Saturday, October 15, 2011

Whitby, UK

After visiting the Abbey and St. Mary's Church, we went down to the port town of Whitby where we wandered around, got some dinner, and visited a playground.

One way to get to town is to go down the famous 199 steps from St. Mary's graveyard. The only problem with going that way is that we'd have to climb back up the 199 steps to get our car. So we went back to the car park to drive down. We parked right on the River Esk and proceeded to the local tourist information center to gather intelligence on the town.

The view from where we parked.

Most every town we've been to has one of these tourist info centers and they are immensely helpful. Here we received a map of the downtown area and the lady told us about a playground just up the hill that was built recently and would be fun for the kids. Armed with all this info, we set out.

Walking along the river was quite charming. Loads of boats entertained us with their comings and goings. One boat was just pulling out as we walked past. We could have gotten on for a ride around the harbor but weren't fast enough.

He's going to ram us!! Wait, he's going backwards, we're okay.

We continued strolling down the road. Like many other seaside touristy towns, lots of shops were selling trinkets, ice cream cones, quick food, and the like. One notable attraction was the Dracula experience. We figured it probably wouldn't be appropriate for a two- and a four-year old, so we passed on by. Plus, it might be too cheesy, even for me. Christopher Lee's 8 stone cape was hard to resist (also, it was hard to comprehend--8 stones is 112 pounds (the weight, not the monetary unit (though that would make more sense (geez, I hope I use enough close parentheses)))).

Don't go in, it's a trap! A tourist trap!!

We walked down to the harbor where we watched a boat coming in. We thought about walking down to the beach. The tide was still in and we didn't see much sand from above, so we stayed on the pier and looked at the sea and the city.

Very picturesque with the cliff and abbey above

Posted for Grandpa's edification

A view of the town from the pier

We discovered the Royal National Lifeboat Institution museum of Whitby. In addition to the life-size boats and gear, displays also depicted various rescues. The most amazing one was in a late 1800s winter. A boat was foundering off Robin Hood's Bay. The lifeboat crew couldn't sail out of Whitby to get there, so they dragged the lifeboat (using horses) several miles so they could launch near the accident. Even though the museum was free, we did give a donation. The kids loved putting coins in the donation jar.

Lifeboat Museum

We finally went to dinner at the fish and chips place that was raved about in one of our guide books as one of the best in the country, Magpie's Cafe. They had take-away downstairs and a restaurant upstairs. We went up and ordered. Service was a little slow but not too bad. Jacob checked on the potty while we waited our meal. I have to say it wasn't all that impressive. The food wasn't bad, it just wasn't anything out of the ordinary. I did have a local brew that was quite nice.

Back on the street, we decided it was time to go to the playground. We had a little trouble finding it, mostly because it was more uphill than we expected. Once there, it was a glorious experience.

Lucy really loved crawling around!

Jacob saw it getting dark and thought about sleeping here

The boat theme of the playground fit the town

Jacob found his favorite yet again!

We finally wound our way down the streets and back to the car for the long drive home across the moors. Some of the towns out there have funny names. Like Sinnington, which sounds like a really bad place. And Beadlam--if Bedlam is for crazy people, Beadlam is for crafty people.

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You can find Sinnington on your own, I'm not going to help you!


  1. Just popping over from Craftlit :-) Lovely posts on Whitby. I'm planning a visit, hopefully mid-November. Although I've been to Whitby many a time, I've tended to stay down at the bottom. Craftlit's Dracula has inspired me to explore more.

  2. The Abbey is definitely worth a visit. Make sure you get to the church up there before 3 p.m.! I can't wait to hear the latest Dracula episode.