If you keep up with my insta-stories, then you’ll know that a couple of weekends ago, we went for a weekend away to Yorkshire. We lucked out and had the nicest weather of the year so far! We love Yorkshire, but it remains largely undiscovered to us. As we knew we were in for fine weather, we decided to hit the coast and discover some of the things to do in Whitby…
Things to do in Whitby
We weren’t checking-in to our amazing hotel (more on that later) until late afternoon and our little girl was with the grandparents, so we set-off from Manchester early on Sunday morning and were in Whitby by midday. I’m glad we left that early, as the place was still heaving with holiday-makers and people soaking up the unusually sunny weather!
As it was lunch-time, we started our day with fish and chips (obvs) and made our way around Whitby, enjoying all the quintessential British seaside town had to offer, before making our way to our hotel.
So, what did we get up to? Lots! Here are my absolute must things to do in Whitby…
1. Fish & Chips
As I say, this was the first thing we did, as we got there at lunch time and the queues were already building! I’d been told that the place to go was Magpie’s Cafe, which is where we hot-footed it towards. But we got there at approx 12.30pm and the queue was already out the door and along the pavement. What?! We were way too hungry for that and had already walked past so many delicious-looking places, that we glanced to our left and saw Quayside Fish n’ chips and the smell coming from within, alongside the “award-winners” sign was too much to resist.
And we weren’t sorry! I went for the small portion of cod n’ chips, which was still massive and hubby chomped his way through a delightful large haddock n’chips with mushy peas. We both happily devoured the lot, smothered in salt and vinegar and I have to say it was some of the lightest, crispiest batter and flakiest fish I’ve ever tasted. I tasted both and my opinion is that the cod wins!
TIP: Make sure you ask for the crackling…the crispy bits that drop off the fish….mmmm!
2. Walk along the Pier
Another one that’s top of the things to do in Whitby, is stroll along the wooden Pier. It’s deceptively long and gives the best view of Whitby! A bit blustery which was perfect on a hot Summer’s day and there’s lots of benches to sit, rest and watch the world go by from. Which is exactly what I did…
3. Head to the Whitby Jet Heritage Centre
Ever heard of jet? Jet is a gemstone, particularly loved in the Victorian era. It’s black in colour and makes for unique and show-stopping jewellery and ornaments. For a glimpse into how jet was mined and crafted into amazing trinkets, head to the Whitby Jet Heritage Centre for sure. It’s free and there’s a fabulous gift shop.
4. Visit the Whitby Lifeboat Museum
Not necessarily something you’d think of, but a definite in my list of things to do in Whitby. Afterall, Whitby is a harbour town and the lifeboats, crewed by people of Whitby, have been in operation since 1802. Again, admission is free, so make sure you stop by. More info can be found here.
5. Head to the Market Square for a glass of wine al fresco
We were so pleasantly surprised when we stumbled across the bustling market square and people sat outside enjoying a pint of a glass of wine, sat, like they do in Paris, watching the world go by. It really did feel like we were in Europe, particularly with the heat of the sun. I spotted a two-seater bench with our names on it and made a bee-line for it. Within minutes, I had a glass of cold rose wine and he had a pint of lager. Bliss!
6. Pay a visit to Captain Cook’s House
We’ve all heard of famous adventurer Captain Cook haven’t we? Well his training as a seaman started in Whitby and Whitby houses the memorial museum, which is tucked-away off one of the shopping streets, overlooking the harbour. Well worth a visit if you like a bit of maritime history!
7. Enjoy a cuppa
The Abbey Steps Tearoom is located perfectly, at the bottom of the momentous (ok, well it’s totally manageable, I’m just unfit!) climb to the Whitby Abbey. So there’s no better place to wet your whistle before you head-up, or refuel on the way down!
After all, Yorkshire is well known for it’s tea isn’t it!
8. Climb the steps to Whitby Abbey
This is so worth the 100s of steps up, as promises unspoiled views over the whole of Whitby. Once at the top, the Abbey, now an English Heritage site, unfolds itself before you. We didn’t have time to go in, but will definitely make sure we do next time, as there’s so much to explore. You’d need half a day for this alone and we enviously looked-up those that had planned ahead and were sat atop the hill enjoying a feasting picnic. That’s one for our next trip for sure!
And once you’ve gone up…you must come down! If you’re like me, you like to be a bit different and instead of take the stairs back down to Whitby town…I decided to take the cobbled street…the very steep and windy cobbled street. I just about managed to spare myself (and everyone else) from a Marilyn moment!
So there we have it. My list of things to do in Whitby…and I know we just scratched the surface!
A few other highlights
Although not my usual scene, we did pop into one of the arcades and played on the 2p slot machines.
We also enjoyed a very scrumptious bag of hot sugary donuts!
The windy shopping streets before you reach the Abbey steps are well worth an explore.