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Whitby
Whitby and the River Esk from the East
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWhitby and the River Esk from the East - Credit: Xandar/Wikimedia Commons

Whitby is a picturesque Yorkshire fishing and tourist town on the east coast of Britain. It is situated at the mouth of the River Esk, climbing up steep cliffs at either side. Whitby is famous for its ammonite fossils, jet, and, of course, Dracula!

 

 

Whitby Church Steps
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeWhitby Church Steps - Credit: Steve Partridge at Geograph

On the East cliff towers the ruins of Whitby Abbey, looking out over the town and the sea. It can be accessed from the town by climbing the 199 ‘Church Stairs’ to reach the top of the cliff. Also up here is St. Mary’s church, and the churchyard where Mina and Lucy love to sit. The gothic, haunting atmosphere that the ruined abbey and churchyard give the town makes it an ideal setting for strange, magical or ghostly stories.

 

“It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits” (page 71). 

 

Whitby Abbey
Public DomainWhitby Abbey - Credit: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons

 Describing the churchyard, Mina says: “This is to my mind the nicest spot in Whitby, for it lies right over the town, and has a full view of the harbour and all up the bay to where the headland called Kettleness stretches out into the sea” (page 71).

 

View over Whitby from churchyard
Public DomainView over Whitby from churchyard - Credit: Immanuel Giel/Wikimedia Commons

 “The harbour lies below me, with, on the far side, one long granite wall stretching out into the sea, with a curve outwards at the end of it, in the middle of which is a lighthouse. A heavy sea-wall runs along outside of it. On the near side, the sea-wall makes an elbow crooked inversely, and its end too has a lighthouse” (page 72).

 

Whitby harbour
GNU Free Documentation LicenseWhitby harbour - Credit: Jitka Erbenová/Wikimedia Commons