A seaside town along the North Yorkshire coast has been hailed as the UK's answer to the Cote D'Azur.

Whitby, a seaside town, port and civil parish in North Yorkshire, is a firm favourite among those seeking a classic coastal retreat. In addition to its historic credentials it's close to the North York Moors National Park and overlooked by the abbey that inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula. Other major landmarks include a swing bridge which crosses the River Esk and the harbour. The town's maritime heritage gets a nod with statues of countless seafaring heroes dotted around, including one of explorer Captain Cook and the whaler and scientist William Scoresby.

In a recent YouGov survey, Whitby was ranked seventh on the list of the UK's top holiday entertainment destinations. The survey looked at the pubs, restaurants, museums, parks, zoos, aquariums, water and amusement parks, arcades, beaches and hotel prices. It also ranked Google searches, average temperatures, average rainfall and local train stations.

Where to eat?

With a number of top-rated eateries, including popular coffee shops and restaurants with stunning sea views, it's the perfect place to stop off for a bite. There are three five-rated restaurants on TripAdvisor within the confines of the town. The first is Lush Coffee on Silver Street, voted the site's Traveller's Choice for 2023. With a guaranteed "warm welcome", the shop offers freshly brewed coffee, Yorkshire Tea, full English breakfasts, hot and cold sandwiches, toasties, burgers and a selection of homemade cakes and treats. They are dog friendly and offer outdoor seating.

But if you're looking for somewhere a little fancier, Ditto, another five-star restaurant, could be just what you're looking for. The family run restaurant is the perfect spot for foodies who want to enjoy a special meal while in the town. Next up is Beckett's, which is a few doors down from Ditto. The cafe serves a selection of hot drinks, savourites, breakfasts, brunch, cakes and happiness. They have been praised on TripAdvisor for their "excellent quality". Other top spots include Cranberry Swamp, which is a top breakfast spot. Al Taco and The Postgate Country Inn are also well rated.

Where to drink?

There's nothing like enjoying a pint or cocktail in the sun on a seaside getaway, with Whitby offering options for all kinds of punters - whether you want a quiet pub vibe or a lively night out with karaoke. The eight best pubs and bars in Whitby, ranked by TripAdvisor, are:

  1. The Stiddy, High Street
  2. The Esk, Golden Lion Bank
  3. Macy Browns, New Quay Road
  4. Middle Earth Tavern, Church Street
  5. Cafe Montmartre, Market Place
  6. The Golden Lion Inn, Golden Lion Bank
  7. The Met Lounge Bar, Argyle Road
  8. Cleveland Inn, Commondale

Where to stay in Whitby

Whitby offers an abundance of places to stay whether you're looking for a couples getaway or family staycation - and if you're lucky enough, then you might even be able to get a place with a sea view. There are numerous hotels and B&Bs scattered throughout the town, with rooms to suit visitors on every budget, reports Yorkshire Live.

According to TripAdvisor, Hillcrest is one of the top hotels in the area to stay in. It's based a few minutes walk from the town centre and is a short distance from Whitby's many shops, restaurant, pubs and attractions. The hotel can also store bikes and other adventure sports equipment on site, and with local knowledge they say they can advise on great places to cycle, walk and take part in water sports activities like paddle boarding and surfing. They also have deluxe rooms which are spacious enough to cater for families.

Other top rated places to stay in Whitby include The Stables, The Penny Hedge Lodge and The Belfry. If you're looking for something a little more peaceful and relaxing, then it might be worth waiting until September when a brand new hotel, complete with its own spa and restaurant, will open its doors in Whitby.

What are Whitby's beaches like?

Whitby is one of Yorkshire's cleanest and safest beaches. It is one of three across the country which was recently awarded a Blue Flag - an international award presented to well-managed beaches with excellent water quality. It shows visitors that they are at a clean and safe beach. If you want to have some fun at the seaside then there are a number of beautiful beaches in Whitby and the nearby villages.

At Whitby West Cliff Beach, lifeguards are present between the months of May and September. It is a large sandy beach with some rocks that runs from Upgang Beach to the mouth of the River Esk. It’s the most popular beach in the region and is situated on the northern edge of Whitby town, just a short stroll from the town centre.

Visitors can access the beach via various points along Cleveland Way, North Terrace, and North Promenade. On sunny days, families fill stretch of sand between Upgang Beach and West Pier. A line of colourful beach huts is available to rent, as well as deckchairs and windbreaks near the slipway at West Pier. A seasonal dog ban is on Whitby West Cliff Beach between May and September, however dogs are welcome all year round on nearby Tate Hill Beach. Other popular beaches in Whitby include Sandsend Beach and Runswick Bay.

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