Newest Review: ... did visit quite late on in the day and we were some of the only visitors there. I think we saw two or three couples whilst we were walking... more
Wish away your afternoon at Whitby
Whitby Abbey (Whitby)
Member Name: lyndsey1989
Whitby Abbey (Whitby)
Advantages: Lovely place to visit, great views over Whitby
Disadvantages: Theres lots of steps to climb!
We visited Whitby Abbey recently when we were on holiday in Yorkshire last week. We were staying in Whitby itself so it seemed natural to visit the abbey although I think we probably would have visited anyway if we were staying somewhere nearby as it is obviously a famous landmark and it is the sort of day out we enjoy. Also, being English Heritage members meant it was included in our membership so in effect our visit to the abbey was free which is always an advantage!
==Arriving at the abbey==
We walked to the abbey from the other side of Whitby. If you are parking in the centre of Whitby or staying in Whitby the abbey is easy to find. It is situated on the top of a hillside so you can see it from the majority of locations in the town but it is also signposted really well. I found the walk up to the abbey pleasant as we had just arrived in Whitby and it allowed us to see a lot of the town and therefore decide what else we wanted to see during our time there.
If walking, you have two options of how to reach the abbey. You can either walk up the donkey track which is extremely steep cobbles or you can climb the 199 steps beside it! We opted for the steps which weren't exactly easy!
If driving, there is a car park up next to the abbey itself. When we visited we could only see coaches in the car park but we did visit quite late on in the day and we were some of the only visitors there. I think we saw two or three couples whilst we were walking about but that was all.
If using public transport, Whitby is easily accessible. I'm not entirely sure whether there are any bus stops closer to the abbey than the actual town itself so if you are planning on travelling by bus it may be an idea to have a look at the timetables before setting off.
When you enter the grounds of the abbey, you go into the shop first to buy your tickets or to show your membership cards. The lady in here was very friendly and told us which way to go. You then leave the shop and go through to the abbey.
There is a good sized museum here which you can easily spend a quarter of an hour in which gives lots of information about the abbey itself and also history about when the abbey was in use. There are artefacts in here too which were good to look at and if you have children there is plenty to keep them occupied in here too such as printing stamps and crayon rubbings.
After looking at the museum you leave through some doors and you are then in the grounds of the abbey itself.
The abbey is a ruin but it is spectacular. The image of the abbey is famous worldwide and it is easy to see why. There is a lot of the abbey left so it is easy to picture what the abbey would have actually looked like. The ruins actually stretch up to the very top of the abbey which I thought was spectacular because it really allowed you to imagine how big the abbey would have actually been and also meant it was easy to picture what it would have been like here.
There are no sections of the abbey which are out of bounds which is great because it really does allow you to get up close to the abbey and to see the stone work and also to appreciate the sheer size of the abbey.
Because of the position of the abbey you can also see some spectacular views over Whitby and also of the coast. It was a clear day when we visited but not sunny, I imagine it would be lovely on a sunny day.
There are a few information boards dotted about which I found really useful as there were sketches of how the abbey and the surrounding area would have looked which allowed me to understand further how they would have lived in huts surrounding the abbey in sort of a little village.
==Did we enjoy it?==
We did enjoy our visit to the abbey. We spent around an hour here which for us was long enough as we had seen everything and had plenty more to explore in the town. However, you could spend a little longer if you wanted to. On a nice day it would be lovely to take a picnic along and to have an hour or two relaxing in the sun.
Four of us visited the abbey and we all found it very interesting. A lot of English Heritage properties are ruins so therefore there is a limited amount of things they can do to the subject in order to allow people to experience it. The abbey I feel is definitely one of the top EH properties that we have visited over the past year. I felt that we were provided with a good amount of information which allowed us to understand the abbey completely but we didn't feel as though we were being given an overload of information.
For us, the main attraction of the abbey was its appearance. It is a large building which looks very imposing against its coastal backdrop. The abbey has survived well over time and although a lot of it is gone there is still a wonderful profile to be looked at which allows your imagination to picture what life would have been like there.
We would definitely recommend the abbey and think that it is well worth a visit at some point because it is a piece of British history. It's a lovely way to spend a couple of hours and it would be a great place to go on a summers day when you can relax with a picnic.
Current opening times: 10am - 6pm Daily
Admission prices: Adult: £6.70, Child: £3.70, Concession: £5.60, Family (2+3): £16.10
A lovely place to visit providing you with a real chunk of British history. Recommended.
Summary: Well worth a visit
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