Enjoy this traditional English resort, handsome fishing port and historic town
Britain boasts many picturesque and historic coastal resorts and
Whitby, on the eastern edge of North Yorkshire, is among England's
finest. A fishing settlement since the Middle Ages, the town grew
around a Benedictine abbey built in the thirteenth century; the
ruins of this stunning Gothic building, which dominate the town's
headland, are an unmissable feature.
Abundant natural resources assured Whitby's prosperity and expansion. By the nineteenth century the town was processing the locally-mined mineral, alum, for use in the textile industry; it was a major whaling port, and thanks to plentiful supplies of oak Whitby became the third largest shipbuilder in England. HMS Endeavour, in which explorer Captain James Cook voyaged to the South Pacific in 1768, was built in Whitby. The discovery of iron-rich springs close to the town in the Georgian period enabled Whitby to capitalise upon a growing public demand for bathing in 'medicinal' waters, and the town reinvented itself as a spa resort. Hotels and guest houses appeared, and the arrival of the railway in 1839 sealed Whitby's popularity as a holiday destination.
Today, the pretty town of Whitby attracts hordes of visitors each year thanks to the natural beauty of its setting beside the north Yorkshire Moors, its historic buildings, its excellent beaches and for the variety of traditional seaside amusements and entertainments it provides.