5 free things to do in… Whitby

Date Posted: 04/09/2014

The 199 steps in Whitby.

Pictured: The 199 steps in Whitby (Photo credit: Cinder Track).

The traditional maritime town of Whitby, with its old cobbled streets, picturesque houses and sandy Blue Flag beach is proof that sometimes the best things in life are free. Here are five of them.

1.  Whitby Beach

Whitby Beach offers something for everyone. Blue Flag waters for those who like a paddle and rock pools for those interested in the local marine life, cliffs steeped in geological history for visiting explorers and clean sandy beaches for those who just want to relax in the sunshine and soak up the atmosphere.

Not for the faint hearted, the ultra-fit can try the Rail Trail 21-mile walk or cycle route from Scarborough to Whitby.

Leaving Cloughton, the trail along the old rail track enters the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and incorporating glimpses of the North Sea along the way.

2.  199 Steps

The 199 steps are located on the east side of Whitby and are also known as the ‘Church Stairs’ because they lead to St Mary’s Church. These ‘stairs’ were recorded several hundred years ago.

The location draws thousands of international and national visitors. Reach the top and take in the panoramic views. The steps are also associated with Bram Stoker, as he based much of his Dracula novel in Whitby.

3.  Pannett Park

Just a stone's throw from the centre of Whitby, Pannett Park offers a haven of peace and quiet. It has a new play park for children and beautifully kept gardens, lawns and wooded areas for groups of all ages to enjoy.

A chess board made from jet is sited in Pannet Park and is a magnet for children and adults alike.

A special pathway in the garden, made up of different colours to represent the age and depth of the rocks, takes you through 60 million years of Jurassic time. 

The Whalebone Monument in Whitby.

Pictured: The Whalebone Arch (Photo credit Richard Wood).

In amongst the rock you will find casts and impressions of fossils, including ammonites, corals and dinosaur footprints.

4.  The Whalebone Arch and Captain Cook monument

The original whale jaw bone arch was erected sometime after 1853. A replica was presented to Whitby by Norway in 1963 and the current replacement was donated by Alaska in April 2003.

It is a favourite site for taking photographs to mark a historic reminder of Whitby’s great whaling tradition. All of Captain Cook's four ships - Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure and Discovery were built at Whitby and his nearby monument is a record of that achievement.

5.  Festivals and Events

Whatever the season, you’ll always find a feast on 'The Festival Coast' to suit all interests - from the Whitby Regatta to Whitby Folk Week, Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend and Whitby Angling Festival.

Whitby Folk Week, which is an annual event in August, has a large number of free events. The seven-day festival celebrates traditional music, song and dance of the British Isles.

Over 600 events, including concerts, dances, singing and dancing take place in most of the local bars, with workshops, street entertainers and more.

For more information visit www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com.

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