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Things to do in Whitby

Our most recommended things to do in Whitby

From York: Moors, Whitby, and the Yorkshire Steam Railway

1. From York: Moors, Whitby, and the Yorkshire Steam Railway

Leave the city and travel through the Vale of York, learning about life in Yorkshire as you head for the first stop in the traditional National Park village of Hutton-le-Hole. Pass the 16th-century Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge at the highest point of the moors. See some of the pretty villages on the way to Whitby and hear stories from the seaside town’s history. Choose how you want to spend your two and a half hours in Whitby. See the Abbey, visit the Captain Cook attractions, shop for gothic fashion or enjoy a fish and chips lunch, the choice is yours. Opt to spend less time in Whitby and climb aboard a steam train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway at a special discounted rate, paid locally on the day. See Hogsmeade Station from the Harry Potter movies and more. Alternatively, journey to Goathland by minibus in time see the other passengers arrive by steam train. Explore the fictional village of Aidensfield from the TV show, Heartbeat. Learn the history behind the mysterious RAF Fylingdales Pyramid on Snod Hill and see the Hole of Horcum before heading back towards York through the Howardian Hills with panoramic views of Castle Howard.

North York Moors and Whitby Tour from York

2. North York Moors and Whitby Tour from York

See the best of Whitby and the North Yorkshire Moors on this fascinating and exciting full-day tour to one of Britain's most scenic areas. See the charming market town of Pickering before heading off the beaten track into the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, where there will be plenty of chances throughout your day to capture memorable photos and time to enjoy the picturesque scenery. Visit the scenic moorland village of Goathland and see the station turned into ‘Hogsmeade’ for 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone'. Discover the traditional seaside town of Whitby, enjoying a lunch of fish and chips and then taking a stroll along the harbor or visiting the dramatic ruins of Whitby Abbey, which was the inspiration for the novel ‘Dracula’. Drive through more classic Yorkshire countryside as you make your way through Egton and Egton Bridge towards Glaisdale. This peaceful village is home to Beggers Bridge, a 17th-century bridge with a fascinating romantic story behind it.  Enjoy uninterrupted panoramic views on the moorlands before stopping to view a collection of historic furnaces and explore the quaint market town of Helmsley. Visit the bustling market square, dramatic castle ruins, charming tea rooms or inviting inns.

From York: Day Trip to Whitby and The North York Moors

3. From York: Day Trip to Whitby and The North York Moors

The tour heads out of the hustle and bustle of the city for a scenic drive through the Vale of York. The first stop is at the Kilburn White Horse hill figure on the boundary of the North York Moors National Park, where your guide will tell you the story of how it was carved into the hillside in 1857. The next stop is in the picturesque market town of Helmsley, where you can view the medieval castle, explore the quaint shops, or just have a leisurely Yorkshire brew in one of the cafés. After Helmsley, you will head off through Hutton-le-Hole into the heart of the scenic North York Moors National Park for some photo stops, passing the 16th century Lion Inn on Blakey Ridge (the highest point on the Moors) and Ralph’s Cross.   Then, stop in the quaint and picturesque Yorkshire village of Lealholm to see the stepping-stones over the River Esk — a great photo opportunity. It is then just a short journey into Whitby. Whilst hearing stories about the seaside town’s history from your guide, you will also learn about the main places of interest that you may want to visit. As you arrive in Whitby, there will be a brief stop at the Captain Cook Statue and Whalebone Arch on the West Cliff then alternative drop-offs at the harbour or Whitby Abbey (recommended if you wish to start your visit there and avoid having to climb the 199 steps).   You will have a leisurely 3 hours of free time in Whitby where you can visit the town’s newest attraction, The Endeavour Experience — 1 of only 2 full-size replicas of the HM Bark Endeavour in existence. See also the Captain Cook Museum, take the Bark Endeavour scale replica boat trip around the harbour, or view Whitby Abbey, inspiration for the Dracula books. You may also just explore the shops and market of the seaside town and experience fish and chips from the famous Magpie Café. After Whitby, you will head back onto the North York Moors and arrive in the picture-postcard village of Goathland (filming location for Aidensfield in the Heartbeat television series and Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter movies) where you can explore the filming locations, or maybe just grab an ice cream from the village store. The tour leaves Goathland for a final stop to enjoy the stunning views at the Hole of Horcum before heading back to York.

3-day Yorkshire Dales and Peak District Tour from Manchester

4. 3-day Yorkshire Dales and Peak District Tour from Manchester

Day 1: Travel to the Peak District. In the late morning, you will arrive in Castleton. This quaint old town attracts travelers from all over the world for its quintessential English charm. Nearby, there are caves, a beautiful view up a valley, and an insightful information center. Venture to the beautiful valley at Monsal Head. There’s an old rail line viaduct that emerges from the green hills. It’s a gorgeous structure with an impressive history. If you’re hungry, then you’re in luck, because you’re stopping for lunch in Bakewell. Not only is this town delicious to look at, but it’s also the home of one of England’s most famous desserts, the Bakewell Pudding. After savoring every last crumb, head over to Chatsworth House. This luxurious stately home is incredible; you can admire the architecture, get lost in a massive maze, or praise precious art. Finally, head off in the early evening to your overnight stop in York. Day 2: Full-day Tour of York Spend your morning in York. Visit a chocolate museum, find out about the Vikings, or just stroll around the ancient walls. Around midday, leave York and head to Goathland. This town was used in the Harry Potter movies and is situated in one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the UK. Your next stop is Whitby. This is the type of town everyone dreams of retiring in. There’s a beautifully-located, ruined abbey; old stone steps curving around viewpoints; and a lovely little beach to play about on. After exploring all the nooks and crannies of Whitby, travel to Robin Hood’s Bay. They doubt if the real Robin Hood ever came here, but there are still plenty of smugglers tales dotted around this remarkable harbor village. Finally, arrive back in York in the early evening. Day 3: Touring, Lunch, and Returning to Manchester Take the road to Fountains Abbey. This is one of the largest ruined abbeys in England and part of an important UNESCO Heritage site. Then find yourself surrounded by some of England’s most lovely waterfalls at AysgarthEnjoy a delicious lunch of Wensleydale's famous cheese and crackers. After lunch, travel past the epic Ribblehead railway viaduct before having a short snoop around the old castle-topped town of Clitheroe. In the evening, arrive in Manchester.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

5. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

Heartbeat TV Locations Tour of Yorkshire

6. Heartbeat TV Locations Tour of Yorkshire

Set in the 1960’s, Heartbeat proved a hit with audiences all over the world for nearly two decades.  Now, you can visit the locations of Aidensfield and Whitby where much of the show was filmed. The 7-hour tour will take you to some of the key locations from the show and showcase the beautiful scenery and history of the North Yorkshire Moors.  Setting off from York your first stop of the day will be Whitby, the seaside town perhaps most famously linked with Dracula and Captain Cook, but which featured as itself in Heartbeat. Here, you will get a guided tour of the town taking in locations used in the filming of the show.  Then you’ll have the opportunity to take lunch in one of the town’s world-renowned fish and chip shops. Finally, it’s off to the village of Aidensfield, the village most associated with the show and where most of the locations can be found.  A guided tour of this charming village will include Bernie Scripps Garage and Funeral Parlour, plus the train station that was featured as Aidensfield station in Heartbeat and as Hogsmeade in the first Harry Potter film. You will also see the post office and stores and, of course, there will be time to treat yourself to a drink in the Aidensfield Arms pub. Your tour will then return to central York.

Whitby: Audio Guide with Lifetime App Access

7. Whitby: Audio Guide with Lifetime App Access

It’s not easy journeying to Whitby, so it’s important to make the most of your time here. On this guided walk, I'll introduce you to major local characters, engrossing legends and hidden treasures in this historic town, over a millennium in the making. Whether this is your first visit or your thirtieth, this tour is certain to make you look at Whitby in a new light. It also provides an ideal introduction to sites like the Whitby Abbey, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum and the Endeavour Experience, which you can return to at the end of the tour. On this tour, you'll hear about: • Some of the greatest voyages of exploration of all time • Why people once thought the town was infested with serpents • How Whitby jet, a gemstone, inspired the novel Dracula • An illiterate poet • Why there’s a polar bear in the town centre • Why the houses with the best views were some of the cheapest • The Hand of Glory and where to find it This tour isn’t all about the past. I'll also tell you about Fortune's Kippers fish store, and where to find seaside fayre and the best strawberry tarts you'll ever encounter.

From York: Yorkshire Moor Coast, Cliff & Whitby Private Tour

8. From York: Yorkshire Moor Coast, Cliff & Whitby Private Tour

Experience one of England's most beautiful and unexplored counties, Yorkshire, while relaxing inside of a luxury Mercedes. See various of the county's highlights, like ancient villages and castles, Whitby (the capital of fish and chips), and the North York Moors National Park. Meet your guide when you are picked up in your supremely safe and comfortable Mercedes V-class vehicle. Be whisked away through the beguiling medieval streets of York on your way to the first stop in the ancient town of Helmsley. View the ruins of Hemsley Castle, depicted in the famous painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner. Peruse local shops or stop for a fine Yorkshire Cake and a cup of tea. Move on to the otherworldly North York Moors National Park. Watch as the scenery changes on the journey across the moors, and admire the remarkable views while drawing closer to Yorkshire's rugged coastline, where James Cook first voyaged out to sea. Continue on to the coastal town of Whitby, where you can see the dramatic gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey, which famously inspired Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. Enjoy some free time to explore the sights and attractions of Whitby, either on your own or with your guide, who will be happy to accompany you to the hidden charms of this ancient town. Leave Whitby and travel up one of the steepest inclines in the Moors, included on the Tour de Yorkshire in 2014. Move swiftly to the idyllic village of Goathland, noted for its charming station on the North York Moors Steam Railway. Catch sight of magnificent steam trains thundering through if you are lucky. Cross the moors and take in some beautiful views of the extraordinary landmarks created by glaciers as they scored and chiseled the land during the last ice age, before making your way back to the ancient city of York. Be taken straight to your hotel or take a brief, optional walking tour (free of charge) to see the city's ancient walls to finish off the day.

Frequently asked questions about Whitby

What top attractions are a must-see in Whitby?

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Other Sightseeing Options in Whitby

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What people are saying about Whitby

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 357 reviews

My kids (8, 11) and I saw so much during this tour! It was perfect in order to visit the Moors and Whitby, and to get a feel for what those areas have to offer. Our guide Mark from BOBH was very knowledgeable, providing historical facts and making the day interesting and fun.

The guide was very kind and instructive. I really enjoyed visiting Whitby, and crossing the North York Moors National Park was wonderful.

Very informative and funny tour guide. Also incredibly safe driver despite the heavy rain. Highly recommended to anyone visiting York!

Great tour! Mark was an excellent guide. We learned so much about the area. Highly recommend!

Loved it all and the steam train ride was a bonus that put it over the top