A good place to try and escape the worst of the heat on one of the hottest days ever in the UK, there’s more to Whitby than most English seaside towns, despite the usual over abundance of shirtless men, giant seagulls, and ever present smell of fish and chips. Amazingly people have lived here for at least 3,000 years.

Overlooking the town is the evocative Whitby Abbey, the third ruined abbey I’d seen in three days, again a victim of Henry VIII’s dissolution of the monasteries in 1539. It was smaller but more intricate than Rievaulx Abbey and Fountains Abbey, being several hundred years newer, built between the 13th and 15th centuries.

The neighbouring Church of Saint Mary had a scenically located cemetery, though coastal climates are not good for gravestones judging by how few were legible.

Descending the 199 short steps to the town and crossing over the harbour to the train station there was a working steam engine from the Whitby Steam Railway, whose crew were having a lunch break.

The Life Boat Museum was small but well put together, telling the story of how life boats have evolved over the years.

At the top of Khyber Pass, a very British Empire name, there was a bird splattered memorial to Captain Cook and more views.

Pannett Art Gallery was pleasant and surrounded by lovely gardens in Pannett Park.

To end with the highlight of Whitby, the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, in the house that James Cook lodged in while an apprentice. It’s four floors are home to various memorabilia related to his life in Whitby and the three epic around the world voyages he led.

Author: jontycrane

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