Sailing, Sands End and sea shanties

For a memorable day out, you can sail right up to Sands End in a beautiful Whitby-built, 40% scale replica of the HMS Endeavour. With sea shanties and tales of Captain Cook’s voyages at the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, it’s an invigorating coastal adventure. For a more laid-back view of Whitby’s naval history, explore the harbour, brimming with colourful vessels including trawlers, cobles and pleasure-craft. The Regatta weekend is one of the busiest times in the town, with rowers racing the wide bay and many other events.

Famous explorers

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum on Grape Lane is the perfect place to learn about this world famous explorer who called Whitby his home. The museum is housed by the harbour, where a young James Cook stayed as an apprentice and trained as an seaman. If you’re spending an afternoon in the town, you could also pop in to the Sutcliffe Gallery and explore the photography of Frank Meadow Sutcliffe, famous for his sepia photographs of Victorian Whitby.

Literary connections

Melville's Moby Dick focuses on a number of Whitby whalers, such as William Scoresby, one of Whitby’s most famous sea captains, who once caught 18 whales on one trip. Another world famous author, Lewis Carroll, visited Whitby several times. The author famously brought things he saw around him into his stories and he was supposedly inspired to write his poem “The Walrus and the Carpenter” by his walks along Whitby beach.  Whitby Civic Society has created a White Rabbit Trail around the town with a quiz and certificate available for children. Bram Stoker also based part of his novel “Dracula” in Whitby and mentions the Church of St Mary’s and the 199 steps, both on the east side of Whitby.