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Things to Do in Whitby


Conquer the 199 steps and Piers


Think of Whitby, and it’s impossible not to picture the iconic Whitby Abbey. So that’s where we would suggest you start your Whitby route. There is a good car park at the Abbey, so this is a good place to park away from the busy town centre.

Next, take the 199 steps down to the town. You can feel pretty smug as you take this scenic entry into the town, watching others tackle the climb upwards. Don’t forget you’ll need to come back up again later!

However, in literary history, it is not just us mere mortals that have climbed the steps, but Dracula himself! Bram Stoker wrote that after the shipwreck that brought Dracula to the town, he ran up the famous steps to the graveyard in St Mary’s Church in the shape of a black dog.

Try the cobbled donkey road if you don’t fancy the steps on your return or fancy an even greater challenge. Of course, you’ll need a good stretch and sensible footwear before starting the steep climb. However, this quieter route still gives you the reward for the spectacular views across the East Pier, beach and sea.


The working harbours and iconic swing bridge divide the East from the West, providing great spaces to view tall ships, fishing vessels and yachts as they come in and out throughout the day.

At the mouth of the harbour lie the East and West Piers. With its lighthouse added in 1840, the West Pier is the easiest to access and the perfect spot to take a stroll and enjoy sunrise and sunsets across the sea.

If you love the sea and exploring areas in a non-traditional way, there are plenty of boat trips you can take, from sea angling to pleasure boats to soak up the view and sea spray.

This is a busy area all year round, so be mindful of the ongoing traffic that goes through the centre.

The whole of the Yorkshire Coast is known for its excellent fish and chips - you’ll be hard-pressed to get a bad portion anywhere here!


Life-size sculptures and unique historic finds


The wonderfully talented local sculptor Emma Stothard has created a series of life-sized sculptors depicting the rich history of Whitby’s fishing heritage. This heritage-sculpture trail includes nine unique creations spread through both East and West Whitby.

If you’d like to see more of Emma’s work, there’s another piece within the Whitby route at Staithes called The Blue Lobster.

Occasionally a rare, bright blue lobster will be landed, known as a “coronation” lobster. The piece is inspired to represent Staithes’ fishing heritage, highlighting its past and present fishing industry.

So why not head out to beautiful Staithes to see this stunning artwork and grab some lunch at The Cod and Lobster.


Located just a stone’s throw away from the bustling centre of Whitby, Pannet Park plays host to the Whitby Museum and the Pannett Art Gallery.

The park and art gallery are free to visit - there is a charge to the museum, but it’s well worth visiting to give you the background to the fascinating geology and fossil finds to look out for on the rest of your adventures.

There are some gentle trails to explore, like the Turtle Trails, Pannett Park, Jurassic Garden, a Guide to the Trees of Pannett Park and Art in the Park. You can pick up leaflets for these trails in the museum.

A must-stop for a bite to eat back down on the harbour is The Magpie Café, but make sure you book!


Walk the Rail Trail to discover famous TV scene


If you are looking for a walk to experience the beauty of the North York Moors National Park, follow The Rail Trail between Goathland and Grosmont.

It traces the route of one of the country’s earliest railways, between Pickering and Whitby, and there are some fabulous information panels along the way explaining the hidden history of this area.

The former railway track is now perfect for a peaceful stroll through woods and fields, with occasional glimpses of the heritage trains on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

The walk is about 3.5 miles and, on average, takes about 2.5 hours, dependent on how long you decide to stop off and explore Goathland, Beck Hole and Grosmont en route.


Goathland train station not only serves as a great way to leisurely take in the views of the national park but has an almost celebrity status in its own right.

Featured in Harry Potter as Hogsmeade Station and in the popular TV series Heartbeat, the station and Goathland have captured people’s imagination for years.

After visiting the station or watching the steam trains pass by, you can join many a walk to further explore the area.

The Rail Trail will take you to Grosmont, or you can head on over to the dramatic Mallyan Spout Waterfall. The 70ft high Mallyan Spout waterfall can be reached by a footpath close to the Mallyan Spout Hotel. You can continue the walk along the River Esk all the way to Whitby though to complete The Rail Trail circuit or jump on one of the steam trains of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, from Grosmont to Goathland or even Pickering.


Falling Foss waterfall and Ruswarp village


May Beck and Falling Foss can only be described as a hidden gem along the YC route for those seeking a sense of tranquillity and getting back to nature.

Meander leisurely beneath the canopies of trees that line the paths of this two-mile woodland walk, leading you to the awe-inspiring Falling Foss Waterfall, which proudly spills from a 30-foot drop into the brook below.

You will find “The Hermitage” close by; a dwelling carved out of a large rock. It was once inhabited by a Hermit who would have lived off the land, utilising what nature offered. This humble home dates back to the 18th century, but there is no record of any hermits living there now!

Along the way, you will be accompanied by the serene ambience of the trickling May Beck, which flows gently along the path. Refresh tired legs by padding in the shallow waters before paying a visit to the beautiful woodland cottage of Midge Hall, where you will be welcomed with a well-deserved refreshment in the calming tea garden.


Heading back towards Whitby is the charming village of Ruswarp, and we recommend stopping off for the pork pies alone!

If you time it right, you may see the steam trains pass by as you take a walk and explore the area.

This small village will delight families, as there is everything from an indoor play centre for the kids, pleasure boats and canoes to a miniature steam railway.

If you are exploring on foot, the railway is still active, but you can also walk to Whitby along the river or all the way to Briggswath and Sleights.


Explore Robin Hoods Bay and Bogglehole


No Whitby experience would be complete without visiting the picturesque fishing village Robin Hood’s Bay.

Immerse yourself in the village's charm by wandering through the narrow, twisting, cobbled streets and alleyways. It isn’t hard to imagine the fisherman’s wives gutting the fish and throwing it into the road gullies or the sailors, fishermen and smugglers that walked and controlled these streets.

However, the history and beauty of the area have also brought about a vibrant cafe, pub culture and plenty of unique shops to explore.

Be mindful that the descent to the bottom is on foot through the cobbled streets, so good walking shoes are recommended. You can loop back along the seafront walls and back up towards The Victoria Hotel from the dock end, where you can get great views across the bay.

If you’re feeling more energetic, you can explore many walking and cycling routes in this area, including the Cleveland Way, which runs between Whitby and Scarborough.


While at Robin Hood’s Bay, why not walk further along the beach until you reach Bogglehole. This is easily reached along the beach if the tide is out. This is the site of a long-established Youth Hostel Association (YHA) site.

We are in prime fossil hunting land here, and it is relatively easy for anyone to find a little piece of former life from around 150 million years ago - if you know where and what to look for. We suggest you join one of the many guided fossil walks that often start from Bogglehole.


From Sandsend through to Mulgrave woods


At the northern end of Whitby is the quaint village of Sandsend. The sweeping sandy beaches and roads lined with seating create an idyllic resting spot.

It provides some great views back across towards the Abbey and pier, and it is an excellent place for escape from the large bustling crowds at busy times of the year.

This is a fantastic place to capture sunrise and sunset. You will see people enjoying sea swimming and walking their dogs at sunrise before the cafés open, ready to serve delicious handmade treats and local catch of the day, with a beautiful Spa nearby.

The Cleveland Way passes through for walkers, so it is a great place to stop and take the pressure off weary feet before continuing the journey. The bank at the top of Sandsend is steep, so check your towing equipment and brakes on a wet, rainy day.


If you love walks and woodlands, don’t forget to mark Mulgrave Woods as a must-do. The Woods are privately maintained by the Mulgrave Estate, owned by the Marquis & Marchioness of Normanby and open to the public from dawn to dusk on Wednesdays,

Saturdays, and Sundays throughout the year but closed in May. There are footpaths for people of most abilities to enjoy. You can start your exploration at the picturesque area of Sandsend before following the trail into the woods.

Amongst the woods are the ruins of the Mulgrave Castle, you will discover the ruins of the former Norman castle along with some stunning views across the valley.

Interestingly, there’s a legend of a much older castle on this site which was believed to have been built by Wade/Wada, ruler of Hälsingland, Sweden. The legend says that Wade, a giant, travelled through Yorkshire, building lots of roads and castles along the way - a good one to test a local’s knowledge while recovering from the walk in the pub in the evening!

Or, if you like to indulge in the darker tails, this is an area with many a ghost story. Keep a watchful eye for the PadPad, the part goat/panther/human who is believed to live under the ruins protecting the castle from anyone who makes camp there. If you ignore the legend, make sure you listen carefully for the sound of its feet softly padding on the floor...if you can hear it, you might just disappear!


Say hello to seals and explore shipwrecks if the tide is kind


Saltwick Bay is best reached on foot from Whitby, and this 1.5m walk will reward you in unusual shipwreck sites.

It is a glorious sculpted bay with uninterrupted sea views and is steeped in geological and maritime features.

The mixture of rocky cliffs and hidden bays can provide moments for you to escape, but this is still a rugged coastline. Be careful if you approach Whitby Holiday Park, as the steps can be slippy when wet, and rockfalls are common.

When exploring Saltwick Bay, keep a lookout for fossils. There have been many fabulous finds, from dinosaur footprints to the skeleton of the Telesaurus Senosauris Bollensies in 1824. Don’t worry if you don’t know what this is - it’s like a marine crocodilian, and you can still see it at the Whitby Museum.

Another reason to visit Saltwick Bay is that it is one of the few places that offers a unique sunset and sunrise experience.

Mirror-like pools make for breathtaking reflections. Rock formations portray textures to perfection and are especially true during late May to late July when the ‘double sun’ effect occurs here.


Another interesting and breathtakingly beautiful place to visit is Ravenscar, a place of elevated views perfect for that Insta moment or a chance to explore the manicured gardens and rugged coastal path.

The area feels luxurious, with its manicured gardens and panoramic views, the Raven Hall Hotel perched on top of the clifftop. This is the perfect place to start your experience because while you work out whether you want an easy walk or a longer hike, you can acclimate to the fresh Seabreeze with a coffee.

For walkers and cyclists, the old railway line Cinder Track passes through here as well as the Cleveland Way, and there are some great trails to follow to learn more about the alum mining in this area.

Welcome Explorers!

If you are ready to embark on a thrilling journey across the Yorkshire Coast, start planning here with our interactive map, where curiosity knows no bounds.

We have done the hard work for you and mapped unknown territories, hidden gems, and extraordinary activities that you can add to your itinerary.

How to use:

Refine your search by what you need:

🐾 Dog-Friendly Places

⛽️ EV Charging

🅿️ Places to Park

♿︎ Wheelchair-Friendly Places

🚲 Cycling Routes

🚶‍♀️ Walking Routes

So strap yourselves in for an unforgettable road trip that will redefine how you explore our magnificent Yorkshire Coast - all at your fingertips!

7 Day Guide to the Bridlington Route

The Bridlington route is abundant with nature

reserves, packed with wildlife and is an area

that rewards with historical charm and natural

beauty. You can create experiences that are

as energetic as you feel. So why not combine

thrill-seeking moments with more peaceful walks

to observe nature in its natural habitat?

Join the Priority Club to explore the itinerary...

7 Day Guide to the Filey route

Filey is perfect for surfing, walking and cycling

from coast and countryside and

steeped in seafaring history and fables,

so even a trip to the pub will likely result

in a lively chat with locals.

Join the Priority Club to explore the itinerary...

7 Day Guide to the Hornsea Route

Check out the Hornsea route to see the market

town beauty against an eaten and

collapsing coastline. This hauntingly

the beautiful area stands proud and gives a

true Lakeland by the Sea experience.

Perfect to be explored at a slower pace,

packed with walks, hikes and cycling

throughout, outdoor enthusiasts and nature

lovers should set up base at one of the

many holiday parks in and around the area.

Join the Priority Club to explore the itinerary...

7 Day Guide to the Scarborough Route

Scarborough is known for being England

seaside resort. Sure, you can expect the

iconic coastal scenery that everyone's

familiar with but let us show you the

unspoilt, rugged coastal paths,

awe-inspiring woodlands, adrenaline-pumping

water sports and not forgetting fantastic

food that will challenge your ideas of

this quaint coastal town.

Join the Priority Club to explore the itinerary...

7 Day Guide to the Withernsea Route

The Withernsea route will guide you

through the wonderful wildness of this

often overlooked stretch of coastline.

Its fast-disappearing coastline and

ghosts of lost towns are inspirational for

many - you can certainly see echoes

of Tolkien’s Middle Earth as you explore

this hauntingly beautiful area.

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7 Day Ultimate Thrill Seekers Guide

Adventure awaits on Route YC and

we've got everything from

adrenaline-filled zip wires, awesome

hikes, world-class cycling and some

of the best surf in the UK.

Join the Priority Club to explore the itinerary...

A Guide to the Coastal Sculpture Collection

Renowned local artist, Emma Stothard famed

for her intricate sculptures using touch and

unyielding metals and willow are woven into

delicate structures celebrating wild and

marine life throughout the Yorkshire Coast.

This itinerary is a great way to combine.

Sculpture with must-stop places to see

wild and marine life up close.

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Best places to stay and view Light Night

Light Night is back, and this year it's returning with more

dates, lasers and locations!

Don't forget to add Light Night to your itinerary and continue

reading to find out where you can stay and enjoy the lasers

as the skies are lit in technicolour this February.

Explore the Itinerary...

Bridlington Sample Guide

Visit the heart of the Yorkshire Coast

shellfish industry, and explore the old

the historic area of Bridlington and find

areas of outstanding beauty and wildlife.

If you are a cyclist or a walker, there are

plenty of great routes which will combine

coastal vistas and rural gems. Just make sure

you leave time to take in a world-class

show at The Theatre and sample the local

catch at local cafes and restaurants.

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Dog Friendly Road Trip Guide

Heading out on your Route YC road trip

with your dog? Whether you're looking

for dog-friendly accommodation, food

and drink places, great beaches, and

dog walks, we have you covered whilst

you and your best friend holiday on the

Yorkshire Coast.

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Filey Sample Guide

Walkers, cyclists and nature lovers will

be spoilt for choice on the Filey route.

It will take you past rugged shorelines

which are steeped in myth and legend,

including the newly discovered

shipwreck of the Bon Homme Richard,

through to quaint villages and bays

with an incredibly unique restaurant

known for its pies for every day of the year!

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Group's Guide to Route YC

There's nothing better than getting the gang

together and discovering somewhere new.

Our Group's Guide gives you the perfect base

on each of our six routes, along with

suggestions on where to eat and

what to do with your tribe.

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Scarborough Sample Guide

Think you know Scarborough? Think again!

This historic town is a great base to explore

coast and countryside with everything

an adventurer needs. With bays dedicated

to watersports, highwires and indoor and

outdoor waterparks and an abundance

of walking and cycling routes, this is a

route for people who love being active!

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The Ultimate 7-Day Coastal Views Guide

If you are up for taking on Route YC,

here are some of our ultimate places

to park up and play when you are on the

the road for seven days that will take you

along the best areas for you to get your

fix of panoramic coastal views.

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The main town of Whitby has become

synonymous with Dracula and Goth

Weekend let us show you so much more than that.

It is steeped in heritage and each

coastal cove offers a host of hidden

gems to explore, with some outstanding

food to boot.

Explore the Itinerary...

Whitby Sample Guide

Need some inspiration to get you started?

Here's our mini guide to show you what

we love about the Whitby route which

will take you through the gothic, seafaring

town, and back out into the National Park

which has inspired many a film and TV series.

Explore the Itinerary...

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