Whitby, UK - 25th and 26th February 2024

As we were in the area relatively speaking, the former 'goth' in our relationship was keen to visit Whitby Abbey of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' novel fame.

The journey from York to Whitby took us over the beautiful, bleak North Yorkshire Moors and our road atlas indicated the 'Hole of Horcum' lay upon our scenic route. Intrigued, we decided to make a stop to investigate and found it was indeed a hole of massive proportions. So big was it, that paragliders were leaping off its edge to take flight. After a windswept walk as short distance around the 'hole' we were Whitby bound.

Hole of Horcum

View towards Whitby from the Hole's edge.

That's one way to see a hole.

Wrapped up against the cold wind of the North Yorkshire Moors. (Anyone hear strains of Kate Bush?)

First view of Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey did not disappoint in its goth-pleasing splendour. Pictures speak louder than words on this one.

Ancient Monument

The bit of roof that didn't fall in yet.

Genuine Medieval Monk Handwriting.

Work began on the Abbey in the 13th century but it was not completed until the 15th century. It didn't last long before Henry VIII decided to suppress the Benedictine Monastery in 1539. The abbey's buildings were then purchased by Sir Richard Cholmley who converted part of the abbot's lodgings into a family home and carried out many renovations. The family remained until moving away in the 18th century. Once Whitby became a popular seaside holiday spot, the ruins of the Abbey became a local tourist spot, with its popularity increasing after the publication of Bram Stoker's book.

After visiting the Abbey and its museum, we headed across the river to the centre of the town, which bustled with tourists enjoying the sunshine and the town's shops, many of which sold the local Jet gemstone for which Whitby is famous.

Sculpture commemorating Skipper Dora Walker - the first female fishing boat skipper on the North East coast.

Recreated Ruins of a house to memorialize the shelling of the town from the sea in the First World War.

Whitby harbour.

Harbourside shopping alleyways.

Our guesthouse for the night was a little out of town and we wondered where we would be able to find ourselves some dinner. Our host recommended the pub right across the road, which would have fabulous sea views if it were still daylight. On finding they offered local fish with gluten free batter and chips we didn't take much convincing. Well, it would be rude not to eat local, wouldn't it.

Bellies replete with a full English Breakfast the following morning we headed north, making a stop a lovely Saltburn-by-the-Sea for a bracing stroll on the beach.

Maybe we should have shared this....

Enjoying the beach at Saltburn-by-the-Sea.......

........whilst wearing all the clothes we brought on the trip!

Trying to take a selfie with Glyn and Irene without giving us all extra chins.

I'm sure there is an unwritten rule stating that if you are literally passing the front door of a cousin you haven't seen for fourteen years, you must stop by to catch up. Whether it exists or not, I couldn't pass cousin Glyn's house without calling in and enjoying a delicious chilli lunch with him and and his wife Irene. It was wonderful.

From there we were bound for Northumbria and our chosen route took us through the Tyne Tunnel, allowing us to bypass the city of Newcastle.

Gone are the days of throwing coins into a toll bin as you pass. Now such things involve downloading an app, creating an account, putting money into your account and then authorising them to take that money out of your account. Well, we finally cracked it, although our account has a remaining balance of one pound and it is unlikely we will pass that way again any time soon.

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