Yorkshire seaside town one of Britain's best with sandy beaches and five-star restaurants more like Cote D'Azur

Whitby Harbour
-Credit: (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

Whitby has been named one of the best holiday destination for entertainment, scoring 6.11/10.

The North Yorkshire seaside town is a firm favourite amongst those seeking a classic coastal retreat. Whitby is a seaside town, port and civil parish in North Yorkshire. It is on the Yorkshire Coast at the mouth of the River Esk, it has a maritime, mineral and tourist economy.

READ MORE: The pretty Yorkshire town with cobbled streets and great shops - but one thing letting it down

Whitby's attraction as a tourist destination is enhanced by the nearby high ground of the North York Moors national park and the heritage coastline and by association with the horror novel Dracula.

The abbey ruin at the top of the East Cliff is the town's oldest and most prominent landmark. Other significant features include the swing bridge, which crosses the River Esk and the harbour, which is sheltered by the grade II listed East and West piers.

Its maritime heritage is commemorated by statues of the explorer Captain Cook and the whaler and scientist William Scoresby, as well as the whalebone arch that sits at the top of the West Cliff. It also has a strong literary tradition and has featured in literary works, television and cinema, most famously in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula.

Whitby recently came in at seventh on the list of the UK’s top holiday entertainment destinations according to a YouGov survey.

The survey takes into account number of pubs, restaurants, museums, parks, zoos and aquariums, water and amusement parks, arcades, beach review scores, hotel prices, Google searches, average temperature, average rainfall, and local train stations.

Wondering why Whitby ranked so high? Here's what the charming Yorkshire seaside town has to offer.

Where to eat in Whitby

Mister Chips by The Beach -Credit:Samuel Port

Whitby is home to a number of top-rated eateries from coffee shops to gastropubs and restaurants with sea views. There are three five rated restaurants on TripAdvisor which may be the perfect place to stop off if you're looking for a bite to eat.

The first five-star rated establishment according to TripAdvisor is Lush Coffee on Silver Street - which was voted the TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice for 2023. With a 'warm welcome' guaranteed, the coffee shop serves freshly brewed coffee, all important Yorkshire Tea, full English breakfasts, hot and cold sandwiches, toasties, burgers and a selection of homemade cakes and treats. They also offer outdoor seating and are dog friendly too.

If you're looking for something a little fancier then Ditto, another five star rated establishment to receive the TripAdvisor Traveller's Choice for 2023, may be an option. Located a stones throw away from the beach on Skinner Street, the family run restaurant is the perfect spot for foodies who want to enjoy a special meal while in the town.

The third five-star rated food spot in Whitby, according to 875 TripAdvisor reviews, is Beckett's - which happens to be a few doors down from Ditto on Skinner Street. The independent cafe serves a selection of hot drinks, savouries, breakfasts, brunch, cakes and happiness, with many of the reviews praising them for their "excellent quality".

Other top spots to eat in Whitby include Cranberry Swamp which is famed for its breakfasts, Al Taco and The Postgate Country Inn.

Where to drink in Whitby

A seaside getaway wouldn't be complete without a pint, prosecco or cocktail in the sun. Whitby offers plenty of places to enjoy everything from a quiet drink to a lively night out with karaoke.

The eight best pubs and bars in Whitby, ranked by TripAdvisor, are:

  1. The Stiddy, High Street

  2. The Esk, Golden Lion Bank

  3. Macy Browns, New Quay Road

  4. Middle Earth Tavern, Church Street

  5. Cafe Montmartre, Market Place

  6. The Golden Lion Inn, Golden Lion Bank

  7. The Met Lounge Bar, Argyle Road

  8. Cleveland Inn, Commondale

Where to stay in Whitby

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Seaside town of Whitby in Yorkshire. -Credit:No credit

Whitby offers an abundance of places to stay whether you're looking for a couples getaway or family staycation - and if you're lucky enough, then you might even be able to get a place with a sea view.

There are numerous hotels and B&Bs scattered throughout the town, with rooms to suit visitors on every budget.

According to TripAdvisor, Hillcrest is one of the top hotels in the area to stay in. It's based a few minutes walk from the town centre and is a short distance from Whitby's many shops, restaurant, pubs and attractions. The hotel can also store bikes and other adventure sports equipment on site, and with local knowledge they say they can advise on great places to cycle, walk and take part in water sports activities like paddle boarding and surfing. They also have deluxe rooms which are spacious enough to cater for families.

Other top rated places to stay in Whitby include The Stables, The Penny Hedge Lodge and The Belfry.

If you're looking for something a little more peaceful and relaxing, then it might be worth waiting until September when a brand new hotel, complete with its own spa and restaurant, will open its doors in Whitby.

What are Whitby's beaches like?

A person enjoys the sun as she walks dogs along Whitby Beach in Yorkshire
A person enjoys the sun as she walks dogs along Whitby Beach in Yorkshire -Credit:Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Whitby is one of Yorkshire's cleanest and safest beaches. It is one of three across the country which was recently awarded a Blue Flag - an international award presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality. It shows visitors that they are at a clean and safe beach.

If you want to have some fun at the seaside then there are a number of beautiful beaches in Whitby and the nearby villages.

At Whitby West Cliff Beach, lifeguards are present between the months of May and September. It is a large sandy beach with some rocks that runs from Upgang Beach to the mouth of the River Esk. It’s the most popular beach in the region and is situated on the northern edge of Whitby town, just a short stroll from the town centre.

Visitors can access the beach via various points along Cleveland Way, North Terrace, and North Promenade. On sunny days, families fill stretch of sand between Upgang Beach and West Pier. A line of colourful beach huts is available to rent, as well as deckchairs and windbreaks near the slipway at West Pier.

A seasonal dog ban is on Whitby West Cliff Beach between May and September, however dogs are welcome all year round on nearby Tate Hill Beach.

Other popular beaches in Whitby include Sandsend Beach and Runswick Bay.

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