7 things not to miss in Whitby!

After a recent week spent staying near Whitby, here are 7 things not to miss if you’re in the area.

Whitby Abbey

You can’t visit Whitby and not have a glimpse of the Abbey. We’ve never actually been inside but this time bought a family ticket. There was a Viking event on the weekend we visited, so entrance was a little extra. There was a  Viking camp we could walk around and see them making tools, cooking, and spinning wool. In the event arena there were skirmishes and battle re-enactments, which were great to watch. We also wandered around the grounds and the museum on site. Parking and toilets are right next door.

Whitby Abbey and in the foreground a pond infront, tents can be seen to the side of the abbey

Esk River Stand up paddleboard lesson

I’ve wanted to try SUP (Stand-up Paddle boarding) for years, but my hip history always put me off a bit. With the opportunity for a beginner’s lesson and a willing side kick, okay less than willing, I booked me and my Son in for a session on the river Esk. We spent two hours with SUP Adventures UK, first having a quick briefing on the riverbank, before launching our paddleboards and setting off downstream. My less than willing side kick got the hang of it straight away and absolutely loved it. Bravely standing up early on and even limbering under the low trees he came across. I loved it too and managed to stand up relatively quickly. The river we were on was a nice size, not too wide, busy or deep and I think that helped. I did fall in from messing about shuffling my feet and lost my balance! I should have remembered to have closed my mouth instead of screaming, as I swallowed half the river. It was a bit of a shock but thankfully I found it easy to get back on my board. I did really enjoy it and once I got going found it quite calming and tranquil. Our instructors were lovely and all the equipment we needed was provided.

Woman and Boy carrying paddleboard smiling at camera Paddleboarders stand on the side of a riverbank with their boards Woma, wearing a black and blue wetsuit, kneeling on a paddleboard on a river, she is smiling

Falling Foss and May Beck

Taking a small B road signposted to May Beck we wound our way down a hill to a small forestry commission carpark. There were moments I wondered if we had the right road but stuck with it. From the car park we followed the finger post to Falling Foss along the ‘Coast to Coast’ route. We did a small walk, of about 30-40 minutes, to the waterfall and tearoom through pretty woodland. The waterfall is viewed from above on a narrow path. The outdoor tearoom at Midge Hall had plenty of seating, some covered, and lots of choice of sandwiches, cakes, hot and cold drinks. The footpath is a little uneven so not suitable for everyone, but there is a car park at Falling Foss too.

May Beck Forestry England sign Close up of a fingerpost for the Coast to Coast Falling Foss path Through shady trees a waterfall can be seen in the background The history of Midge Hall information sign

NYMR Steam Train

The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a heritage railway, where you can ride through miles of fabulous countryside, on a steam train from Whitby to Pickering. We should have got on the train at Whitby train station but for the first time this Summer the track had a problem! We were taken by coach to nearby Grosmont station where we met the train. The coach driver needed a medal negotiating some of the tiny roads. Once on the train there was then no problems as we rode to Pickering station. Once in Pickering we had an hour to wander around the village and grab some lunch before the train back. It was an opportunity to experience travelling by steam train, something that might not be around forever. We prebooked our family ticket and seats. If you really want to spoilt yourself you can pay to have a meal aboard some of the special services.

Black steam train arriving at the platform, steam can be seen and part of the platform

Boat trip – Yellow Boats

You can find the Yellow boats on the harbourside and hop aboard for a short trip. Sailings are available every 20 minutes for a short trip out to sea, for £4 per person. There are longer sea cruises of 2 hours available, twice a day, but with a seasick Hubby I decided that this might be pushing it. These sailing are available to book online beforehand. There had been whales and dolphins in the area in the days before our trip, which we’d seen from the shore, but sadly they weren’t playing on this trip. The sea was a little choppy but the commentary from a guide proved to be a good distraction for some!


Goathland will always be Aidensfield for me, the fictional village in the series Heartbeat. I worked on Heartbeat in my Yorkshire Television days, spending hours immersed in the village, but having never actually been. We arrived one morning early to the main car park in the village. Me exclaiming every few seconds as I recognised something else. We wandered around the village visiting the pretty station, which also featured in Harry Potter, past the Aidensfield Arms, Scripps garage and the post office. We did the ‘Goathland Centenary walk’, a 2 mile loop around the back of the village that commemorates those lost in the First World War. After our walk we had lunch in the Goathland tea rooms with plenty of naughty cake. It’s worth getting to the village early as its very popular. On our way back to the car another car park had been opened, adjacent to the National park one, and there was a queue to be served in the tea rooms.

We parked in the North Yorks Moor National car park – postcode YO22 5LX. There are public toilets here too.

Hip2trek sits on a rock on a grassy embankment. A sign on the rock says 'Goathland' Gaothland Post office building Outside Scripps Garage Goathland Information board about the centenary walk

Walking in the area – Of course there’s lots of walking opportunities in the area. The North Yorks Moors have plenty of places to explore and we particularly like the Hole Of Horcum to Levisham walk we did a few years ago with the Outdoor Bloggers. The weather had other ideas for us to recreate it this time, but I promise it’s a lovely walk. The heather on the moors in August is a gorgeous purple and a stunning sight. Parking is available on the Pickering to Whitby road, A169, at the Saltergate carpark. Great news if like me you don’t carry change, the North York Moors national park car parks are able to take contactless payments. Be careful on this road, the sheep are fearless around here and like to wander across the road! Don’t forget your map if you’re heading out on the moors.

Esk Valley Walk – We stayed in Sleights for our holiday which is just 4 miles from Whitby. We followed the Esk Valley walk footpath into Whitby, starting at Sleights railway station, which takes you up and over fields, over the railway tracks a few times and then beside the river and railway line. We walked along here the day after riding the steam train, so it was nice to see where we had travelled past from a different perspective. Having just crossed a railway crossing and made our way up a steep hill, we heard the siren announcing a train was coming. We all legged it back down the hill to wave to the train we’d been on the day before! What is it about seeing someone wave that has you automatically waving back?! It was a nice walk which we more or less had to ourselves, and we were ready for fish and chips when we arrived.

A bath tub in a field Woman and Daughter, backs tp camera, wave at a passing train at a crossing. They are waving.

Cheating a little bit as this is a number 8! If you’re looking for somewhere to eat we were really impressed with Pizza West which can be found near the West Cliff. The food was lovely, and we loved the interior of the restaurant. You can either book a table in the restaurant or there is seating up around the bar.

Lastly if that’s not enough there is the beach of course. We didn’t visit the beach this time to go wave jumping or sadly take a walk down to Sandsend due to the weather.

What do you like to do in Whitby? Let me know in the comments.

I have recieved no incentives to write this post but just wanted to share our adventures and perhaps help you discover something new.

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