As part of the boyfriend’s birthday weekend, we headed to Whitby on Sunday for a day out at the seaside. Thankfully it was a gorgeous day with the sun shining which made the traffic bearable- clearly everyone had the same idea!
Our first stop was Whitby Abbey which is run by English Heritage, as a member I get free entry which is always a plus! We were given our audio guides and headed off into the abbey grounds. The audio guides were ok for information but I prefer just to have a good old explore- they did offer actors pretending to be old monks etc. on the guide for kids which would be more fun and engaging that info boards.
The abbey was built shortly after the Norman Conquest, although there had been a smaller monastic abbey on the site since 657AD which had been destroyed during viking raids. It became a huge attraction for pilgrims in the north until 1540 and Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries, after which left to go to ruin by the Chomley family to the state you see it in now. It famously inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula and is where Dracula came to shore and climbed the 199 steps up to the ruins. The abbey also was later accidentally bombed by the Germans in 1914.
The abbey is beautiful and imposing and on a sunny day is perfect for endless photos, but there is definitely something about it that suggests it would be even better on a bleak, grey day… maybe the vampire stories were getting to me! As the abbey is situated on the headland above Whitby, it has brilliant views across the bay and out to sea, but also across the North York Moors National Park in which it sits. It’s a perfect way to spend a hour or so in the sun and is really a must-see attraction if in Whitby.