Sunday, 30 October 2011

A day in Whitby

Whitby has long been a family favourite. It's a small fishing port and seaside resort in Yorkshire.  Captain James Cook, set sail from Whitby in the Bark Endeavour, on a voyage which charted the east coast of Australia and New Zealand.  (I shall be taking you on a voyage on a 40% scale copy of the Bark Endeavour at the end of the posting, which will be exciting won't it?! Snort.)

You can read about him on the website for the Whitby Museum here - it's located in the very house he grew up in, on the harbour front.

Whitby's skyline is also famously known for the ruins of St Hilda's Abbey which is on top of the East Cliffs. It attracts hundreds of Goths for the twice yearly Whitby Goth Weekend, and is the largest gathering of Goths in the world!

Why do Goths come to Whitby? Because of the churchyard of the parish church of St. Mary, which gave Bram Stoker the inspiration to write his book, Dracula.

From the Abbey on top of the cliff you walk through the graveyard of St Mary's (above) and down the famous 199 steps to the small town.

It's a pretty place full of Whitby Jet shops and the usual seaside paraphernalia. Whitby Jet is the fossilized remains of a tree from the Jurassic period and is only found along a seven and a half mile stretch of the North Yorkshire coastline centered around Whitby.

There are lots of little alleyways to explore.

And lots of seaside-y and fishing things to look at, like these lobster pots on the quay.

The beach is beautiful but usually quite quiet. There's a fabulous pier to walk down, and you can catch boats here to take you out fishing or for short scenic trips.

One for the textile artists amongst you. What a glorious confusion of texture and colour, washed up on the beach.

 This is the quayside with the replica Bark Endeavour. It's a 40% size scale model, but I think you can imagine the real one must have been very tiny... especially when you consider how many crew members there were, and what it would have been like to be on board her for months on end.
 The rigging on the front end.
 Tied up on the quay. 

Out at sea;  it took me ages to get the mouth of the cannon lined up with the Abbey on top of the cliff!

And finally so you can experience it for yourself, a short video I took on board. Please forgive the background noise in some was a very windy day!  (Oh, and remember, real pirates don't have to worry about chucking rubbish overboard.)

1 comment:

  1. Brilliant Annabel - one of my favourite places ever and I've always managed to avoid going on the Bark Endeavour but heard it many, many!! We visited Whitby every year for about 6 years so got really 'Whitby'd out' !! I do miss it though - I love the east coast. Thanks for the memories :o)