History and heritage in Whitby

Whitby’s history can be seen throughout the town and is what makes it such an interesting place to visit. The most well-known historic landmark of course is that which towers over the town from the cliff-tops above, Whitby Abbey. Famous for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Whitby Abbey has become the landmark that has made Whitby renowned for its Gothic culture.

You may also come across the statue of Captain Cook, the monument that represents the famous James Cook who served his apprenticeship in the 17th century house on Grape Lane, which today can be visited as the ‘Captain Cook Memorial Museum’.

Or perhaps you are here to seek out the famous Whitby Jet and learn more about this fascinating gemstone and how it came to be at the Museum of Whitby Jet. But of course, to learn more about Whitby’s history and heritage, take a trip to Whitby Museum.

Whitby arts

Whitby arts community is vast and varied with well-known names that have used the town as inspiration in their work. Of course, you have the famous writer Bram Stoker and his story of Dracula, which was inspired by the dramatic Abbey ruins and neighbouring St Mary’s Church, the perfect location to write such a thrilling tale.

Or see beautiful displays of art in Pannett Art Gallery, where throughout the year various exhibitions are held. Just next door you will also find Pannett Park, beautiful tranquil gardens that offer the perfect environment for any budding artist.

More recently you may have also heard of Emma Stothard a sculpture artist who now resides in Whitby and has produced many amazing pieces over the years as well as a career in teaching.

Whitby maritime heritage

Whitby's maritime heritage is one of many reasons to visit this picturesque seaside resort. Known for its rich history, you will find this town has many a tale to tell.

Learn about the famous explorer Captain Cook who spent his apprenticeship here in Whitby, at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum where you can learn more about his life and voyages. You will also be able to embark upon a replica of his ship the HM Endeavour at the Endeavour Experience!

Whitby is also famous for its boat building industry. During your stay, you may come across Parkol Marine Engineering one of the leading boat builders in the UK. This town also has a rich fishing history and to this day provides a great source of local produce! To learn more about Whitby's maritime heritage, May is a great time to visit as the town holds its annual Fish and Ships Festival.