Goths, ruins, fish and ships – what to do in Yorkshire’s wackiest seaside town


Standing at my hotel’s bedroom window before dinner, I felt an involuntary shiver. Eye-level, on the headland opposite, stood the gaunt ruins of the abbey, below it a long staircase up which, in the darkening gloom, something seemed to be bounding.

It could have been a trick of the light but it was here, in 1890 while holidaying in Whitby, that Bram Stoker drew inspiration for his gothic novel Dracula and my window at La Rosa Hotel on West Cliff was close to the spot from where the famed author gazed across the harbour and imagined an ‘immense dog’ leaping ashore from the Russian schooner, Demeter (captain dead, crew missing) and disappearing up the abbey steps.

There’s more to Whitby, which…

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