things to do in whitby

Last Updated on: 25th June 2024, 05:50 am

Welcome to my guide on the best things to do in Whitby, UK. As a travel enthusiast, I can assure you that this charming seaside town has a lot to offer. From historic sites to picturesque beaches, Whitby has everything you need for an unforgettable vacation. In this article, I’ll cover unusual things to do and see in Whitby, alongside the must-do activities that you can’t miss. Whether you’re visiting as a couple or with friends, Whitby has something for everyone. Let’s dive in!

Unusual Things to do in Whitby

1. Discover the Historic Sights of Whitby

As I mentioned before, Whitby is a town full of history, and there are plenty of sites to discover. The most iconic of them all is the Whitby Abbey, which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula. From the top of its ruins, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the town and the sea.

Another must-see site is the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, dedicated to the town’s most famous son. The museum showcases the life and expeditions of Captain James Cook, as well as his voyages and discoveries.

The Original Whalebone Arch

A unique piece of history you shouldn’t miss is the Original Whalebone Arch, located on the West Cliff. The arch was built in 1853 using the jaws of a whale to commemorate the town’s whaling industry. It’s a perfect spot for a photo opportunity and a fascinating sight to behold.

If you’re interested in learning more about the town’s history, I recommend taking a guided walking tour with a local expert. They will take you through the town’s alleyways, graveyards and hidden corners, and share fascinating snippets about Whitby’s intriguing past.

To fully immerse yourself in Whitby’s rich history, take some time to explore the town’s historic streets and buildings. The Old Town is especially atmospheric, with narrow cobbled streets, quaint cottages, and several historic pubs and taverns to discover.

Whitby’s Historic Sites

Site Name Address Description
Whitby Abbey Abbey Ln, Whitby YO22 4JT Ancient cliff-top ruins of a Gothic abbey, with a visitor centre and interactive exhibitions.
Captain Cook Memorial Museum Grape Ln, Whitby YO22 4BA A museum housed in the 17th-century house where Captain Cook lodged, featuring exhibits on Cook’s life and voyages.
Original Whalebone Arch West Pier, Whitby YO21 3HA An arch made of whale jawbones, erected in 1853 to commemorate the town’s whaling industry.

As you can see, Whitby has a rich history, and there are plenty of ways to explore it. From walking tours to museums, and historic sights, the town offers an abundance of fascinating sites to discover.

2. Stroll Along Whitby’s Picturesque Beaches

Whitby is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the UK, making it the perfect destination for a beach getaway. Whether you prefer a leisurely stroll along Whitby Sands or an adventure exploring the rocky shores of Saltwick Bay, Whitby’s beaches offer an experience like no other. With stunning views of the North Sea, you’ll want to spend as much time as possible taking in the breathtaking scenery.

One of the best ways to enjoy Whitby’s beaches is to take a romantic walk with your loved one. The peaceful sound of waves crashing against the shore and the salty breeze on your face create the perfect romantic ambiance. You can also build sandcastles with your kids, sunbathe, or simply take a dip in the sea on hot summer days.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Whitby’s beaches are also excellent for water sports such as surfing, windsurfing, and kayaking. The town’s beaches are particularly popular for surfing, offering waves for all skill levels. With so much to do and see, you’ll never run out of exciting things to do at Whitby’s beaches.

Whitby's beaches

“Whitby’s beaches offer an experience like no other with stunning views of the North Sea.”

3. Indulge in Whitby’s Local Cuisine

Whitby is a haven for seafood lovers, with its renowned local cuisine stealing the hearts and taste buds of visitors. One of the must-try dishes is the Whitby scampi, made from locally caught langoustines breaded in crunchy breadcrumbs and fried to perfection. Alternatively, savor the taste of the sea with freshly caught fish and chips from one of the many seaside stands, served with a side of mushy peas and tartar sauce.

To fully experience the local cuisine, don’t miss the opportunity to visit one of the town’s fishmongers or dine in a cozy seafood restaurant. The ambience of these establishments will enhance your dining experience, and the menu will leave you spoilt for choice with a variety of seafood dishes using the freshest ingredients from the North Sea.

Whitby local cuisine

Don’t leave Whitby without indulging in its delicious local cuisine. It’s an unforgettable experience you’ll be craving long after you leave.

4. Explore Whitby’s Quaint Streets and Shops

When it comes to shopping, Whitby has plenty to offer. The narrow and charming streets of the town are filled with unique shops and boutiques selling artisanal crafts, vintage treasures, and locally-made souvenirs. Take a leisurely stroll down Baxtergate and Flowergate and discover hidden gems along the way.

One of my personal favorite spots is the Whitby Bookshop, a quaint bookstore with a wide selection of books, including local authors and maritime titles. Another must-visit is The Whitby Fudge Company, offering delicious handmade fudge in a variety of flavors.

Whitby shops and streets

If you’re looking for unique gifts, head to the Rusty Shears Vintage Emporium for vintage clothing, collectibles, and retro accessories. Or, visit the Macbeans chocolatiers for handmade chocolates and truffles.

Tip: If you’re a fan of Dracula, don’t miss the Whitby Dracula Shop, which sells gothic-inspired clothing, literature, and souvenirs.

Overall, the shops and streets of Whitby offer a delightful shopping experience, whether you’re in search of a special memento or simply want to explore the town’s charming streets.

5. Embark on a Ghostly Whitby Walk

Are you feeling brave enough for a ghostly Whitby walk? Whitby is known for its spooky folklore and tales of ghosts and vampires. Join one of the guided ghost walks and explore the town’s dark past, including haunted graveyards and eerie alleyways.

Learn about the sinister history of the town and the legends that surround it. Walk along the cobbled streets and hear stories of witches, smugglers, and ghosts that still haunt the town today. The ghostly Whitby walk is a spine-tingling experience that you won’t forget.

ghostly Whitby walk

“Whitby is the town that gave birth to Dracula, and the imposing abbey that looms over the town is the inspiration for the iconic gothic novel. Take a ghostly Whitby walk and discover the darker side of this charming seaside town.”

Bram Stoker

6. Visit the Captain Cook Statue and Memorial

Located on the West Cliff, the Captain Cook Statue and Memorial pays homage to Whitby’s famous maritime explorer, Captain James Cook. Here, visitors can learn about Cook’s life, voyages, and contributions to science and exploration.

The statue, made of bronze and unveiled in 1912, depicts Cook standing tall and gazing out to sea, a fitting tribute to a man who spent much of his life at sea. The surrounding gardens offer spectacular views of Whitby and the North Sea, making it a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely afternoon stroll.

As you wander through the gardens, take notice of the different plaques, which detail the milestones and achievements of Cook’s life. The Captain Cook Museum, situated nearby, offers an even more in-depth look at Cook’s life and exploration.

“Captain James Cook was a true pioneer, a man who fearlessly journeyed into uncharted waters in the name of discovery. Visiting the Captain Cook Statue and Memorial is a must-see for anyone interested in the history of exploration and adventure.”

7. Experience Whitby’s Maritime Heritage at the Whitby Museum

The Whitby Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in the town’s maritime heritage. As I explored the museum, I was amazed by the vast collection of artifacts, models of ships, and exhibits showcasing Whitby’s rich seafaring history.

The museum is conveniently located in Pannett Park, which is also a great spot to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

“The museum’s collection of fishing and whaling equipment highlights the integral role these industries played in the town’s development.” – Whitby Gazette

One of the exhibits that stood out to me was the whalebone arch, which has become an iconic symbol of Whitby. The arch was constructed using jawbones of a sperm whale and is an impressive sight to behold.

Whitby Museum opening hours and admission fees

Days Opening Hours Admission Fees
Monday to Saturday 9:30am – 4:30pm Adults – £6.00
Seniors & Children – £4.00
Family Ticket – £15.00
Sunday 11:00am – 4:00pm Adults – £5.00
Seniors & Children – £3.00
Family Ticket – £12.00

If you’re visiting Whitby, make sure to add the Whitby Museum to your itinerary. It’s an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of the town’s maritime history, and it’s a great activity for all ages.

8. Attend Whitby’s Festivals and Events

If you happen to be in Whitby during one of its festivals or events, consider yourself lucky! From music and food to history and culture, there is always something to celebrate in this vibrant town.

One of the most popular events in Whitby is the Whitby Goth Weekend, which takes place twice a year in April and October. This event draws thousands of goths and alternative music fans from around the globe, who descend upon Whitby to enjoy a weekend of live music, vendors, and parties.

Another event that shouldn’t be missed is the Whitby Regatta, a maritime celebration that began in 1832. The Regatta features a range of activities, including yacht and rowing races, live music, a fairground, and a grand fireworks display.

Upcoming Events in Whitby:

Event Name Date
Whitby Folk Week 21-27 August 2022
Whitby Traction Engine Rally 5-7 August 2022
Whitby Steampunk Weekend 12-13 November 2022

These are just a few of the many events that take place in Whitby throughout the year. Check the Visit Whitby website for a full list of upcoming festivals and events!


In conclusion, Whitby offers a delightful blend of history, natural beauty, and unique experiences. Whether you’re interested in exploring its historic sights, enjoying romantic walks, or indulging in local cuisine, Whitby has something for everyone. Its stunning beaches, charming shops, and spooky ghost walks make it a must-visit destination in the UK, along with London and Birmingham Cities.

Plan your visit to Whitby and create unforgettable memories. I hope you found this guide helpful in discovering the best things to do in this charming seaside town. Don’t forget to attend Whitby’s festivals and events and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere. Until next time, thank you for reading my guide to the things to do in Whitby, UK.


What are the best things to do in Whitby, UK?

Some of the best things to do in Whitby, UK include exploring the historic sights, strolling along the picturesque beaches, indulging in the local cuisine, and exploring the quaint streets and shops.

Are there any unusual things to do in Whitby?

Yes, Whitby offers plenty of unique and unusual experiences. You can embark on a ghostly Whitby walk, visit the Captain Cook Statue and Memorial, or explore the town’s maritime heritage at the Whitby Museum.

What are some romantic things to do in Whitby for couples?

Couples can enjoy a romantic walk along the beaches, indulge in the local cuisine at a cozy seafood restaurant, or take a leisurely stroll through the town’s quaint streets and shops.

What historic sights can I visit in Whitby?

Whitby is home to several historic sights, including the iconic Whitby Abbey, which inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, where you can learn about the famous explorer’s voyages.

Can you recommend any beaches to visit in Whitby?

Whitby offers stunning beaches, such as Whitby Sands and Saltwick Bay, where you can enjoy leisurely strolls and admire the breathtaking views of the North Sea.

Where can I find delicious local cuisine in Whitby?

Whitby is renowned for its delicious seafood. You can try the famous Whitby scampi or enjoy freshly caught fish and chips at one of the local fishmongers or seafood restaurants.

Are there any unique shops and streets to explore in Whitby?

Yes, Whitby is known for its charming shops and streets. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets and discover unique gifts, artisanal crafts, and vintage treasures.

Are there any ghost walks or spooky experiences in Whitby?

Absolutely! Whitby is famous for its spooky folklore. You can join one of the guided ghost walks and explore haunted graveyards, eerie alleyways, and learn about the town’s dark past.

What can I expect to see at the Captain Cook Statue and Memorial?

The Captain Cook Statue and Memorial pay tribute to Whitby’s famous maritime explorer, Captain James Cook. You can learn about his voyages and contributions to the town’s seafaring history.

Where can I learn about Whitby’s maritime heritage?

The Whitby Museum is the perfect place to explore Whitby’s rich maritime heritage. Discover artifacts, models of ships, and exhibits that showcase the town’s seafaring history.

Are there any festivals and events in Whitby?

Whitby hosts a variety of festivals and events throughout the year. Some of the notable ones include the Whitby Goth Weekend and Whitby Regatta, where you can enjoy live music, parades, and unique cultural experiences.