For The Family & Things To Do

Set at the mouth of the river Esk on the stunning North Yorkshire moor coast Whitby offers a wealth of history. Emerging as a fishing port in the middle ages and developing a large herring and whaling fleet, Whitby has fine maritime heritage with Captain Cook starting his sailing career here and one of the lifeboat station being established the 1820’s.

Tourism became a main stay from the Georgian period and the town prospered further when Queen Victoria started to wear Whitby Jet jewelry following the death of her husband.

See our latest blog post: Whitby, North Yorkshire Events 2024

Out and About

Whitby is a fantastic seaside location and we have much more to offer that beaches and fish and chips.

Pannett Park and Museum

Set in the beautiful formal gardens of Pannett Park, Whitby Museum has an extensive set of displays and art gallery.

Fossils – On the Yorkshire coast, rocks from the Jurassic period (dating back 150-200 million years ago) are exposed for all to see, in a series of spectacular cliffs and bays. This continuous exposure of rock has made the Yorkshire coast popular with geologists for generations. It was here, in the early days of geology, that many secrets of the earth’s history were discovered.

Maritime History – Whitby has an extensive maritime presence. James Cook served his apprenticeship here, sailing on the Bark Endeavour to observe the transit of Venus over the Sun. As a result the Museum numerous artifacts bought back from around the world, reflecting discoveries from the new world.

Library and Archive – The museum has an extensive local archive of papers, reference books, photos, surveys and census.

Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby

Beautiful 17th century house on Whitby’s harbourside where James Cook lodged as apprentice seaman. The story of Cook and his Voyages is told through ship models, original maps, paintings, letters and Pacific artefacts.


The North Yorkshire coast is renowned for a rich selection of fossils from both the Jurassic and Cretaceous period. Our children often find ammonites on the beach at West Cliff. Sandsend, Saltwick Nab, Robin Hoods Bay and Ravenscar are all good stomping grounds for fossils and there are quite a few local fossil shops that will also be able to give advice on what to look for.

Eden Camp

The Eden camp is an excellent learning resource. The camp is situated on a Second World War prisoner of war camp. Initially housing Italian prisoners, these will have predominantly has been put to work in local agriculture. Later German prisoners occupied the camp from 1944 to 1949.

It has now been developed into a living museum, It has an extensive collection of military vehicles such as tanks, rockets and artillery. It also houses numerous installations giving a flavour of what it was like to live through the war, from the changing roles of women in the war effort, life in the navy or as a submariner. It is a fantastic day out and superb avenue to discover modern history. Interestingly, its conception as an attraction originated from 3 former Italian prisoners of war asking the owner if they could visit and look around the camp.

Robin Hoods Bay

The bay has a fascinating history. At one point of greater importance as a port than Whitby. The village is famous for it’s association with smuggling and piracy. There were so many secret passages and cubby holes it was said that smuggled goods could get from the bottom to the top of village without going seeing the street.

The Bay women were also renowned for their toughness. With raids by customs and excise and by Navy press gangs, the wives often poured boiling water on them.

There is a steep walk down to the bottom through narrow lanes. There is a fantastic enclosed beach with lots of rock pools to explore. You can take a short walk along the coast line to the recently refurbished youth hostel at Boogle Hole.


Similar to Robin hoods Bay, Staithes is nestled at the bottom of a steep cobbled hill and protected from the sea by piers.  During the early 1800’s it was one for the largest ports on the Northern Wash.  It was also home to James Cook who was apprenticed her to a draper.

As with many of the local villages, Staithes was originally dependent on fishing, it also has a rich heritage in smuggling. In the 19th Century a group of influential artist called the Staithes Group were based in the village painting local scenes. In recent years this interest has been reinvigorated, with the Staithes art festival being held in August. One of the great aspects of this is that many of the local properties, open their doors for artists to use their properties as informal galleries.


A Victorian village just on the edge of the Moors set in the Esk Valley and a must for the steam enthusiast. The station is on the North York Moor rail line, with engine sheds which repairs and restores the steam engines for the line. These are open to viewing by the public.


This picturesque village is situated on the A169 between Pickering and Whitby. It has been the setting of the BBC program Heart beat and the train station used as the end of the line for Hogsmeade in Harry Potter.


From cycling on the local lanes and back road to mountain biking, there is a wealth of routes and trails the surrounding area. From our doorstep, you can cycle on quiet country lanes, over Danby moor to the Cycle Hub at Fryup. An overall circular route of 32 miles with a good amount of climbing. Alternatively, there is the cinder track route which follows the old railway line via Robinhoods bay through to Scarborough. For mountain biking, Dalby Forest is a 20-minute drive from Whitby with a variety of all weather mountain bike courses designed for the novice through to seasoned rider.


There is extensive walking in the North Yorkshire Moors. With the 190 mile coast to coast to from St Bee’s in Cumbria through to Robin Hoods Bay, or the Cleveland Way. We are happy to accommodate the weary walker.


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