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Day out in Whitby
11:07am Saturday 26th May 2012 in Leisure
MAXINE GORDON heads to her favourite spot on the coast.
What and where? Whitby.
Why? Well, why not? It’s got the lot – and more. For starters, there’s the mass of golden sands by the West Cliff, perfect for picnics, sunbathing, beach games, paddling, body boarding, or just taking a long, leisurely stroll.
When the weather is good, there is a large paddling pool too, on the top road above the beach. If that’s not enough, switch to the smaller sands on the other side of the harbour. Or take a boat trip; visit the Dracula museum; squander small change in the arcades; queue up for fish and chips at the legendary Magpie Café on the front (they do takeaway too); cross the swing bridge and take a stroll through the Church Street shops towards the 199 steps that lead up to the imposing abbey ruins.
The abbey is an English Heritage site, so admission applies (£6.20 adults/ £5.60 concession/ £3.70 child/ £16.10 family ticket for two adults and up to three children). It is open daily from 10am-6pm until end of September (find out more at english-heritage.org.uk).
Did I mention the Captain Cook monument and the whalebones landmark? They’re a must-see too, not least because of the brilliant photo opportunity they afford over the harbour and up to the Abbey.
Refreshments: Take your choice from snack shacks selling seafood in polystyrene pots to the finest of fish restaurants, such as Green’s on Bridge Street. The Magpie is an institution, although do allow for queuing on a busy day.
Family friendly: Yes, but it is a hilly place, with lots of steps and steep climbs, although all attractions are reachable via flat(ish) paths.
Parking: It can get very busy at weekends and in peak season. There is a mix of paid-for and free parking. We always aim for the West Cliff and try to park on one of the side streets where it is free.
Directions: From York, take the A64 east then the A169 for Pickering/Whitby. It’s around 50 miles and can take up to an hour and a half to get there. It’s the most gorgeous drive across the Moors, taking in the Hole of Horcum.
Coastliner runs a regular bus service from York to Whitby. Its summer timetable begins on June 2, for more info visit yorkbus.co.uk
Further information: For more ideas, check out visitwhitby.com