Last weekend I headed on an overdue day out with my other half (having lost most weekends to his rugby playing). Since moving to Yorkshire well over a year ago I’ve been meaning to make the journey across the Moors to the seaside at Whitby, but for some reason or other never quite made it during the warmer summer months. So when I suggested we made the trip on a cold and rainy November day, my boyfriend looked at me like I’d gone mad. I told him not to worry, it would brighten up later (I hoped). We wrapped up warm and donned our wellies and off we went.
I did start to question my sanity as we drove through the death defying twists of the A169 in pretty horrible conditions. Thankfully the rain had turned into a light drizzle by the time we arrived. We parked next to Whitby Abbey which unfortunately turned out to be closed due to the time of year. I still managed to get a good glimpse of it over the perimeter wall.
We walked into the town via the infamous 199 steps which provided a lovely view down into the bay. (I did think it strange that there were only 198 steps on the way down. Maybe it was my counting!) At the bottom of the steps we thought it probably best to reward all that taxing counting with a coffee and a slice of cake. Luckily, we stumbled across the rather adorable Marie Antoinette’s cafe just a few steps down Church Street.
Stepping into the warm and cosy cafe it was almost like we had been transported to Paris. That was, until the waitress’s Whitby accent spoiled the illusion. We sat in the window of the upstairs dining room which was decorated in a cute Parisian style, devoured our hefty slices of cake and watched the shoppers pass by in the street below. It was the perfect start to our day discovering the seaside town.
Suitably stuffed with cake we headed back out into the drizzle and ambled down the rest of Church Street towards the Whitby Swing Bridge, nosing in the twinkling shop windows selling Whitby Jet jewellery. Once we’d crossed the bridge we headed up Flowergate then east towards the beach. There are plenty of antique and second hand shops along these streets which we had a lot of fun browsing through.
We eventually found the iconic whale bone arch and after taking the obligatory photos of each other underneath we wound our way down to the beach. I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the beach and the amount of sand rather than pebbles. I could see why it would be a hugely popular place to visit in the summer months but the weather being what it was I only braved a quick splash in the waves with my wellies on before the cold got the best of us.
With numb fingers and red noses we found refuge at the nearby Magpie Fish & Chips Restaurant. One of my fellow Superbreakers recommended The Magpie and I was so glad I listened to their advice! The fish and chips were amazing and the curry sauce was the best I’ve ever tasted. The other half raved about his mushy peas too.
We couldn’t visit Whitby without heading into an arcade so after we’d let our dinner go down we called into ‘Funland’ and changed all the coins in our wallets into 2ps. Hitting the slot machines brought back great memories of visiting the seaside with my family when I was little. After we’d finished blasting bad guys on ‘Time Crisis’ and hedging our bets on the horse derby I decided I that yes – I really really like Whitby!
We finished our day by buying some Whitby rock and fudge and as we slowly ambled back up the 199 steps (there really were 199 this time. He was counting…) the sun started to emerge from behind the clouds, leaving us with a beautiful view of the bay at sunset. The views of the Abbey as we headed back to the car were truly amazing and hauntingly beautiful. It was the perfect end to a perfect day by the sea.
Have you ever visited Whitby before? What do you recommend doing during a visit to this seaside town?