the Whitby bed and breakfasts along the waterfront, next to the harbour or up the hill that leads away from the River Esk, you'll always be moments away from all the town's things to do.
During the summer months, when the English sun beats down on the north-east coast, it can be hard to tear yourself away from the long stretch of sand. When you're bringing kids, there are few places as much fun to let them run amok – whether building castles in the sand, braving dips in the chilly North Sea or taking typically British seaside donkey rides. Older children and adults could hire surfboards to practise on the consistently good rolling swells.
That said, those who do tear themselves away find a wealth of attractions for such a small place. A good place to start is the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, which celebrates the life of the explorer, who lived in Whitby during the 18th century. Next, you could visit the Dracula Experience, a journey – with animation, special effects and live actors – through the story of Bram Stoker's dark novel. After that, climb the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey, the Gothic ruin that inspired the book. If the famously fickle British weather doesn't hold out, you could always dive into the Falling Foss Tea Garden, set against the backdrop of a scenic forested waterfall not far from your Whitby bed and breakfast. Looking for another slice of British history? Hop on the train and head for the narrow, cobbled streets and 14th-century architecture of nearby York.