ilanarama: my footies in my finnies (snorkeling)
[personal profile] ilanarama
From the Lion Inn (at the end of the last update we took the bus to Whitby. We'd spend two nights here at the Saxonville Hotel, a small family-owned hotel in the West Cliff area.

We had a couple of hours to walk around before what turned out to be a very delicious dinner (I had a lemon ginger squid starter followed by a a sea trout and watercress tart) at the justifiably famous seafood restaurant Magpie's Cafe. The next day we walked to Robin Hood's Bay, the actual end of the C2C, and then took the bus back to Whitby to tour the dramatic Whitby Abbey ruins. I've decided to put the Whitby (town and abbey) pictures in this post, and the walk to Robin Hood's Bay in the next, just to break things up logically. I promise amazing photos in both sets!


Whitby startled us by being mostly red brick rather than stone, but still, it's a ridiculously picturesque harbor town and a major tourist destination. It's positioned on the coast such that in midsummer - when we were there - the sun both rises and sets over the water!

Whitby Whitby from the stairs to Abbey

It's a beach town - at least, it is at low tide. The tide was low that evening, so we strolled down one of the long paved pathways that angled down from the cliff to the beach 130 ft below. (There is also an elevator, but it was out of service, and anyway, this is a walking holiday, right?) We stopped to chat with a man dozing in the chair outside one of the brightly-colored cabanas that lined the edge of the concrete walkway just above the beach; he and his wife rent it for the season every year as a weekend beach mini-house!

Down to Whitby beach Whitby cabana

There were volleyball games on the beach, and a few very hardy people (considering both air and water temperature) splashing around in the water. We walked on the sand toward the pier, past deep caves cut into the cliff by the sea's relentless action.

cave on Whitby beach

The pier is big and solid and quite high above the water at low tide. Whitby has a nearly 20-foot tidal range - hard to visualize until we were walking back to our hotel after dinner and saw that the beach had entirely disappeared, and the waves lapped at the base of the cliff. We walked out on the pier in light rain and watched the tide slowly come in.

Whitby harbour from fishing pier monument on Whitby dock

The sea is a crucial part of Whitby and its heritage. From the double-pivot bridge that connects the two sides of the town (visible at center-left of the top photo in this post) to the seafood restaurants which line the waterfront, everything about Whitby is centered on the ocean and the ships sailing on it. Near the monument commemorating Captain Cook (he served his seaman's apprenticeship here) there's a whalebone arch, beautiful in its simplicity, which frames the Abbey on the opposite cliff and recalls the days of sail. The original, now in the town museum, was erected in the late 19th century; it was replaced by a replica from Norway in 1963, and again by bones donated from Alaska in 2003.

Cook statue, Whitby Whalebone arch, Whitby

While Britt was taking pictures of the arch (this was early in the morning the next day) I chatted with a man who turned out to be a former city councilman, and who had dedicated the newest arch during his tenure.

"I wish," he said, "that all the tourists who come during the summer could see Whitby in the winter."

"It must be quite cold and dark," I said.

"Oh, it's bleak and miserable. Horribly cold when it storms. But I wouldn't live anywhere else."

The arch frames Whitby Abbey beautifully. The abbey was founded in 657 but probably consisted of a collection of small houses, eventually destroyed by a Viking attack. The present stone structure in the Norman style was built in the late 11th century and destroyed by Henry VIII in 1540. But it's a magnificent ruin.

Whitby Abbey Arches, Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey Whitby Abbey

The audio tour wasn't all that great - too much acting and not enough information - but we enjoyed the chance to poke around the ruins and see the museum displays. And then we returned to Whitby to enjoy the (very late) sunset.

Whitby at dusk

Even more Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay photos on Flickr
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)

August 2017

131415 16171819
20212223 242526

My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

You can reach me by email at heyheyilana @


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