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Family Fun in Whitby - Beaches, Fossil-hunting, and Spooky Ruins

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Families love Whitby - for a tiny town, it packs in lots of activities for all the family to enjoy. Its beaches are a ready source of fun, where kids can spend their time paddling, looking for fossils, and exploring rock pools. The town’s Dracula connection offers spooky thrills, and both young and old can try keeping count of the 199 steps that ascend to the clifftop abbey.

Playtime on the beach


The town’s beaches provide a perfect playground for little ones. After getting stuck in with their buckets and spades, they can enjoy a paddle in the sea or clamber onto a donkey for one of the regular rides along the beach. Brimming with little sea creatures and patterned stones, the many rock pools are a treasure trove for curious minds. For a refreshing interlude, you can stop at Teare Woods for exotic flavors of luxury handmade ice cream.


Teare Woods Luxury Ice Cream Parlour


As you head to the beach along the quayside, it’s worth pausing for one of Teare Woods’ Jersey ice creams. Only a 6-minute walk from the beach, the renowned parlor offers unusual flavors like lime and ginger cheesecake.


9 St. Ann's Staith, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3PWTel: +44 7875 378389


Teare Woods Luxury Ice Cream Parlour website

Gothic Whitby


Whitby’s Benedictine abbey and Church of St. Mary were the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The haunting outline of the abbey’s ruins remains a major draw for visitors of all ages. From spine-chilling ghost walks to Gothic-themed souvenirs and sweets, the ghoulish side of the town never fails to pique kids’ interest.


Whitby Abbey


Looking down over the town from this prominent position on East Cliff, kids will feel on top of the world as they explore the atmospheric ruins of Whitby Abbey.


Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4JT. Tel: +44 1947 603568


Whitby Abbey website


Dracula Experience Whitby


The Dracula Experience takes you through scenes of Bram Stoker’s famous story, featuring dark chambers filled with spooky effects and live actors.


9 Marine Parade, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3PR. Tel: +44 1947 601923


Dracula Experience Whitby website




Whitby is built on Yorkshire’s Jurassic coast and still has hundreds of ammonite fossils and dinosaur footprints scattered along its more pebbly beaches. If you don’t strike lucky on the beach, you'll find plenty of dinosaur artifacts and ancient jet gemstones to choose from in the gift and souvenir shops. To learn about the town's Jurassic past, pay a visit to the fossil collection at Whitby Museum.


Whitby Museum


Set in leafy Pannett Park, Whitby Museum features an exceptional collection of Jurassic fossils among its many exhibits. Kids will be fascinated by the remains of ancient sea creatures mounted on the walls and the collection of dinosaur footprints.


Pannett Park, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 1RE. Tel: +44 1947 602908


Whitby Museum website


Fishing and crabbing


All you need is a net and you can get to work searching for the bright starfish, snapping crabs, and dormant mussels that inhabit the rock pools. The lower deck of the west pier is a prime fishing spot; younger or less experienced kids can go crabbing at “kiddies corner” by the swing bridge.


Whitby Angling Supplies


With everything you need to get started, this small shop carries rods, tackle, and crabbing equipment, and is frequented by both novices and professionals.


67 Church Street, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO22 4AS. Tel: +44 1947 603855


Whitby Angling Supplies website


Music and crafts


The whole family will be enchanted by the brass-band concerts on the stone bandstand at the end of the quayside, and by the many street performers throughout town. If the kids would prefer getting hands-on - and they’ve had their fill of building sand castles - many local arts and crafts shops also offer interactive activities.


Whitby Pavilion


This Victorian entertainment complex often hosts child-friendly shows and the latest animated feature films. While the little ones are busy being entertained, parents can relax at the café with generous portions of cake.


West Cliff, Whitby, North Yorkshire YO21 3EN. Tel: +44 1947 458899


Whitby Pavilion website




Children can let their imaginations run wild at Doodlepots pottery painting workshops. Sometimes they’re even allowed backstage to watch their works get fired and glazed.


5B Skinner Street, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3AH. Tel: +44 1947 825824


Doodlepots website