Thursday, 13 December 2012

Yorkshire Coast part 2- Whitby

On the agenda for the second day of our trip to Scarborough was a stop in at the fishing village of Whitby. Our neighbor in Charlton Kings highly recommended a visit there. He said the fish and chips are especially delicious there because the fish is so fresh. We arrived around noon after several detours because of the widespread flooding. We did get to drive through the moors which were so beautiful. Our approach to Whitby was from the north, so we first came to a hill overlooking the harbor and lighthouse.

There we saw a memorial to Captain Cook, the explorer who at age18 came to Whitby to be an apprentice in for a ship builder. Later, during the mid to late 1700's he led 4 voyages around the globe on ships (Endeavor was one) built by the towns ship builders.

There is also a whale bone a tribute to the whaling tradition the was prevalent in the 1800's. this was a dangerous profession and were lost at sea.

Through the whale bone across the harbor you can see the church and abbey.

While wandering around the town, we went into a knitting shop that had a display of cable knitting patterns. It explained that each village's fisherman wore a different pattern . You could tell which village a fisherman was from by the pattern of his jumper (sweater).

There is a lifeboat museum with lifeboats and equipment that is used to rescue fishing boats at sea. Many photos of the captains, ships and records of each and every rescue were displayed. You could really get a sense of what their job was like and how courageous these men were.

Whitby is also the setting for Bram Stoker's Dracula. I am reading it now and it is a great read. The descriptions of the town and surrounding coast are vividly accurate, even today. In the village church on top of the hill there are signs that say " Dracula is not here". That may be a spoiler alert!

Whitby Abbey provides a gothic backdrop for Bram Stoker's novel.

The church, St. Mary's, is also architecturally interesting. The Norman church was built on the site around 1110 and added to and altered over the centuries. The tower and transepts are from the 12th and 13th centuries.The tower is square and crenellated. The nave and transept have 19th-century galleries accessed by internal and external staircases and a three-decker pulpit which was installed in 1778 and altered in 1847.It retains its 18th-century box pews, some of which are inscribed, "For Strangers Only", and north of the chancel arch is a Jacobean pew.

Scenes in the Dracula take place in the church cemetery.

Fish and chips are a must on a visit here so we stopped in at the Magpie Cafe. Delicious, but not for the faint of heart. We ordered the small portion, which completely covered the plate!
We were able go back to Scarborough along the coast. The sunset was beautiful.

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