Wednesday, May 27, 2015


Next on the agenda was a visit to Whitby Abbey. An abandoned ruin since the Dissolution of the Monasteries,  it stands high over Whitby. Its ruined shell provided Bram Stoker with some of the inspiration for Dracula. We wandered around on a beautiful day with audio guides telling us the history of the site since its original founding in Anglo Saxon times, through to its shelling by a German dreadnought in World War I. As I said, it was a beautiful day, but you could imagine how dramatic it would look against a brooding stormy sky. I could also imagine the awe its size would have invoked in a medieval pilgrim.

From there it was down to Whitby. Andy climbed down the 199 steps, but I walked down Donkey Street (more properly called Church Lane) which is a very steep cobbled street that is now heritage listed.


Once down the bottom there are dozens of shops selling Whitby Jet jewellery. It's fossilised wood that is so black it has given rise to the expressions "as black as jet" and "jet-black". We went into a workshop and saw how it was fashioned, and needless to say, I had to buy myself a set of jet earrings.

We then crossed the swing bridge over the Esk river. On the other side were the fish and chip shops, the amusement arcades snd the shops selling "rock" that are such a definitive part of the British seaside experience and lots of places trying to cash in on the Dracula connection.  Not surprisingly for a fishing port, it was full of seagulls, but they are the biggest seagulls I have ever seen - far bigger than those that steal our chips on an Australian beach!

Andy wouldn't have been able to live there

We didn't visit here

We did visit here

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