Visit Whitby and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Whitby, North Riding. The sound of gulls, the smell of fish, the sight of red roofs up the steep banks from the quay and above the ruin of the abbey on the cliff - this is Whitby. The River Esk, emptying here into the North Sea, divides the town. The older part is on the East Cliff, under the abbey. The West Cliff is a 19th- century development along the sands, and connected to the harbour by the romantically named Khyber Pass cut through solid rock. Whitby is still a port and fishing town - fishermen still mend their nets by the harbour - but it reached its seafaring peak with the whaling in the 18th century. Although it is increasingly a holiday town, it still has little of the artificial feeling of resorts with no other industry and little history, there is character here and an exhilarating sense of place. Whitby's story probably goes back to a Roman signal station and certainly dates to 657 when St Hilda founded the abbey for King Oswy of Northumbria in thanks for his victory over the heathen Penda of Mercia. The Synod of Whitby of 664 committed the English Church to the Roman instead of the Celtic rite. Both men and women lived in the early monastery, a renowned centre of learning. This is where the herdsman Caedmon was inspired to sing of Creation. The abbey was destroyed by the Danes in 867 and not refounded until 1078 by the Benedictines. It flourished then until its surrender in 1539. The property went to the Cholmley family. The Ministry of Public Building and Works has had custody since 1921. The monastic buildings have virtually disappeared but the church was not so much pulled down as blown away. The lead was taken from the roof but the building left as a seamark, familiar to sailors. In its cruelly exposed position, it could not last. Nave, south transept, west front and central tower had collapsed by 1830, and in 1914 came a final indignity - shelling by the German fleet.
St Mary's Parish Church is at the top of 199 steps near the ruins. It is a large medieval church with a low Norman tower, but drastically altered by the Georgians. It is full of galleries and box pews, with a three-decker pulpit presiding.
The 1788 Town Hall, off Church Street, has its ground floor open for traders, behind Tuscan columns. The home of the great navigator, Captain James Cook, is marked by a plaque in Grape Lane. More jet, or fossilized wood, is found in the Whitby area than anywhere else in Britain. It was especially popular with Victorians and in 1873, 200 workshops were kept going here. A few craftsmen still work in jet.
Nearby towns: Guisborough, Pickering, Robin Hood's Bay, Saltburn-by-the-sea, Scalby, Scarborough, Skelton
Nearby villages: Aigburth, Bebington, Bridge Trafford, Bromborough, Chester, Childer Thornton, Christleton, Danby, Duddon, Dunham, Ellesmere Port, Garston, Great Barrow, Great Sutton, Halewood, Helsby, Higher Bebington, Ledsham, Little Neston, Little Sutton, Lower Bebington, Mickle Trafford, Mossley Hill, Moston, Mouldsworth, New Ferry, Picton, Port Sunlight, Prenton, Puddington, Rock Ferry, Rowton, Saughall, Shotton, Speke, Tarvin, Waverton, Widnes, Woodchurch, Woolton,
Have you decided to visit Whitby or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Whitby bed and breakfast (a Whitby B&B or Whitby b and b)
- a Whitby guesthouse
- a Whitby hotel (or motel)
- a Whitby self-catering establishment, or
- other Whitby accommodation