I’m probably a bit bias but I love Yorkshire and everything about it, so I was mighty excited when I learnt that, following the success of Yorkshire in providing a scenic backdrop to the Grand Départ in the 2014 Tour de France, it would be holding its very own race, the appropriately titled Tour de Yorkshire, in 2015.
After visiting the abbey or maybe taking a boat trip, if you ask someone who is familiar with it what you should do if you’re visiting Whitby they’ll likely reel off a lengthy list of places you absolutely must eat!
Whitby is a town of fine eateries. From fish and chip shops and Italian restaurants to quaint tea rooms and traditional pubs there’s a bit of everything, but on a recent visit I was rather taken by the pretty cool Whitby Deli, which offers something a bit different.
Taphophile is the technical term for someone who has an appreciation for graveyards, and I consider myself something of a taphophile.
On the surface it perhaps seems a somewhat macabre hobby, but it’s often the story of the person buried there that I find more interesting than anything, and visiting their grave is just an interesting way to remember them.
Whitby’s 199 steps are world famous and it’s easy to see why. Walking up or down them is a unique experience, especially to see the abbey at the top or the little shops at the bottom. You might recognise them from the scene in Dracula where the eponymous protagonist leaps from the ship and ascends the steps to the abbey in the form of a great black dog.
Wandering the woods, as I am wont to do of an afternoon, the year before last I discovered the felled remains of a wishing tree, that is, a tree with hundreds of coins embedded in its bark.
Found on woodland trails up and down the UK, the curious custom is the result of superstitious passer-bys who hammer the coins into the trunks with rocks, in the belief that it will bring them good fortune.
The Forbidden Corner is one of the most weirdly wonderful places I have ever had the pleasure of visiting. Hidden in the Yorkshire Dales, it’s the most difficult place to describe, so I’m going to lift a quote from their website, which I think sums it up as best as it can be summed up: “a unique labyrinth of tunnels, chambers, follies and surprises.”
It’s bizarre. After you’ve parked and sorted your tickets out (entrance is by reservation only), you exit the visitor centre onto a gravel path where this Ent-like figure above points the way.
We visited Brimham Rocks in February 2014. It was cold, damp, and overcast, but that didn’t detract from how bizarrely beautiful they are, in fact, if anything, it added something quite dramatic to the landscape. Water, wind and glaciers have eroded the rocks into seemingly gravity defying shapes, have carved narrow alleys between them, and have cracked fissures through them that go metres deep.