6 THINGS YOU MUST DO IN... WHITBY; WHITBY Is One of Our Most Perfect Seaside Resorts, with a Historic Heart Tucked Down a Deep Valley on the North Yorkshire Coast. It's Also the Place Where Bram Stoker Created His Best-Known Fictional Character, Dracula, with the Vampire Entering England after His Ship Crashes into the Town's Pier. Here GARETH HUW DAVIES Gives His Must-Do List for the Resort
Byline: GARETH HUW DAVIES
1...TAKE THE TRAIN
MY ENTRANCE to Whitby was more sedate than Dracula's. He smashed straight into the pier; I came by train, up the attractive Esk Valley. Whitby is good option for a long weekend, as you won't need a car in this small town. Occasional steam trains run here over the North Yorkshire Moors from Pickering. You can walk round town in half a day. Start on West Cliff at the whalebone arch (a memorial to Whitby whalers) and the statue of great explorer James Cook, who began his seafaring life here.
Over the ancient swing bridge is the old town with its alleyways, cobbled streets and shops selling the town's famous black jet jewellery, a minor gemstone found nearby and made famous by Queen Victoria who used it as part of her mourning dress.
2...HISTORY ON HIGH
IT'S one of the great climbs in Britain: the 199 stone steps leading up from the old town to East Cliff. My ascent was a bit more leisurely than Mina's frantic dash up to rescue her friend Lucy from an awful end in Dracula. I kept stopping to take photographs over red pantiled roofs to the harbour below.
St Mary's Church, at the top of the steps, is an 18th and 19th Century composite delight with a Norman tower, box pews where the faithful could hunker down in comfort for a long sermon, a threetier pulpit and a charcoal boiler.
ONE of the most powerful images of 19th Century bravery is a photograph of Henry Freeman in the then-new cork flotation jacket. He was the only crew member of the Whitby lifeboat wearing one when ALAMY the vessel sank in a storm just outside the harbour in 1861, and the sole survivor. The photo is the best known work of Frank Sutcliffe, whose pioneering lens ranged widely over people and places in and around the town. His work is in Whitby's Sutcliffe Gallery.
Also have a look at the Whitby Art Gallery and Museum in Pannett Park. It displays various views of the town, from peaceful harbour scenes to the bombardment in 1914 by two German battlecruisers.
CHARLES Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), sensible fellow, spent his holidays in this fashionable Victorian resort, staying six times at 5 East Terrace, high on West Cliff. …