Day 5: Harrogate and Whitby

Another day goes past and we’re nearing the end of our little getaway in ‘God’s Own Country’ (nooo!)

Based on the laziness of yesterday I needed to go out and do something – and so, we visited Harrogate and Whitby.

Harrogate, famous for being one of the most expensive places to live in England, is a lovely town filled with plenty of shops to burn a hole in your wallet.  We actually didn’t spend too long here, as we just looking around and had quite enough tea in the past few days (the also famous Betty’s Tea Rooms have a branch here, but there is also one in York.)

Betty's in Harrogate

Betty’s in Harrogate

Harrogate is 20 miles away from Skipton, taking roughly a half an hour drive.  I couldn’t see us staying here longer than we did and I must admit, in my humble opinion I found Whitby far more lovely.

It was not just a simple 20 miles down the road to get there however, it was at least a 2 hour drive away, but I was keen to see the town Dracula made famous and a part of Yorkshire that’s actually on the coast!

You also go through the North York Moors (another National Park) on the way and some of the country roads are spectacular.  Particularly this one below I tried my best to capture in image form!

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Whitby has great history, with settlement history going as far back as 656, the famous Captain Cook learning his seamanship here and its association with the classic horror novel Dracula (which I may have already mentioned!)

Bram Stoker used Whitby as the setting to his novel, which introduced the unforgettable character of Count Dracula, when the notorious vampire leaves Transylvania and comes ashore to the English isles.  This kind of background adds such atmosphere when looking up to the creepy Whitby Abbey ruins.

There is also a church on top of the same hill, with plenty of spooky old grave stones, that is easily reachable from the town by the 199 steps upto it.

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St Mary's Church Grave Yard overlooking the town of Whitby

St Mary’s Church Grave Yard overlooking the town of Whitby

The spooky ruins of Whitby Abbey

The spooky ruins of Whitby Abbey

The site is, no surprise, an English heritage site which was sadly closed except for weekends at this time of year.  However walking around the area you can still get a good look at how magnificent it once was (and how it probably influenced young Bram when it was dismantled.)

On the walk back down to the town I couldn’t resist buying the Dracula novel when I spotted it in a local book shop for £2!  After recently reading The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into it – ha see what I did there!

Anyway, in the summer I can imagine all these scary connotations with the town are washed away and filled with sunshine, smiles and ice creams – making a good spot to visit all year round.

There are fishing trip tours too, which again I expect more attractive in the summer months!

There are many picturesque narrow streets filled to brim with independent (some chain) stores.  For dinner, we couldn’t resist another fish and chips and ate here at a place called Robertsons.

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I had the medium haddock and chips whereas David had the large – I can’t believe the SIZE of David’s!  That must have been one big haddock.

Anyway, it tasted absolutely delicious and was the stake in the coffin in my confirmation fish and chips are definitely far better up North (sorry I’ll stop with the vampire puns now…)

Mine vs David's Haddock

Mine vs David’s Haddock

I think Whitby has been one of my favourite places we’ve seen in Yorkshire, it definitely tops York and Harrogate.

It’s our last full day here tomorrow and currently we have no plans but we’re both definitely feeling sad this holiday is coming to an end.

I’ll bid good night to you all with frightening cover of my newly purchased book – sweet dreams!

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1 week in the Yorkshire Dales

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Tomorrow I’ll be off to the Yorkshire Dales for one full week of Northern bliss! Bring on the accents, hearty meals and snow – because you know what? It’ll just add to mine and my boyfriends cosy cottage atmosphere (which has a log fire and jacuzzi bath.)

I will be posting a day-to-day travel diary and trying my best to add travel tips for anyone who shares an interest in this type of getaway. Other than that, I can’t wait!