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A magical seaside town
Whitby in general
Member Name: emmad5689
Whitby in general
Advantages: Beautiful setting, many attractions and festivals, clean and tidy
We have always visited Whitby since I was tiny and when I was about 6 I started going and staying in a caravan for one week a year with my Great Auntie and Uncle. Whitby is about an hour away from us and so make a good place for days out too, it is set on the coast in North Yorkshire over the North Yorkshire Moors.
Whitby is famous for many things such as 199 steps, Whitby Abbey and the whale bones and also holds lots of annual festivals such as a Gothic weekend, Folk week and the Regatta Festival.
199 steps to beauty
The 199 steps are just like it sounds, there are 199 of them which curve up from the cobbled street below up to St Mary's Church and then to Whitby Abbey itself. There is a cobbled pathway to the side of the steps with the donkeys from the beach living at the top and the steps have benches so far up for those who need a rest. My sister at 18 months old insisted on walking he whole 199 steps on her own so we had me in front of her and my Mam at the side of her to keep her safe but she did manage every single one of them herself. Myself and my Dad used to go up the path at the side and race my Mam to the top, my Mam has never moved very quick even when she was younger so myself and my Dad always won.
Whitby Abbey or the Abbey of St Hilda's was founded in 657 AD by the Saxon King of Northumbria, I have never actually been into the Abbey as you can't get in without paying but it is a beautiful site especially from a distance in the dark as it is lit up beautifully. My Dad is a painter and has painted me a lovely picture of the Abbey by moonlight which sits proudly in my living room.
The Goth weekends used to be run once a year however after becoming extremely popular they are now held twice a year, usually the event is held in April and the end of October to coincide with Halloween. The Goths have a market which is full of weird and wonderful items and some fantastic ornaments that you simply don't get in usual shops. The clothes these people wear are extremely detailed and beautiful and they take great pride in how they look, although some of them look rather scary or so I thought when I was younger they are very friendly and in the pub we drink in (The Elsinore) they always approach my family as my parents dog is pure black and looks like a wolf. One year I even dressed up with my little sister whilst at Goth weekend us wearing all black and me doing our make-up to suit.
When we first starting staying in Whitby it was always for the Folk festival which runs from Saturday to Friday and starts with a procession and ends with a procession. The festival is always at the end of August and there are many different dance troops which take part and there are many workshops put on that you can join in, one year I helped with a workshop to build a giant Dracula and took part in the procession at the end of the week from the top of the cliff by the whale bones to the bottom of Whitby at the band stand. My sister took part in a music group one year we were there and to this day she still plays guitar and is actually in a group so I believe this kick started her love of music.
Whitby is also famous for the Endeavour ship which launched in 1794 from Whitby before being bought by the Navy in 1798, a replica of the ship still makes visits back to Whitby which causes a hive of tourists. I think the Endeavour is a marvellous sight and the replica looks to be a very good likeness to the real ship.
Bram Stokers Dracula was inspired by St Mary's Church in Whitby and he stayed in the Royal Hotel while he wrote his masterpiece. Over the years there have been many tourist activities to do with Dracula one of which my mam took part in which was a walk around Whitby at night learning about Dracula himself and also a Dracula experience was set up along the front which really scared my sister as one of the employees which are meant to scare you decided to follows us round and she was really scared of him.
Whitby has old cobbled sweets with lovely little shops such as a sweet shop which sells traditional old sweets by the quarter which myself and my sister were always allowed a couple of throughout our weeks stay. There is also a glass blower which is actually working (behind a screen) whilst you watch and they would always make a different window display of products where you would have to look through little eye holes to see the display. This shop always excited me every year and I couldn't wait to see what he display was each time.
Whitby has a lot of boat which are in and out but the harbour is beyond a low bridge and so the main bridge in Whitby actually opens up in the middle which is an amazing thing to watch. The sirens sound and then the barriers are brought across which is still done by a person rather than machines and then you have wait while very slowly the bridge split into two and the boats come through. When I was younger and walked over the bridge it always scared me that it might open whilst we were walking across it which of course it never would.
Finally Whitby has the usual things a seaside town does, there are a couple of amusements although they have got rid of the bingo which I think is a shame, when we used to stay for a week we would have a couple of games each day and save our wins up to the end of the week to get a prize. There are plenty of Fish and Chip shops with freshly caught Whitby fish and the famous Magpie café where the queue is always along the street as it is that popular.
I love Whitby and always have, my daughters' first experience of a beach was at Whitby although we weren't there at the same time as the Donkeys were working so she still has that to experience. There is something magical about this town and I am not quite sure what it is but it holds many memories for myself and my family with many more to be made I'm sure, well worth a visit.
Summary: Well worth a visit