ancient seaport and the modern holiday resort of Whitby, lies on
the edge of the North Yorkshire Moors at the mouth of the River
Esk. The East side with its narrow cobbled streets and fishermens
cottages is perhaps more steeped in history than the relativley
modern West side.
This ancient fishing port boasts a thousand
years of ecclesiastical and maritime history. The town is divided
into an East side and a West side, connected by a swing bridge. Hotels
and Guest houses plus attractions like Pannet Park, the Art Gallery
and Museum, the Leisure Centre and Pavilion Complex dominate the West
Cliff, built predominantly by Hudson "The Railway King".
Whereas the old town, with the Town Hall, Market place, 199 Steps
leading to the Parish Church of St. Mary the Virgin and Abbey ruins,
is situated on the East side.
Whitby is part of what has become known as the Dinosaur Coast. From
the high cliffs at Boulby in the North West, to Ravenscar in the South
East, there is practically the whole series of Lias rocks, with the
exception of Planorbis and Angulatus. Bare strata has been left as
a result of the long abandoned Alum workings which reveal fossils
that would not otherwise be seen. Extinct shell fish Ammonites can
be seen in abundance imprinted in the rocks outside the harbour.
The Harbour is still a busy place filled with all manner of craft
and the yellow dredger "Sandsend" can be seen waging a constant
battle against the build up of silt and mud. The small and hard working
fishing fleet is in evidence in the Upper Harbour and there are several
craft available for short trips out to sea or for longer fishing trips.
The swing bridge in the heart of the town is opened on regular occasions
with a bell being rung by the Bridge Keeper to indicate that traffic
over the bridge is to be temporarily suspended. While your waiting
its an opportunity to watch and relax for a few minutes and take in
the sights and sounds of the harbour
Grand Turk en-route to Scarborough
Courtesy of: S. Thompson ©
At one time
Whitby was the sixth most important port in Britain, with Whaling,
Shipbuilding, Sail making and Rope making bringing much prosperity
to the town.
Today Whitby is associated with Captain
Cook, Bram Stoker, Dracula, Vampires, Goth weekends, Folk festivals,
and a superb beach, but most importantly, relaxing and sampling
the superb atmosphere of this unique little town.
Discover the distinctive architecture,
comprising of fisherman's cottages, narrow cobbled streets, lanes,
yards and ghauts, many dating from the medieval period. Gourmet
food stores and restaurants jostle with the little shops offering
all manner of original works and souvenirs. The
towns maritime history is evident all around, from the arch made
from a Whales jawbone and the Captain Cook monument on the West
cliff to the Cook Museum in Grape lane and the Fisherman's cottages
on the East side.
Looking East Towards