Whitby Abbey And The Hundred And Ninety-Nine Steps
Climbing the hundred and ninety-nine steps and walking around Whitby Abbey may sound like a mundane activity for an evening out.
However, unlike through the day when it appears simply as a fascinating and beautiful piece of history, at night, it takes on a completely different hue. Destroyed in 1540 when Henry VIII ordered the dissolution of the monasteries, Whitby Abbey would have been in ruin by the time Bram Stoker visited and saw it in 1890.
He would later go on to be inspired enough by his view of the Abbey at night swirling in haunting sea mists whilst perching high on its cliff to include Whitby as the landing place of his 1897 character Dracula. It is this very story that makes Whitby Abbey the perfect place to visit late at night and give yourself the chills. You could even take the book with you and read from its pages by torch or candlelight:
‘… the very instant the shore was touched, an immense dog sprang up on deck from below, as if shot up by the concussion, and running forward, jumped from the bow on to the sand. Making straight for the steep cliff, where the churchyard hangs over the laneway to the East pier ….. it disappeared into the darkness, which seemed intensified just beyond the focus of the searchlight.’
Whitby Ghost Walk
If Whitby Abbey hasn’t given you enough of the chills, you could always explore other ghostly, strange and supernatural tales of Whitby with a walking tour led by Rose Rylands.
Alternatively, Dr Crank, your guide for the 75 minute tour, will take you on an amazing journey of murder, mystery and suspense including the screaming tunnel, Dracula’s bench, the Dutchman’s house, the burning girl, the headless horseman, the hand of glory, the Whitby witches, the barguest hound, the haunted lighthouse and the grey lady.
To give you a taste of the spooky tales to come Mary Clarke was a young girl when she made a visit to the local bakers on Grape Lane. Why she was there is unknown but when the baker on duty turned to see her he found her engulfed in flames. Attempts were made to try to save her but all to no avail; her flesh had burnt down to the bone and the poor girl died.
Since then many people who have visited Grape Lane report the smell of burning followed by a vision of flames and finally Mary!
The Dracula Experience
The last of our supernatural things to do in Whitby at night is a paranormal experience at the Dracula Experience.
This activity really has nothing to do with Dracula other than it is hosted in the same building. Running from 11 pm to 3 am on the first Saturday of every month the paranormal night is linked with TV’s very own Most Haunted.
Whilst there you can expect to take part in investigations with high tech equipment, ouija boards and seances with mediums. Reported phenomena whilst on these paranormal nights includes sightings of orbs and a young girl with ringlets playing.
A Visit To The Beach With Maybe A Little Skinny Dipping
In complete contrast to all things paranormal, there is nothing like a romantic stroll along the beach and maybe a little cheeky skinny dipping. Strolling hand in hand with the sand between your toes whilst waves are lapping at the shore can be blissful.
There are three different beaches you can choose for your walk which are Whitby beach, Tate Hill beach, and East Cliff flats. Be aware, however, that tides come in fast in Whitby and that there will be no lifeguards on duty at night. Take care if skinny dipping and do not do so after consuming alcohol.
Check the Whitby Tidal Information before attempting any skinny dipping!
A Leisurely Boat Trip
If walking or swimming is not really your thing but you love the sea, you could opt for an evening boat trip instead.
Whitby is a fine place to do this as it is only one of two towns where you can see both the sunrise and the sunset in the sea. Evening boat trips in Whitby offer a magical experience in which you will sail out at dusk and return after dark. They are a unique opportunity to view this historic town from another perspective. You will also be able to view some of Whitby’s wildlife such as seabirds and if in the right season visiting whales.
Book your trip with Whitby Coastal Cruises
A Show At The Whitby Pavilion
Nestled into the West cliffs and maybe even visible from a boat trip is the Whitby Pavilion, home to both a theatre and digital cinema.
It is the perfect place to spend an evening for those who enjoy live shows and films. Built in 1878 Whitby Pavilion has Victorian origins and charm with its traditional proscenium arch. It has seating available for up to 380 people and benefits from a theatre bar for intermission drinks. Shows you can see here include plays, traditional dramas, pantomimes, musicals, comedy, blockbuster films and also long loved classics.
For information on what they are currently showing see the Whitby Pavilion website.
A Delicious Meal In One Of Whitby’s Fine Restaurants
Whether it’s before, after or not coinciding with a visit to Whitby Pavilion at all, the town has a fantastic array of restaurants for everyone to sample.
The Marine, for example, is a fine dining experience that concentrates on serving excellent fish dishes.Situated on the harbourside the Marines menu includes whole lobster, oysters, fresh langoustine, scampi, roast hake, sea bass, lemon sole and spaghetti voncole which is made with clams, white wine, garlic, chilli, and spaghetti. If you fancy something other than fish or traditional English fayre, you could also try Ditto, a family run intimate restaurant that has just 18 covers.
Quality local ingredients are served here that are used to combine bold and creative flavours with influences from all over Europe. Dittos menu includes rolled lamb shoulder, cured sea trout, crispy fried eggs, pork belly, duck breast, broccoli and blue cheese potato gnocchi, baked lemon cream, frozen chocolate mousse and bread and butter pudding.
Drinks And A Boogie At Whitby’s Pubs And Clubs
Choice of nightclubs, on the other hand, is far more limited as there is only one! Out of the many pubs you could visit, the Abbey Wharf seems to be far and away the most popular with its restaurant and selection of live music. This would be closely followed by the Buck Inn where you can enjoy dry ice cocktails, karaoke and a turn on their dance floor.
For a more traditional, quiet drink try the Jolly Sailors, Ship or Pier Inn. Following on from the pub you might want to try Raw nightclub which is situated in two buildings over three floors. Part Victorian, part Art Déco this venue holds regular events such as Hedkandi. School disco and the ministry of sound.
It’s a great place to drink, dance and socialise with friends long after the pubs have closed.
A Cozy Night In
If you’re not into, don’t fancy or are just too tired to go out into Whitby at night you could always opt for a cozy night in. There are many fantastic fishmongers where you can purchase fish such as mackerel, pollock, flounder, coalfish, bass, cod and more for a lovely home cooked meal.
Local ales can also be bought to accompany your meal made by Whitby Brewery and sold all over the town. After eating you could then watch a DVD, read your book or even just cuddle up with your loved one in a chair.
Whatever you do you will be sure to enjoy it !!
Joe and Geoff xx