Sightseeing and Activities
Whitby and the surrounding area offers plenty for everyone to enjoy. We have put together a collection of information on sightseeing and activities, which we hope you find useful.
Located high on the headland overlooking the town and harbour, this famous landmark is not to be missed when visiting Whitby. A great day out for all ages.
The award-winning visitor centre tells the fascinating story of Whitby Abbey, dating back to 657 AD when the first monastery was founded. In this interactive centre you will also find impressive digital reconstructions, artefacts and a visitor shop, and don’t forget to look out for live events happening throughout the year. You can also take an audio tour around the ruins of the abbey, taking in the wonderful atmosphere and beautiful scenery from up high.
For more details, telephone English Heritage Whitby Abbey on 01947 603568
St Mary’s Church www.sacred-destinations.com/england/whitby-st-mary-church.htm
Climb the 199 steps or use the Donkey Path to reach the graveyard, with its outstanding views of the coastline. Pause for breath by Caedmon’s Cross, a 19th century memorial at the top of the steps and dedicated to Caedmon, the earliest known English Poet. The Parish Church of St Mary, surrounded by gravestones, has been altered many times during its 900 year history, with box pews and a triple decker pulpit this is a fascinating and unique church.
Captain Cook Museum www.cookmuseumwhitby.co.uk
Located in the 17th century house in which Captain James Cook lodged as an apprentice, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the life of the famous explorer.
You can view handwritten letters by Captain James Cook, take a look at the attic where he studied and slept, the kitchen where his meals were prepared, view fascinating artefacts and paintings and much more. Interesting for all ages, the museum is not to be missed.
For more details, telephone The Captain Cook Museum on 01947 601900
Alongside beautiful gardens and a peaceful place to relax, Pannett Park houses Pannett Park Art Gallery and Whitby Museum. The museum is home to a large variety of fascinating local artefacts and collections, a library and archives.
The collections include archaeology with finds from Whitby Abbey, fossils and geology, natural history, weapons and militaria, shipping and fishing, toys and dolls, local historical maps, historical costumes, amongst many other interesting items.
For more details, telephone Whitby Museum on 01947 602908
North Yorkshire Moors Railway www.nymr.co.uk
Running across the North Yorkshire Moors from Pickering to Whitby, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway features a collection of working steam and diesel locomotives, running along an 18 mile steam heritage line. Used in the 1997 Film Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, the railway station at Goathland was transformed into Hogsmead Station at Hogwarts School.
Special themed events are held throughout the year, with fun and interest for all. Traditional tearooms can be found along the railway line at Pickering, Grosmont and Goathland station, and the Pullman dining service offers an unforgettable setting to dine in style onboard.
For more details, telephone North Yorkshire Moors Railway on 01751 472508
Whitby Pavillion www.whitbypavilion.co.uk
Whitby Goth Weekend www.whitbygothweekend.co.uk
Whitby Golf Club www.whitbygolfclub.co.uk
Perrys Plants Sleights www.perrysplants.co.uk
Ghost Walks www.whitbywalks.co.uk
Whitby Steam bus www.whitbysteambusandcharabanc.co.uk
Whitby Open air tour bus.
The old Life Boat Pleasure Trips www.oldlifeboatwhitby.co.uk
Esk Belle Pleasure Cruises
The Mini Endeavour Pleasure Trips www.endeavourwhitby.com
Whitby Lifeboat www.whitbylifeboat.org.uk
The Moors National Park Centre Danby
The centre is located on the banks of the River Esk, overlooking fabulous scenery across the National Park. Having recently undergone a full refurbishment, the centre includes a new gallery and exhibition area, indoor climbing wall, outdoor play area, a gift shop selling local souvenirs and tearooms. Admission to the centre is completely free.
Whether you are visiting for peace and quiet, great walks, or for an event or activity, the centre and National Park area is an idyllic location for all.
For more details, telephone The Moors National Park Centre Danby on 01439 772737
Goathland and Heartbeat Country
Located in the tranquil surroundings of the North Yorkshire Moors, Goathland is famously known as the setting for the ITV series Heartbeat, set in the 60′s fictional village of Aidensfield. Goathland was also the setting for the train station in the first Harry Potter film.
With a station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway line, a history dating back to Viking times and idyllic scenery with impressive waterfalls, this small village has much to offer.
Approximately 2 miles north of Whitby, this little beautiful little village is nestled on the edge of the sea as the name suggest where the sand ends.
It has a lovely little beach, with local pub, restaurants, tea rooms some small shops and an art gallery.
A breathtakingly beautiful bay approximately 4 mles north of Whitby. Runswick Bay has beautiful beaches to explore and walk along. There is a small slipway where local boats are launched and boathouse containing the locally funded rescue boat. You can wander around the small alley ways observing the small cottages which once were lived in by fishing families.
There is a small tearoom on the headland of the beach and public house.
Robin Hoods Bay
Robin Hood’s Bay is without doubt as attractive a spot as you could wish to visit. A rather grand array of Victorian buildings greet you at the top of “Bay Bank”. After taking
in the magnificent views across to Ravenscar you descend into the old fishing village, with its tiny streets and picture perfect cottages. Soon you meet the sea, where many a coast to coast walker dips their boots! Have a beer or cup of tea in one of the many pubs and cafes.
A fishing village 10 miles north of Whitby. It lays claim to helping the formative days of Capt James Cook and was home to the Staithes Group of Artists. Nestled under the cliffs and with some of the narrowest streets in the north, find Gun Gutter, Slip Top and the 18″ wide Dog Loop or cross the bridge to Cow Bar and look down on the patterns of slate and tile which still give artists and photographers a buzz.
Sealife centre www.sealife.co.uk
Stephen Joseph theatre
A cultural icon of the Yorkshire region providing the highest possible standard of theatrical experience for audiences world wide. Widely known for its world premiers of Alan Ayckbourn plays. www.sjt.uk.com
Located on the southern slopes of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, Dalby Forest is a vast forest landscape formed in the Ice Age.
The forest includes a 9 mile forest drive, large visitor centre with a shop and cafe, various other shops, Go Ape activity centre, hiking trails and mountain biking. Dalby Forest is great whether you are looking for a peaceful, relaxing woodland setting, or an all out adventure!
Birds such as the Nightjar and Crossbill can be found in Dalby, amongst a vast array of wildlife including Roe deer, badgers and bats. Signs of Dalby’s history can be seen all around in the form of burial mounds, earthworks and what was once a vast rabbit warrening industry.
For more details, telephone The Forestry Comission Pickering office on 01751 472771
A charming market town which also serves as the base for the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. The town has a medieval castle and church which has frescoes painted on the nave. Each Monday there is a traditional market in the market place. Tea rooms and restaurants are available to revive yourself.
Thornton le Dale
One of the most picturesque villages in the area. Thornton le Dale has small stone cottages nestling around the stream running through the centre of the village. The thatched cottage with garden a stream running in front is said to be one of the most photographed cottages in the country a perenial item for choclate box covers and glossy magazines. The village has a small number of tea rooms and shops. A highlight for petrol heads is the small privately owned motoring museum, from Astons to Austins you get a hair raising experience of how motoring used to be, plus many of the smells too.
A traditional market town which is becoming to be known for its foodie conections. The town has a traditional market place, art galleries and churches. The outlying areas are the home to some of the UK’s most successful racing horse trainers. The birthplace of celebrity chef James Martin who is championing the local food scene and associated businesses.
A multi-award winning modern history themed museum housed within the grounds of an original World War two prisoner of war camp. The museum recreates the sights, sounds, smells and moving figures to create a unique atmosphere that makes you feel you have travelled back in time to war time Britain.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday 10am to 5pm
Poets Cottage Plant Nursery Lealholm www.poetscottage.co.uk
Award winning Lavender farm, where you will find the largest selection of lavender probably in England together with unusual varities of herbs, perrennials and lots more. Tea room and Gift shop www.yorkshirelavender.com
Home to the Howard family for 300 years, Castle Howard is a magnificent 18th century residence set within one thousand acres of breathtaking landscape in the Howardian Hills, an area of outstanding natural beauty. Also it is famous for it’s feature role in Brideshead Revisited.
As well as the house there is a farm shop, garden centre, gift shop and courtyard cafe.
House and gardens are open daily from 10am from 24th March to 4th November www.castlehoward.co.uk
Scampston Hall www.scampston.co.uk
Scampston Hall is one of the finest Regency country house stately homes in Yorkshire. Lovingly restored by the owners it boast parkland designed by Capability Brown and a modern walled garden and exceptionally good restaurant which host regular art exhibitions. There is also small plant nursery.
Ryedale Folk Museum www.ryedalefolkmuseum.co.uk
Roseberry Topping ( the mini Matterhorn)
A national trust treasure house. The former hunting lodge is now a superb place to visit. All the rooms perfectly preserved, but unlike most national trust properties this one feels like a home, not too big to get lost in but small and personal enough to let the place get under your skin. Outside there are well laid out gardens to walk around with Peacocks accompanying you around as you discover hidden corners. There is a tea room and a small shop.
A stunning market town on the edge of the moors. Helmsley has small bespoke shops, deli’s, tea rooms, art galleries and antique shops. A small stream flows through the town well photographed by many national glossy magazines. The castle was beseiged in the civil war, but still is fascinating. Adjoining the town is Duncombe Park with majestic park land to walk around.
Helmsley Walled Garden
A tranquil 5 acre walled garden built in the 1750′s. Within the garden walls there are many garden rooms including a fully restored Victorian Glasshouse. www.helmsleywalledgarden.org.uk
Duncolme Park www.duncolmepark.com
Sutton Bank www.visitthemoors.co.uk/suttonbank
Sutton Bank said to be one of the most breathtaking views in Yorkshire if not England. Panoramic views over the vale of York, with the famous White Horse of Yorkshire carved into the hillside which can be seen from20 miles away in York. You will be entertained by the gliding club, watch the small play town gliders over the edge of the bank and search for thermals. The visitor centre is a wealth of information with exhibitions and shop. There are many well sign posted walks.
The home of Sir Reginald & Lady Sheffield, is a charming lived in house, built in 1730. The house contains beautiful 18th century furniture and an important collection of porcelain. And gardens filled with rare and interesting plants. www.statelyhome.co.uk
James Herriot www.worldof jamesherriot.org
YORK An attraction in its own right!
Jorvik Viking Centre www.jorvik-viking-centre.com
National Railway Museum www.nrm.org.uk
York Dungeon www.thedungeons.com
York Minster www.yorkminster.org
York Castle Museum www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk
The Bar Walls
Barley Hall is a stunning medieval townhouse, once home to the Priors of Nostell and the Mayor of York. Now restored to it’s original splendour, with stunning high ceilings and possible the only horn window in England and boasts a magnificent Great Hall. Experience what it would have been like to live in medieval Engalnd. www.barleyhall.org.uk
Fairfax House is one of the finest 18th century townhouses in England – a classical architectural masterpiece of its age. Be transported back to the splendour of city living in Georgian York, the centre of polite society. www.fairfaxhouse.co.uk
Yorkshire Museum and gardens www.yorkshiremuseum.org.uk
York races at the Knavesmire
Yorkshire Air museum www.yorkshireairmuseum.org
Bettys Tea Rooms www.bettys.co.uk
English Heritage Sites www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/yorkshireandthehumber
Atmospheric ruin of Abbey founded in 657ad
Historic castle with dramatic coastal views.
Superb example of motte and bailey castle built by William the Conqueror
Picturesque ruin of 900 year old castle
One of the largest and most impressive Cistercian Abbeys in England.
Mount Grace Priory
Best preserved carthusian monastry in Britain
One of the great medieval monasterys of the North
York Cold War Bunker
Go racing in Yorkshire www.goracing.co.uk
National Trust www.nationaltrust.org.uk/yorkshire
Fountains Abbey & Studley Royal
Beningbrough Hall & Gardens York
Treasurers House York