In North Yorkshire the seaside town of Whitby may be small but it has a lot to offer. Sea air, a beautiful
setting, a ruined abbey, excellent fish and chips, and it was here that Captain Cook served
his apprenticeship, his vessel HMS Endeavour was built and from whence he set sail to discover
The town was also one of the settings for Bram Stoker's Dracula, and it still maintains an association,
albeit largely commercial, with the cloaked bloodsucking villain.
We went up to Whitby for a day trip from
renting a car and driving through the North Yorkshire
Moors. On the way back we stopped off at the Aidensfield Arms of "Heartbeat" fame, and watched the
steam trains coming through Goathland Station. Almost like going back to the 1960s.
When we arrived in Whitby and had finally found somewhere to park, we were greeted by this shanty-playing
salty sea dog by the lobster pots.
St Mary's Church sits on the hillside above the valley of the River Esk. The town has good higgledy-piggledy
The world famous Magpie Café, which was queued out the door as usual for their tasty fish and chips.
As hungry as we were, we waited in the takeaway queue which was almost as long, then walked out along
the pier fending off seagulls.
Whitby beach and the North Yorkshire cliffs in the distance.
We walked right out along one of Whitby's twin piers, enjoying our fish and chips.
Whitby maintains its association with Count Dracula, being the setting for parts of Bram Stoker's novel
as it is.
We met some colourful local Whitby characters during our wanderings, including these folks who appear
to have been wandering the pier for at least a hundred years. It helped that it was "goths and freaks
This poor chap looked to be in a particularly malnourished state, but it was the wares he was pedalling
which were all the more disturbing. Latex human babies, designed to be as lifelike as possible,
you can just see one asleep in the background.
Whitby harbour with its cacophony of boats and buildings makes for a pretty scene.
It wasn't half busy that weekend in Whitby, particularly on Church Street as we walked up to the abbey.
Eerily stained gravestones in the grounds of the ruined Whitby Abbey gave the place a particularly atmospheric
Whitby Abbey itself was founded in the mid 7th century and operated for the best part of nine hundred
years until being disestablished by Henry VIII in the 16th century. The ruins still stand imposing
on the cliff top, but as for the statue of the naked bloke in the foreground, I have no idea who he
The density of east Whitby as seen from the path back down to the River Esk.
On our way back to
York we stopped off at at the village
of Goathland, one of the stops on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the filming location for the 1960s-set
TV series "Heartbeat".
Goathland Railway Station has remained largely preserved as it was many decades ago, complete with old-school
Even the advertising posters are from a bygone era - in reality advertising of cigarettes and tobacco
was outlawed in the UK in the early 21st century.
As well as in Heartbeat, Goathland Station is also used as the station for Hogsmeade in the Harry Potter
films, where the Hogwarts Express stops off. Here one of the old steam engines that still ply the lines prepares
to head off.
The village of Goathland itself, recognisable to any avid Heartbeat fan, hopefully. It's a pleasant
place but unfortunately as I hadn't watched the TV programme since the mid 90s I couldn't claim to
recognise any of it.
The Aidensfield Arms is the pub setting of Heartbeat, its real name is the Goathland Hotel yet it does
bear its fictional name on the side. We stopped in for a pint of Black Sheep ale, lovely.