8 of the Best Things to do in Whitby

Things to do in Whitby – I love Whitby, I always have.  Every summer from when I was 13 I would stay and work in my uncle’s hotel on West Cliff.  I waited tables and cleaned rooms.  It was hard work but I have very fond memories of escaping after evening service and buying a bag of chips by the harbour (just chips, mind, fish was out of my budget!). 

On a Friday when we got paid, the other girls and I would head over the bridge to a little tearoom on Church Street and indulge in knickerbocker glories.  To be honest at the end of the week between the illicit bag of chips and the decadent ice cream there was very little left of my weekly £25 but I wouldn’t go back and change anything!


best things to do in whitby
Whitby Harbour


Best Things to do In Whitby

There are lots of things to do in Whitby that I would recommend and here is my list:


Climb the 199 Steps

There are 199 steps up the hill to St Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey.   The view from the top is magnificent and you can search the graveyard there for the gravestone that inspired Bram Stoker to write his gothic masterpiece, Dracula.


things to do in Whitby
The 199 steps looking over to West Cliff


Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey is a ruin now but a lovely one to visit.  It’s run by English Heritage who are spending £1.6 million this year on their visitor centre.  They run events throughout the year and the views are amazing.  “This spectacular headland was first settled as a monastery in AD657 by King Oswy of Northumbria. It became one of the most important religious centres in the Anglo-Saxon world under the formidable Abbess Hild. She ruled over both men and women in a double monastery called Streaneshalch.”


best things to do in whitby
Whitby Abbey


North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR)

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a heritage steam railway that runs between Pickering and Whitby.  It’s featured in lots of TV and films including Heartbeat and more recently the Harry Potter films.  I have reviewed a day out on the NYMR here.  They also run special services like the Northern Lights Express at Christmas and the Pullman Dining Train where you can indulge in Afternoon Tea.


Attraction to visit in Whitby
The bridge at Goathland that’s featured in Harry Potter

Great Food

Whitby has some marvellous restaurants from the traditional (and delicious) fish and chips at The Magpie Cafe to lots of different places to sample afternoon tea.


things to do in whitby
Try Afternoon Tea at Marie Antoinette’s Patisserie


Fab hotels

There are some fab hotels in an around Whitby.  There are some great hotels up on West Cliff where I used to work as well as some lovely holiday cottages dotted around.  We recently reviewed the fabulous Raithwaite Sandsend.  A bit further afield but have a look at our review of the White Swan in Pickering or try this nice hotel in Robin Hood’s Bay.


top things to do in whitby
Raithwaite Sandsend



Whitby hosts two goth weekends a year now and they are very popular.  Another great time to visit is during the Whitby Regatta when you can experience yacht racing, rowing races and various free forms of entertainment finishing with a prize presentation and a spectacular firework display.


best things to do in whitby


Dalby Forest

Not too far from Whitby you will find Dalby Forest.  There is a Go Ape there too and you can do the treetop aerial adventure or try your hand at the segways.  See what we thought of Go Ape here.


Go Ape Dalby Forest Review - Segways - Things to do in Whitby

Tree Top Adventure at Go Ape Dalby Forest
Go Ape at Dalby Forest


Whitby Museum

Pannett Park, Whitby YO21 1RE

Whitby Museum houses all sorts in interesting knickknacks, including the rather creepy ‘Hand of Glory’.  “Whitby Museum is unusual and quite wonderful! Revealing the life of our historic coastal town from the Jurassic era to the present day, our collections are fascinating – even quirky. Come and see our fossils, our costumes, our model ships and our curiosities for yourself. Whatever your age, whatever your interests, Whitby Museum is a precious treasure trove.”


Things to do whitby
Whitby Museum




Check out this review of Whitby Abbey.