Posted by: brigid benson | September 21, 2012

Postcard from: wonderful Whitby

A donkey called Whisper

September weekends by the sea are irresistible; summer’s last gasp may be chilled by autumn’s early frosts yet there are still deck chairs and donkeys on the beach in Whitby, one of my favourite seaside towns.

As ever, all pictures are taken on my mobile phone and there’s plenty more information and inspiration in my beautiful books 52 Weekends by the Sea 52 Weekends in the Country available in good bookshops and on Amazon.

Whitby Harbour: seen from the dizzy heights of the famous 199 steps to Whitby’s magnificent abbey

There’s much to discover; characterful harbour, cobbled medieval streets, outlandish abbey atop a wind blasted headland, the mighty whale bone arch that nods to whaling history, rainbow beach huts, black Whitby jet jewellery (the compressed fossilised remains of monkey puzzle trees) worn famously by Queen Victoria in mourning and maritime connections with Captain James Cook would be enough but then there are Fortune’s tangy kippers smoked on the same premises in Henrietta Street since 1872, saucy postcards that make you giggle, the RNLI station, the astounding youth hostel in a prime location, creative street entertainers, compulsive knitters ( see below) and oh so much more.

One weekend will never be enough…

A must for seaside breakfasts

Close by the pungent smokey kipper curing sheds

Founded in 657, destroyed by Vikings, rebuilt 1078, the present abbey reveals work from 12-15 Centuries

The abbey now….

…and then….

Whitby Youth Hostel, cheek by jowl with the abbey; historic buildings dominate the headland

And below the headland, cottages built into the cliff.

And across the harbour, yet another headland enjoys a spectacular view of the beach below the abbey.

And the lifeboat station…

See the impressionist works of the Staithes Group of Artists at the Pannett Art Gallery in verdant Pannett Park, the holiday haunts of Lewis Carroll. the Captain Cook Memorial Museum in buildings where the mariner served as an apprentice, or try the Gothic Weekend – spawned as an homage to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, which is partly set in Whitby.


and saucy….

Traditional seaside entertainments…

Simple pleasures -some things will never change

Here’s one of my favourite street performers – wonderfully silly disgruntled stuff….

Moaning Lisa

Bobbins is a wooly Whitby institution.

Knitters’ Nirvana!

And here are favourite Whitby car stickers – I know which one I’d go for…

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