Whitby Abbey is a ruined monastery on the northeast coast of England, in Whitby, North Yorkshire.
The abbey was founded in the 7th century by St. Hilda and was an important centre of learning. It was destroyed by fire in 1069, but was rebuilt in the 12th century. The abbey was again destroyed by fire in 1539, and its ruins remain today.
Where is Whitby Abbey?
Located in Whitby, Whitby Abbey is an iconic landmark that has withstood the test of time since its foundation in 657 AD.
It stands proudly overlooking the North Sea, and is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to Whitby. The abbey itself is dedicated to St Peter and St Hilda, and was once a monastery home to monks of the Anglo-Saxon Church
The ruins have survived many centuries, but it was severely damaged during the Civil War when Cromwell’s troops destroyed it.
What remains standing today are some impressive walls – including an archway leading away from the church – as well as a few other remnants of its original structure
Its significance can be traced back hundreds of years ago, as the Abbey is one of the oldest and most famous abbeys in England.
It was here that St Hilda, a 7th-century Saxon princess, lived out her life as abbess of Whitby Abbey and established a double monastery for both men and women who devoted their lives to the worship of God.
Whitby Abbey was also home to the Synod of Whitby – an important event where the Northumbrians met to settle differences between Celtic traditions and Roman customs for religious services
Today, the Abbey is open to visitors throughout the year. The site offers breath-taking views across Whitby bay as well as interactive activities such as guided tours, archaeological digs and children’s exploration trails.
It’s no wonder Whitby Abbey is considered one of the most important historical sites in Yorkshire!
Whether you’re a history enthusiast or just looking for somewhere to spend an afternoon, Whitby Abbey is an impressive and inspiring site to explore.
Make sure to add this landmark to your list of places to visit when in Whitby. You won’t regret it!
Whitby Abbey: Home of Dracula!
Whitby Abbey has long been associated with the Bram Stoker’s classic novel Dracula, due to its prominent role in the story.
In chapter 13 of the novel, Count Dracula disembarks from his ship onto Whitby beach and makes his way up to Whitby Abbey where he takes refuge for the night before continuing his journey inland.
The Abbey also features in other works inspired by Dracula such as Mark Gatiss’ Sherlock episode ‘The Hounds of Baskerville.’
Its mysterious atmosphere, dramatic ruins and its association with the novel draws many visitors to Whitby Abbey each year.
The Whitby Literary and Philosophical Society has been running an annual Bram Stoker Festival since 2005, celebrating Whitby’s unique connection with Dracula which includes special events, theatrical performances and even a haunted night walk around the abbey ruins.
The legacy of Whitby Abbey in the modern day is clear – it retains a powerful relationship with Dracula, providing a physical reminder of how much influence this classic novel continues to have today.
Whitby will remain forever entwined with Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece, becoming part of its own rich literary heritage
For dedicated fans of Dracula, Whitby Abbey represents an important pilgrimage site – a place to be visited, explored and remembered. Whitby Abbey is something of a living monument, its ruins an ever-present reminder of the enduring power of Bram Stoker’s classic novel.
What events are held at Whitby Abbey?
Whitby Abbey is a popular tourist destination that offers a variety of events throughout the year.
Whitby Gothic Weekend
The Whitby Gothic Weekend is a festival that celebrates the Gothic culture. The event features live music, theatre performances, and art exhibits.
Whitby Folk Week
The Whitby Folk Week is an event that celebrates traditional English folk music. The event features live music, dance performances, and workshops.
The Whitby Regatta is a boat race that takes place on the Whitby Harbour. The event usually features a variety of races, including sailing, rowing, and canoeing.
The Abbey also hosts educational events throughout the year. These events include lectures, seminars, and workshops about history, science, and other topics, as well as having special exhibitions that focus on different aspects of Whitby’s rich history
In addition to these events, Whitby Abbey also offers guided tours of the grounds and buildings. Visitors can learn more about the Abbey’s history and architecture while getting an up-close look at its beautiful surroundings
Whether you are looking for an entertaining weekend or a chance to learn more about Whitby’s past and present, Whitby Abbey has something to offer. With its variety of events, it is sure to provide something for everyone.
How do I get to Whitby Abbey?
Whitby Abbey is a beautiful place to visit, and there are many ways to get there.
You can take a bus, a train, or even drive yourself.
If you’re taking the bus, the Whitby Abbey stop is right next to the abbey. The bus journey from Whitby town centre is about 10 minutes. There are also buses from York, Scarborough, and other towns in the area.
If you’re taking the train, the Whitby Abbey stop is about a 5-minute walk from the abbey. The train ride from York is about 2 hours, and from Scarborough it’s about 45 minutes.
If you’re driving, there’s plenty of parking at the abbey. It’s free to park there, and the drive from Whitby town centre is about 5 minutes. If you’re coming from York or Scarborough, the drive is about an hour.
No matter what mode of transport you use to get there, Whitby Abbey is well worth the journey!
With its stunning grounds and fascinating history, Whitby Abbey offers a unique and memorable experience. So don’t wait—plan your trip today!
Admission to Whitby Abbey
Whitby Abbey is open daily from 10am to 6pm (April to October), and 10am to 4pm (November to March).
There are also extended opening hours on Bank Holidays, but is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
The Whitby Abbey visitors’ centre, located at the entrance of the Whitby Abbey site, is open daily from 10am till 5pm (April to October) and 10am till 4pm (November to March).
Whitby Abbey’s café is open 10am until 5pm in summer months and 10am until 4 pm in winter months.
Tickets & Events
Visitors can gain access to Whitby Abbey via a series of pathways, which are open from sunrise till sunset. Whitby Abbey’s car park is also open 24 hours a day.
Whitby Abbey offers a range of ticket types for visitors; single tickets, family tickets, group tickets (for 15 or more people) and annual passes are all available online. Whitby Abbey also offers discounted entry to some concessionary groups such as students and senior citizens
The Whitby Abbey site hosts a wide range of events throughout the year including guided walks, music performances and special exhibitions.
Admission charges may apply to these events so it is important to check Whitby Abbey’s website for up-to-date information before visiting
For more information about Whitby Abbey’s opening times, ticket types and event programmes visit Whitby Abbey’s website or contact Whitby Abbey directly. Whitby Abbey looks forward to welcoming you soon!
If you’re planning a trip to the beautiful town of Whitby, be sure to check out our options for accommodation, including the Beacon and the Beacon Lodge coming soon!