W is for… Whitby

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View of Whitby across the River Esk | H is for Home

We took a day trip to Whitby last week. It’s something we’ve been meaning to do for years – and it made for a really enjoyable change of scenery.

Seagull perched on an anchor, Whitby | H is for Home

Whitby is situated on the north east coast of England, lying where the River Esk reaches the North Sea.

sailboat in Whitby Harbour | H is for Home

It’s a picturesque old harbour town with some lovely buildings, cobbled streets and narrow alleyways…

Whitby alleyway | H is for Home Whitby alleyway | H is for Home

…there are dozens of small fishing boats & yachts moored in the estuary…

Lobster pots in the harbour at Whitby | H is for Home

…a beach and jetties…

Jetty in Whitby Harbour | H is for Home

…abbey ruins…

Abbey ruins, Whitby | H is for Home

…and an old parish church at the top of the steep hillside.

Parish church, Whitby | H is for Home

We arrived at about midday after the 2 hour drive and quickly set about exploring. The town is divided in two by the river – a swing bridge linking the two sides.

Swing bridge, Whitby | H is for Home

We couldn’t resist starting with the local charity shops – fairly slim pickings unfortunately – but we did pick up a beautiful, vintage Welsh Wool coat in one of them.

Vintage Welsh wool coat | H is for Home Vintage Welsh wool coat | H is for Home

We had fish & chips for lunch (of course!), having found a bench with suitably impressive views from which to savour them.

View across rooftops of Whitby | H is for Home

Fueled up for the afternoon, we set about further exploration.

Church Street, Whitby | H is for Home

Whitby Museum | H is for Home

There are countless jewellery shops, most of which specialise in the black mineraloid, jet – formed from fossilised wood – and found in the local sea cliffs & beaches.

Jewellery shop, Whitby | H is for Home

Whitby is very popular with tourists, so there’s no end of cafes etc.

Market Square, Whitby | H is for Home Ice cream stall at the bottom of 199 steps, Whitby | H is for Home

We stopped again for coffee & cake (well, this break was all about relaxation!). The weather was gorgeous and we sat outside listening to a busker playing the harp.

Busker playing the harp on Church Street, Whitby | H is for Home

We then wandered up the 199 steps to look at the abbey ruins and old church on East Cliff. More great views and very atmospheric.

199 steps, Whitby | H is for Home

Whitby is famous for its Dracula association. Bram Stoker stayed at the Royal Hotel which overlooks the harbour towards this East cliff where he wrote parts of his famous novel. You can really see what inspired him, imagining the scene on a misty winter evening in Victorian England.

Graveyard, Whitby | H is for Home

At the foot of the steps was a lovely cobbled street…

Henrietta Street, a cobbled street in Whitby | H is for Home

… on which was located Fortune’s, a great little kipper smoking house & shop…

Fortunes kipper shop & smokehouse, Whitby | H is for Home

… apparently it’s famous round these parts and had already sold out of kippers by the time we passed by.

Fortunes kipper shop & smokehouse window, Whitby | H is for Home

We found one interiors shop which was much to our liking.  The Stonehouse Emporium on Skinner Street which had a very eclectic mix of antiques, vintage & retro, clothing & jewellery… we bought this 1960s magazine rack.

Vintage magazine rack | H is for Home

That was our feet done for the day, so we headed back to the old part of town where we’d booked to stay for the night – The Shepherd’s Purse is a whole food deli, ladies clothes and gift shop – it also has chalet-style rooms arranged round one of the old yards.

Shepherds Purse hanging sign, Whitby | H is for Home

Virtually next door to the courtyard was the Black Horse pub. We had a really enjoyable evening in there eating fantastic local cheese & chutney – washed down with beer & red wine.

Black Horse pub, Whitby | H is for Home

The following morning we woke to wonderful weather again. We had a hearty, traditional full breakfast in Sander’s Yard (we didn’t score high marks for light, healthy eating on this trip) – then had a final wander round the old part of town… returning to buy kippers, before they’d sold out this time.

Whitby smoked kippers hanging up in Fortunes | H is for Home

Refreshed and rejuvenated, we headed home.

Seagull, Whitby | H is for Home