Whitby Abbey was a 7th-century Christian monastery that later became a Benedictine abbey. The abbey church was situated overlooking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, England, a centre of the medieval Northumbrian kingdom. The abbey and its possessions were confiscated by the crown under Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries between 1536 and 1545.
Since that time, the ruins of the abbey have continued to be used by sailors as a landmark at the headland. Since the 20th century, the substantial ruins of the church have been declared a Grade I Listed building and are in the care of English Heritage; the site museum is housed in Cholmley House.
|Monday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 6:00 PM|
Thomas Müthing | Mar 1, 2018
Once you've climbed the famous "199 Steps" you will be greeted with the combined spectacular views of St. Mary's Church (with its vast adjacent cemetery) and the ruin of Whitby Abbey, which reportedly inspired Bram Stoker to write Dracula. Also, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Whitby and the open sea. Very much worth your while, I can tell ya*. When I visited the weather was less than spectacular, with grey skies, occasional showers and a bit of fog - all of which only added to the majesty and gloomy atmosphere of the place. The Abbey grounds were unfortunately closed on the day (the opening times vary widely during the seasons, so investigate before you visit), but even then I got a good enough glimpse of the abbey - and of course St. Mary's Church was open and available to "inspection". But for me, it was the view that left the greatest impression. If you're tired from the 199 Steps you might also drop in at the brewery tap of Whitby Brewery, which is opposite of the abbey grounds.
Megan Davies | Jan 28, 2018
A must-visit. As soon as we arrived the staff were very welcoming and enthusiastic about the abbey. The museum (included in the entry price) is small yet interesting and excites you for the abbey itself. The abbey is breathtaking and makes for some beautiful photos. The grounds are well looked after and a perfect place to sit and enjoy the area.
John Doe | Jan 30, 2018
Huge fun! English heritage have been, for a while, producing audio "tours" of their properties, which arr beautifully produced; professional, entertaining, informative and TOTALLY immersive. To be able to walk around a windswept, ruined Abbey on a British headland and imagine the dramas that unfolded almost a thousand years ago takes a degree of skill in storytelling. The site itself is of course, the star in this show, but there is no shame in having a good narrator; and the pleasure gained from narration is magnified a thousand fold. The Abbey has a story to be told, for anyone with ears to hear- if you visit and listen, you will not be disappointed! And if you have no sense of history in your soul, stand and watch the clouds make show patterns on the town below. That's fun too!
Steven Haswell | Feb 17, 2018
Whitby Abbey is an interesting place and the views from the Abbey is stunning. As an attraction itself I would have to say that if you did not buy an audio guide then the interpretation is few and far between. We have an English Heritage card which covers any site for a year otherwise we probably wouldn't have paid the expense for the attraction which can be viewed from a path along the roadside.
Darren Jackson | Jan 23, 2018
Steeped in history, an amazing story to be told of the Abbey and it's grounds. At the top of 199 steps down to the old town of Whitby. Look out for the highly entertaining plays featured around the abbey using the building and grounds as the stage. A great day out to be had by young and old alike.
Chris D | Mar 21, 2018
A beautiful place to visit on a cold day. The ruins are breathtaking and a definite must! The woman trying to sell me and my wife the yearly membership was rather irritating and kept talking over her colleague who was trying to serve us, thus 1 star less. However a great afternoon out!
Harley Quinn | Mar 25, 2018
Great views from up on the cliffs. The audio tour is informative and entertaining and the Abbey itself continues to be awe inspiring in any weather. The Tea Room is well worth a visit with lots of delicious cakes and their prices are reasonable too.
John Angus | Apr 25, 2018
Good place to visit and close enough to the town of Whitby and beach should the kids get bored. Best to take up the offer of the Audio guide to get the most out of your vist. Good parking available and site has the usual souvenir shop, toilets and cafe. A short walk down to the harbour and you can board a train run by the North York Moors preserved Railways, but not every thing in a day visit.
Phil Starkey | Apr 24, 2018
Plenty of open countryside if you prefer? lovely walks across the cliff tops or paddle in the sea at some of the more secluded bays just a short distance away. Very historic surroundings, visit the abbey and the lifeboat house and visit shipwrecks at low tide.
Phillip Hutton | May 27, 2018
We had a wonderful time at this English Heritage site. It started from the very helpful member of staff on the entrance that was by the car park she was full of information and very helpful. While we were there they were putting on dramatisations to do with Dracula and there were a number of performances over the course of the day. These were very well performed by the actors and the script was very humorous. The visitors centre was different to normal and was interesting and well laid out. If you had trouble walking or were in a wheelchair playing that there was a lift not just from the floors but would also get you up to where the Abbey is.
Britt | May 20, 2018
Once you've climbed the famous "199 steps" you'll reach Whitby Abbey. It's a beautiful place, suited for every age. Children might get bored a bit fast. There is a souvenir shop and a beach nearby. Whitby is a lovely old town. Definitely worth the visit.
Daniel Hodson | May 29, 2018
A great piece of English heritage, having seen the abbey featured on the TV, and referenced in pop culture in relation to Dracula we couldn't visit Whitby and not go to the abbey. As a non-English Heritage member we had to pay £7.80 per person to access the ruins, whilst I appreciate the have to upkeep the grounds and maintain the area this was a little steep. Whilst it wasn't bank breaking, it could work out rather expensive for a family visiting on a whim. The ground were well kept, and the abbey was extremely impressive to see, my imagination ran riot attempting to imagine the missing pieces in place, and thinking what it used to be like. A worth while visit. Don't forget to go behind YHA Cafe, as there are some picturesque gardens and lovely views over Whitby.
Martin James | Jun 22, 2018
Well worth a visit but I would wait until they put on one of their lighting displays such as on Halloween 🎃 Plenty of parking. Easy to find, although the narrow through Whitby can be busy during events.
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