Saturday, 6 July 2013

Whitby - Town of Dracula, Caedmon & Captain Cook

To Whitby, with my Mum and her friend Sue!

 I think Whitby is one of my favourite Yorkshire towns. Thousands of other visitors thought so too, and it was packed to bursting on a sunny Saturday in July. So, we headed away from the throng of tourists and climbed up the 199 steps to St.Mary's church.

Here's Caedmon's Cross, at the top of the Whitby steps. It commemorates the earliest English (Anglo-Saxon) poet who's name is known, and he was in charge of the animals kept by Whitby Abbey in the times of St. Hilda (614 - 680 AD).

Caedmon's Cross, Whitby
And here's the view of the town, past the gravestones of St. Mary's Church. Bram Stoker's Dracula first landed on British soil at Whitby, and many a film and TV series features this graveyard. The Dracula connection also ensures a lively and colourful (albeit, if the colours are shades of black and purple) Gothic Weekend twice a year in Whitby. Sadly, these gravestones are slowly tumbling over the edge of the cliff as the cliff erodes away, sometimes resulting in a cascade of bones mixed in with a landslip.

St. Mary's Graveyard
This is St. Mary's Church itself. It was founded in 1110. It's interior, which dates from the early 1700's, is a wonderful creation, and shows the ship-building tradition of the town with its marvellous timber-beamed roof like an upturned sailing ship.

The Church of St. Mary, Whitby
Other creatures than ourselves were surveying the town roof-tops:

A seagull surveys Whitby
Time to do a bit of posing ....
No, that's not Captain Cook! That's me, that is!
My Mum!
The glamorous Sue!
After the exertions of the 199 steps (there were 200, but the Devil stole one - the rascall!), I wonder if there is anywhere in Whitby we could get some chips and maybe an ice-cream? In Whitby? You must be joking!

Bubble ice-cream!
After a tray of chips and mushy peas sat on the harbour wall, we travelled up to the beautiful moorland above Whitby and to Goathland, used as a location by the long-running TV programme Heartbeat.

We left Mum in the bar of the Mallyan Spout Hotel, and climbed down into a wooded dale to find the Mallyan spout itself.

a Goathland stream
Mallyan Spout, Goathland

Mallyan Spout, Goathland
After refreshing ourselves further at the gorgeous Mallyan Spout Hotel, we returned to Bridlington across the wild North Yorkshire Moors.

North Yorkshire Moors
A great day out! T'wer reet champion!

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