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Whitby

Looking for recommendations for lodging snd activity in and around Whitby in Northern Yorkshire.

Posted by
746 posts

Hi -

Last time we stopped in Whitby we stayed at The Shepherd’s Purse. It’s a 17th century building and the rooms were off the street (Church Street) behind the buildings in a quirky courtyard where they used to work jet. The room we stayed in, accessed via a wooden staircase and balcony, seemed to me to be a bit smaller than your average hotel room. That said it was perfectly fine for us, we didn’t spend a huge amount of time in the room anyway. They have a website: http://www.theshepherdspurse.com/accommodation

Parking however can be difficult, given that the SP is very much in the centre of the town, just yards from the harbour on the street that leads to the ‘199 Steps’ - if you are travelling by public transport the parking isn’t an issue. I parked my car in the nearby harbour side ‘pay and display’ car park, but needed to give the car a thorough scrub on leaving given the numerous ‘calling cards’ the seagulls left on it!

The ‘199 Steps’ lead - eventually - to the cliff top to the ruins of Whitby Abbey which is worth a visit and nearby the church - St Mary’s I think? - is also worth a visit to see the numerous ‘box pews’. There is plenty to do and if you are walkers then you can walk in either direction, up or down the coast. If the tide is out, north to Sandsend along the beach, or south along the cliff tops to Robin Hoods Bay and Ravenscar. Further north beyond Sandsend are Runswick Bay, Port Mulgrave (not easy to get to but with a series of ramshackle fisherman’s shacks on the beach) and Staithes, birthplace of Captain Cook. (Of these three Staithes possibly the most interesting if you only have time for one). You can return from all by bus but my memory is they aren’t that frequent so double check the time table applicable at time of your visit. The North Yorks Moors Railway, which you can connect to from Whitby, will take you south through the Moors from Grosmont to Pickering and back, sometimes steam hauled (again look up the timetable). Whitby afternoon tea in Bothams tea rooms above the bakery/confectioners. Magpie cafe was THE place to go for fish and chips but it developed an unfortunate habit of catching fire in recent years so not sure if it has returned to its former glories. If not there will be somewhere similar and probably just as good. The street where the SP is features several jewellers who specialise in the famous Whitby jet, but make sure you are paying for the good local stuff and not the inferior imported from Russia stuff!

As noted previously it would depend on if you had transport or not and what your specific interests were for us to fine tune any recommendations, but feel free to let us know and we’ll see what we can come up with!

ATB, Ian

Posted by
449 posts

Really liked Whitby. We stayed in a B&B with the tiniest bathroom yet, shoehorned under the eaves (easiest way to use the sink was to sit down :), so it'll remain nameless. But the Abbey & its views, wow, & the Captain Cook museum, the wonderfully quirky Whitby Museum, pleasing little harbor & whale-ribs arch & expansive beaches at low tide, possibly the world's tiniest smokehouse (kippers), Robin Hood's Bay a few miles away, fish&chips & ice cream, all good.

Posted by
625 posts

Ianandjulie - you always make me long to go back to Yorkshire with your descriptive and very informative suggestions. The seagull remark gave me a good chuckle! another cautionary tale is when you do get those fish and chips from the Magpie be very careful not to leave them open. Those very large seagulls will swoop down and take your food in a second. The North Yorkshire Moors railway is always a good day out.
Margaret

Posted by
746 posts

Hi Margaret -

Hope you are doing well! If visiting the Magpie we always went for the full inside sit down/fish/chips/mushy peas/tea and bread experience. Unless things have deteriorated markedly this cuts the seagull threat to a minimum. Need to choose your moment though as regularly the queue (sorry, line!) stretches down the steps into the street. The bread in those places is a marvel - where do they get such thin slices? And rumour has it two people are involved in buttering every slice - one putting it on and another scraping it off again!

Looking forward to getting out and about in my own backyard as the plague eases. It will be interesting to see what has not survived our long, long lockdown. I’m hoping for a minimum of disappointing experiences but I’m guessing there will be a few. Still, mostly it’s all still here I think and you are welcome back any time, perhaps now more than ever!

Ian

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for all the input regarding Whitby and surrounding areas. Really helpful. Frances Brown, San Diego. Hoping restrictions lift in a month or two.

Posted by
746 posts

Hi Frances -

Did you make any decision about whether you plan to hire a car or not? Do you have any particular interests that we might be able to suggest pointers on? Happy to delve into any subjects (well, most!) you are interested in while in Whitby and environs.

Ian

Posted by
4524 posts

The worst hotel I have ever experienced was in Whitby. It was so disgusting we slept in our clothes, tried not to breath the pee stench in the carpets and left early the next morning skipping the breakfast and a shower. We almost left that very night it was so bad. But we were desperate as there was nothing else available in town and we wanted to stay and see the town. It really is a charming town and we otherwise enjoyed our stay. Now it makes for our "what is the worst hotel you ever stayed in?" story.

I'm not naming the place as it was some years ago and may have changed or gone out of business. But my hope is that you will never have to experience it.

Posted by
746 posts

I don’t know if it is still the case as much but the DHSS housed a lot of homeless and dispossessed people in coastal bed and breakfasts. We stayed at one B&B in Whitby that while it didn’t have any ‘B&B residents’ was surrounded on all sides by establishments that did. While I wouldn’t begin to to guess the name of the hotel you were in I reckon I could have a fair stab at where it was in the town.

My advice is, if in doubt, try rooms in a pub. That’s not to say all their rooms are brilliant at all times - they are not, I’ve stayed in a couple of particularly ‘tired’ ones - but they are unlikely to have long term government funded residents. If you can get somewhere with half decent reviews (ignore the best and worst reviews and take the middle ground) before committing, that is a good idea.

Posted by
2127 posts

We stayed at a B&B called Abbotsleigh and loved it. Lovely place with charming hosts. It’s up on the hill above the town (not the abbot side) which is very quiet. The breakfast is great and they have homemade snacks too. The views of the abbey and the sea are spectacular. We walked down to the town and it’s a bit of a climb on the way back, so not a good place if you have mobility issues. I believe there is a bus you can take, but we didn’t look into it because we enjoy walking and are used to hills.