Things to do in Whitby – Abbey, Magpie Fish & Chips, Whitby Restaurants, Dracula, Staithes & More (2022)

Dramatically located on the Yorkshire Coast. We show you things to do in Whitby and reasons to head there.

Things to do in Whitby -Whitby Abbey

One of the first things you’ll notice will be the spectacularly located Whitby Abbey overlooking the Yorkshire Coast on East Cliff above Whitby. The 199 steps lure many visitors to make the demanding but rewarding trek!

Whitby Abbey, Captain Cook statue and Whitby Whalebone. Things to do in Whitby
Whitby Abbey, Captain Cook Statue and Whitby Whalebone.

The cemetery of St. Mary’s parish church, next to Whitby Abbey is mentioned in Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. His character Lucy was walking in the graveyard and became a victim of the vampire, Dracula.

Whitby Abbey on East Cliff - Yorkshire, England.
Whitby Abbey – sitting East Cliff overlooking the Yorkshire Coast and Fishing Port of Whitby

The 199 steps of Whitby are also are mentioned in Dracula – after the shipwreck, Dracula runs up the famous 199 steps to the graveyard at St Mary’s Church – in the shape of a black dog.

Whitby’s steps were originally made from wood – until 1774 – they were then replaced with stone quarried at nearby Sneaton. It is believed by some that the 199 steps were used as a test of Christian faith to those who wished to worship in St Mary’s Church.

As you climb or descend, look out for Roman numeral discs showing the step number The steps are quite shallow each in-depth, which helps.

Things to do in Whitby -Whitby's 199 Steps and Donkey Road to the Church and Abbey
Whitby’s 199 Steps to the church and abbey – will you rise to the occasion?

There is a seat halfway and the views are stunning – Whitby’s 199 steps now attract visitors from all over the world.

Running parallel to the 199 steps to the church and abbey is the Grade 1 listed cobbled (and very steep!) Donkey Road. Some prefer to walk one way – up or down – alternating on each.

Things to do in Whitby – Whitby Goth Weekend

The Whitby Goth Weekend was initially prompted by the town’s association with Bram Stoker’s gothic novel Dracula. It’s an alternative music festival and cultural event – a celebration of all manner of weird and wonderful characters, music and art.

It held twice per year over three days each – and is one of the largest of its type anywhere in the world.

One of the hundreds of handsome couples strolling at Whitby's Goth weekend

For these celebrations, as well as Goths, Whitby attracts Steampunks and Emos – they can be seen parading around the town in superb costumes creating a wonderful and friendly atmosphere to be enjoyed by all – casual spectators and participants alike!

Goth Weekend includes club nights, Bizarre Bazaar Alternative Markets at the Brunswick Centre and the Leisure Centre – a charity football match Goth team Real Gothic and Stokoemotiv Whitby and ‘Whitby Kustom’ custom car show. The events are held in Spring in March/April and then again around the Halloween weekend at the end of October.

Dracula 125 -Dracula’s 125th-anniversary celebrations in Whitby

2022 marks the 125th anniversary of the novel Dracula being published, with Whitby at the epicentre of the celebrations. Whitby Abbey’s museum contains an 1887 first edition of the Dracula novel – with its eye-catching yellow and red cover.

2022 sees Whitby as the venue for six months of events to mark the anniversary from May – the exact details of the event on Thursday, May 26, are still being finalised, so we will keep you updated here.

A play themed around Count Dracula will be staged in Whitby Abbey’s grounds on selected dates in the spring and summer. The celebrations will culminate in Whitby Abbey being illuminated for 11 nights up until Halloween on October 31.

Things to do in Whitby – Whitby Steam Punk Weekend

Where the whimsical past is always in the future! Whitby’s one of the largest Steampunk events in the U.K. It’s a summer family-friendly weekend with free entry to where grace, style and elegance is the order of the day. . 

[email protected]

Things to do in Whitby - Whitby White Rose SteamPunk Weekend logo
Things to do in Whitby - SteamPunk Whitby stalwarts

The event has a number of activities, presentations and demonstrations as well as the Steampunk Retail Emporium

Things to do in Whitby – Magpie Fish and Chips

Book a table – Magpie Whitby – Tel:01947602058: From 12 noon to 2pm, Magpie Café is first-come-first-served, other times they have a limited number of reservations and remaining tables are then on a first-come, first-served basis.

So even if the Magpie Café doesn’t have your preferred time slot available to book, you can still go along and you will be seated and served as soon as possible. To find iconic Fish and Chips – Magpie Café, 14 Pier Road, Whitby, YO21 3PU –

Best Fish and Chips Whitby? We love the Whitby Magpie chippy. Given that the Magpie Fish and chips has iconic status, excluding this icon here’s our other top ten fish and chip shops in Whitby……..

Best Fish and Chips Whitby – 10 Best Reviewed with Map Locations

#1 Royal Fisheries

Long-established restaurant and takeaway. Great fish and chips, good value, friendly people.

Address: 48 Baxtergate, Whitby, YO21 1BL
Phone: 01947 604738

Things to do in Whitby eat take away fish and chips - Royal Fisheries Whitby -  Takeaway box of British seaside  fish and chips

#2 Hadley’s Fish & Chips

Nice outdoor/covered seating area

Address: 11 Bridge Street, Whitby, YO22 4BG
Phone: 01947 604153

#3 Abbey Wharf

Restaurant and Bar with steak, chicken, vegetarian-friendly plus takeaway

Address: 12 Market Place, Town Centre, Whitby, YO22 4DD
Phone: 01947 600306

#4 The Quayside

Classy green exterior, gluten-free choices plus nice fish pie.

Address: 7 Pier Road, Whitby, YO21 3PU
Phone: 01947 825346

#5 Mister Chips

Takeaway section plus an à la carte restaurant with delicious Seafood Chowder and Steak Casserole.

68-69 Church Street, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4AS
Phone: 01947 604683

#6 Silver Street Fisheries

Local chippy with a deserved good reputation. Outdoor seating.

Address: 22 Silver Street, Whitby, United Kingdom YO21 3BX
Phone: 07587 786472

#7 Trenchers

Restaurant plus good takeaway options

Address: New Quay Road, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 1DH

Phone: 01947 603212

#8 The Fisherman’s Wife

Restaurant with sea views

Address: Khyber Pass, Whitby, YO21 3PZ ( by whalebone)
Phone: 01947 603500

#9 Railway Chippy

Celebrated local chippy, way from front – has black pudding

1 Fishburn Rd, Whitby, YO21 1PU
Phone: 01947 820804

#10 Russell’s Fish and Chips

Family-friendly restaurant, outdoor seating area plus takeaway

Address: 8 St. Annes Staith, Whitby, YO21 3PW
Phone: 01947 606757

Things to do in Whitby – Star Inn The Harbour Whitby

Langborne Road, Whitby YO21 1YN

 01947 821900

 [email protected]

So you want to dine in a little more style in Whitby? Definitely try the Star Inn the Harbour Whitby – it’s straight opposite Trenchers Fish and Chips – the Star Whitby is splendidly located at the harbour front, with magnificent panoramic window views of the town and the abbey. Good for the soul as well as the stomach!

Things to do in Whitby - The Star Inn The Harbour -  Andrew Pern

The owner is Andrew Pern – Michelin Starred chef – is a local chap. He’s famed for the Michelin Star thatched-roofed Star Inn at Harome with Rooms (32.5 miles, 45 minutes away by car); and the riverside Star Inn the City York – open all day (47 miles, 58 mins).

Star Inn The harbour Whitby is an ideal rendevous spot for catch-ups with friends or colleagues – or to have traditional fish and chips after your seaside walk.

Andrew Pern’s menus feature catches-of-the-day, seasonal all-day menus plus meat specials with superb local North Yorkshire Moors produce. Desserts include ice cream parlour classics brought up to date.

From the windows, in addition to people watching, you may see amongst other things, the whale watching boat trip leaving or returning. Great to try when you have time – to see minke whales, seals, puffins, gannets and razorbills.

The Star Whitby is close to a number of car parks and opposite the train station. You’ve every reason to try it!

Things to do in Whitby – Buy Fortune’s Kippers

Nestled under the famous East Cliffs of Whitby, along the cobblestones of Henrietta Street there’s Fortune’s Kippers shop. Here you can buy Fortune’s Kippers. Whole Kippers and Kipper Fillets have been produced by five generations of the same family using traditional unchanged methods straight from their traditional smokehouse. 2022 marks the 150th anniversary of Fortune’s Kippers. Fortune’s Kippers opening times are Monday – Saturday 9:00am to 3:00pm and Sunday 10:00am to 2:00pm. Fortune’s Kippers 22, Henrietta St, Whitby YO22 4DW

Fortune’s Kippers Online

Not in Whitby? Want to buy Fortune’s Kippers? Fortune’s Kippers by post? They deliver them to you sealed in vacuum packaging and carefully packed. Fortune’s Whole Kippers have a minimum weight of 420g per pair and Fortune’s Kipper fillets have a minimum weight of 280g per pair. You can pay by PayPal or card.

Scarborough to Whitby

Many people cannot visit the Yorkshire coast without visiting both Whitby and Scarborough – it’s 20 miles by car (30mins) from town to town.

Of course, another way is to walk the magnificent 22-mile stretch from Scarborough to Whitby following part of the 110 mile Cleveland Way and take in the spectacular cliffs and superb wildlife.

One mile south-east of Whitby is Saltwick Bay and at low tide, you can wander on the inter-tidal rock, loved by wading birds and crabs. Fossils can be found around the high-tide mark. You may also happen across pieces of Whitby jet.

Discover Scarborough with PlanPlacestovistit.com – Yorkshire’s famous coastal spa town.

Things to do in Whitby – Whitby to Staithes Dinosaur Coast

Put this walk on your list – just over 11 miles with spectacular coastal scenery, clifftop views, lovely beaches and fishing villages.

Dinosaur footprints can be seen on Whitby beach – dinosaurs lived there during the Jurassic Period – numerous footprints have been discovered near Whitby. The footprints are preserved as natural casts standing proud of the surrounding surfaces.

Staithes is a 16 minutes (10.5 miles) drive form, Whitby.  Phantom Thread starring Daniel Day-Lewis features the cobbled streets of Staithes. Staithes was once an important fishing port, home to locally built boats.

Local fishermen still catch cod, lobsters and crabs. You can wander the cobbled streets and the small beach to explore the cluster of rock pools. In Staithes like Whitby, you’ll still find many fossils – this coastline is otherwise known as the Dinosaur Coast.

You’ll see the Crab and Lobster, a long-established Staithes favourite in its exposed position by the sea. (61 High St, Staithes TS13 5DF, phone 01947 840330). They’re available for bookings at breakfast, lunch and dinner and also have six double en-suite rooms and three family rooms.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Volunteers are the lifeblood of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway (NYMR) and they require up to 500 hours of daily support from volunteers to ensure the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Pickering to Whitby steam train continues to operate.

As well as working on the trains’ locomotive footplates, volunteers are needed in the railway’s infrastructure and motive-power sections to help with building, electrical and mechanical work.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway volunteering opportunities are also available to assist with the maintenance, repairs and overhaul of their steam and diesel locomotives. Other North Yorkshire Moors Railway volunteering opportunities include ticket inspectors, signalling and telecommunications, customer service, catering, retail, fundraising and education.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway volunteering opportunities are available at https://www.nymr.co.uk/Pages/Category/volunteer

North Yorkshire Moors Railway Station Map