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Whitby, North Yorkshire

The North is beautiful too!

The North is beautiful too!

Leanne Bradley

Having had the privilege of growing up in Yorkshire, my annual family seaside trip was always to a beautiful, quaint little fishing village in the North York Moors National Park. Whitby, situated on the North East coast close to Scarborough and Bridlington was historically one of the most important fishing villages in the North of England. However today it is more commonly known for its world famous Fish and Chips and for being the inspiration for Bram Stockers book ‘Dracula’, and the home of Captain James Cook!

The town is built around a pretty harbour splitting the old town and the modern town. The old town, with cobbled streets and beautiful cottages sprawling around the cliff, leads you to the famous ‘199 steps’ which takes you to the ruined Abby. This part of Whitby has small boutique gift shops, book shops, cafes and restaurants and has an old market square which hosts farmers, vintage and food markets. The more modern side of the town houses mostly hotels, Bed and Breakfasts and larger retail units, including some national brands such as Costa Coffee and Boots.

Since the recession, with less people going abroad for family holidays Whitby has seen a huge growth in tourism. This has improved the holiday lettings market but also retailers have taken inspiration from larger cities and even London to cater for the more affluent customers visiting.  There are many shops I love to wander around but one that stands out is the ‘Whitby Deli’ on Flower Gate. This shop sells a wealth of locally sourced produce including cheeses, chutneys, meats and also fine wines. In the evening you can also go and have dinner and they serve a well selected sharing menu which is pared with interesting wines and other alcoholic drinks.

When speaking to local businesses they explained that because of the rise in tourism and change in consumer demands they are starting to invest more in their offering and also fit outs. ‘Shambles’, a successful pub with waterside views is currently undergoing a circa £1 million refurbishment. I could see when I visited, elements in their design which they had clearly taken inspiration from other restaurants in large cities or the capital.

I hope this cute town which has provided me with so many great memories remains small, unique and beautiful but naturally with external economic factors and the immanent news of a Polyhalinte mine opening near by, Whitby will grow and thrive.