Britain 2011 - Day 23


A day in Whitby. This time, we might be able to visit the James Cook Museum - we had tried twice before and found it shut. Then a stroll around the town, maybe a sail on the replica Endeavour and then dinner somewhere. The town was still full of people, still showing the signs of yesterday's sunburn. Some were still dressed so as to catch some more sun, but others were dressed for the overcast day and occasional light showers.

Our memories of Whitby are the harbour and the fishing boats, people, more people, dogs, more dogs, and people with sunburn - all eating fish and chips - yes even the dogs.

Whitby - The James Cook Museum

Whitby was of course the home town of Captain James Cook, RN. The house where he boarded as a young sailor has been turned into an excellent museum. We walked down the hill from our B&B, along the waterfront shops and over the split bridge to the museum.

Looking down onto the entrance to the port at Whitby
The view up the harbour and of the split bridge that opens to allow boats in and out.
Whitby Abbey occupies the hill above the port
Reminders that this is a tourist seaside town are everywhere.
Coming down the steps to the quayside
and more of the steps
The quayside started filling up with people. The Magpie Cafe in the distance.
Magpie Cafe without the queues.
The main entrance
Quayside and dogs.
A reminder that this is the seaside.
Where people try anything
and buy anything.....
including too many fish and chip dinners.....
Then it was across the bridge
to the other side of the harbour.
down the alley, to....
The Museum, at last..
Must be in here - and its open!
passing the 1688 building
and the courtyard outside the Museum.
The view from the upper window
across the fishing boats.
The view the other way of the top atelierwindow.
Then it was back up the quay for more shops..

Whitby - walking up to the old Abbey

Looking out over the town is the derelict Whitby Abbey. It has had a long history, but one intriguing aspect was the Synod of 664AD held here to decide when Easter would be observed. As a result ofthis decision we have Easter at the first full moon after the equinox, and this decision set the structure for the rest of our calender.

Across the bridge the road heads up towards the Abbey.
Up the crowded street..
More dogs..
More people.
Lots of window shopping.
but few seemed to be buying.
Then the start of the 199 steps.
With narrow lanes leading off.
Looking down,
and further down..
And eventually the view over Whitby from the top.
The quay and the harbour.
with the coast beyond..
and the beach.
The entrance.
And the line of the breakwaters.
Looking up Hudson St to the Church. Our car is the first on the right.
Beside the abbey is the old church..
The headstones show the signs of salt and wind weathering on the limestone.
And also the flaws in the original rock..
But some families paid extra for slate, that did not weather.
The remains of the Abbey.
This also shows the signs of weathering.
Adjacent is Chomley House.
With imposing gates.
And cobblestone courtyard.
The carved cross to Caedmon.
Who composed many hymns..
Then back down the 199 steps (the same number as going up).
Past the small lanes.
And into the crowds.
More dogs. (yes, that carriage has two dogs in it....!!!)
People will buy anything at the seaside - Wiggley Worms indeed!.

Whitby - Replica Endeavour

As with all tourist towns in Britain, anything that might attract a tourist to part with a Pound is fair game. So someone built a 40% replica of Cook's ship and now takes passengers for a quick trip out through the breakwaters and into the North Sea. All very jolly, but you do get a good view of Whitby from the sea. So off we went.

Everyone scoffs fish and chips in Whitby - ..
Even the dog!
But guess who missed out this time!.
Queues at The Magpie Cafe - dine in.
and take away.
But the rain dampened the feeding.
Tour the town in the rain...
Or by old steam bus
The replica Endeavour, complete with diesel engine steaming out.
and back.
Ready to come aboard
In the rain.
Shags on the pier....
Whale rock
Whitby from the sea
The pier..
The pavilion by the beach
and hotels overlooking the beach
The RNLI making another dramatic rescue
Bathing sheds.
The largest hotel in Whitby The Royal Whitby
The James Cook Memorial all alone at the top of the cliff.
Whitby beach
Sailing back into the harbour
passing the steps
and the pier
And back to the harbour.
Locals waiting for us on the wharf.

Whitby - The Pier

After returning from the boat trip, we braved the light shower to walk out onto the pier and breakwater that defines the mouth to Whitby Harbour. Part of the pier was closed due to unsafe conditions, which the locals were blaming on neglect by the local council. But by the look of the salt erosion on the red sandstone of the lighthouse, the environment out there is very tough.

A sign for all occasions
Strolling out onto the pier.
Even the lighthouse seller has a dog - and hair to match her sign.
The story of the light.
We could have climbed to the top for 1.20 each.
Example of how the salt and wind have eroded the stone of the lighthouse.
Whitby beach at low tide.
Every British seaside has donkey rides.
And some people take them for a ride..
At the end of the pier.
Every seaside has a teaset.
But only Whitby has Captain Cook.

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Last updated: 19/06/2017