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  • Writer's pictureTania Andreea

Whitby, Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay

Updated: Mar 3


In this article I am telling you about a travel destination that is less known among tourists, but which enjoys local popularity. It is about the northeast coast of England, and more precisely 3 villages that you can visit in this area.

Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay and Staithes are three absolutely gorgeous villages, about which I will tell you below, in detail. I chose to write a single article for all three, because they are quite close in terms of distance and can all be seen on the same day.

The northern part of England is a less touristy part of the United Kingdom, which does not even enjoy half the popularity of Scotland. These three places are, however, quite touristic, but I have rarely seen tourists from other countries, it is rather people who live in neightbouring towns, who choose to come and relax here.

If you choose to see these villages in one day, you must know that it will be a full day and maybe a little tiring, and you should not come here in any other season than summer. The rest of the time, sometimes even then, the weather is not the best for staying outside. Being a coastal area, the wind is very strong, and during the winter the sun rises a little later and sets earlier than in more southern parts of Europe.

The most convenient option to get to these places, and as I have recommended every time to explore the United Kingdom, is to rent a car. The last thing you want is to waste precious time from your vacation waiting for public transportation, which in some situations doesn't even exist. I wrote a small guide about renting a car.

Robin Hood's Bay was just a fishing village in the past, becoming more touristy these days. Although during the day it can get very crowded, especially at the weekend, this place has kept its charm from the past, and the rustic, typically British atmosphere is felt to the fullest.

Whether you choose to walk on the beach, relax on a terrace or explore the narrow streets, I am convinced that this place will enchant you.

If you decide to visit this place, I recommend that you arrive as early as possible during the day, or avoid the weekend, because it can get quite crowded, and the parking spaces, although there are many, can be insufficient, especially if the weather is nice .

I recommend booking an organized trip of several days in which to visit several places, if you do not have a car and spend several days in England, details here.

Robin Hood's Bay narrow streets - travel destination in England

The main attraction of this place is the narrow alleys, with houses as if from another world and vine roses, which give the place a special contour. The best time to visit this place is June, when the roses bloom. For me, there is nothing more delightful than a walk on these streets. The town is also served by a beach, but only when it is low tide, the rest of the time being completely covered by water.

Narrow streets with roses in Robin Hood's Bay

Staithes is one of my favorite places in England. It is a very small village, with cobbled streets and houses preserved intact since the 17th century. Although it is extremely small, unlike other fishing villages, the atmosphere of the place makes you feel like you are on vacation. It is crossed by the river Staithes Beck, which flows into the sea and divides the village in two. I recommend crossing the bridge over the river and climbing up to the viewpoint to enjoy the spectacular view. The place looks good both from the cobbled streets and from above.

Staithes - hidden gems of England, Northeast side

Another view point over the village can be found on the walking path "Cleveland Way" , which is a coastal path that connects this place to other towns, such as Whitby and Robin Hood's Bay.

The parking is located before the entrance to the village, the access by car on the narrow streets is only allowed to locals.

View Point on Cleveland Way to Staithes England

Whitby is the largest of the three and, at the same time, the most popular and crowded. It became known after Bram Stocker said that it was the place that inspired him to write the book "Dracula". Many tourists choose this town for the famous fish & chips, for the beach on a hot day or to celebrate Halloween, which is very popular in this area. Every year, on Halloween, the so-called Goth Weekend takes place here, a kind of festival in which many people choose to dress up in different dark characters.

If you want to really enjoy this place, I recommend getting here early in the morning, or choose days during the week, not weekend days. The town becomes extremely crowded, and the sidewalks become cramped, like hyper-crowded bazaars. In addition to the crowding on the streets, the parking lots become cramped, so you can waste a lot of time finding a parking space.


- You can try the traditional fish & chips. Almost all restaurants have it on the menu, it is considered traditional food in England and is nothing more than fried fish in a crust, with fried potatoes;

- Have a ride with a boat on the sea. If you are lucky, you can see dolphins or whales. Tickets can be bought directly from the mini-port located near the mobile bridge;

- You can visit Whitby Monastery, which is actually the ruin of what was once one of the most important churches in England and which laid the foundations of Christianity in this country. The monastery was destroyed by King Henry VIII when he decided to break the ties with Rome. Tickets here.

- Enjoy a coffee on the pirate boat in the harbor. It is located in the area in front of the station and is impossible to miss.

- Walk on the city streets or on the coast. For a walk along the coast, follow the Cleveland Way sign.

- Buy a piece of black stone jewelry, specific to the city, as a souvenir;

- Gin tour with tasting, tickets here;

- If you are passionate about the occult, you can opt for a ghost tour, which takes place in the evening from 20:00. The tour starts near the market, and as a landmark you will see a black sign;

- a few minutes drive from Whitby, there is also a waterfall called Falling Foss. The waterfall is not very impressive, but the location is very green and can be the ideal place if you want to enjoy nature;

Whitby Abbey, Northeast Coast of England
Whitby Abbey


- The Station Inn Whitby- is an accommodation located quite close to the most touristic area of Whitby. Internet is included in the price of the reservation.

- Meadowsweet @ Laneside - accommodation unit near Whitby, in a quiet area, surrounded by lots of greenery.

- The Whalebone Arch - accommodation unit in classic, English houses, with rooms decorated in classic style, close to the tourist area.

view from the stairs of Whitby


England is one of the most ignored countries by tourists, the main reason being the weather, which can ruin your plans. My recommendation, if you want to visit this country, especially the northern part, where it is colder, prepare for wind rather than rain and alternate outdoor activities with indoor ones. Ah, I was about to forget, don't come here in the winter!! Unless you want to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere (I wrote about a location in this area that deserves to be visited at Christmas, Howard Castle, with a short itinerary at the end), otherwise it's not worth it.

Also, if you are a fan of hiking and walking, then you can consider taking the coastal route that connects several towns, including the 3 presented in this article. The hike is called the Cleveland Way and can take a whole day, and the distance is about 20 miles.

If you choose to spend several days here, in the area you can also visit:

- Runswick Bay, a village located on the North Sea Coast, similar to Robin Hood's Bay; - Ravenscar, which shares a beach with Robin Hood's Bay. I recommend it if you want to see grey seals. You need to have a hike to the beach, but it's worth all the effort;

- Goathland - one of the most photogenic stations in the United Kingdom, where during the summer you can enjoy a steam train ride;

- Scarborough, a small town also located on the northeast coast of England. It is bigger than those presented in this article. I recommend visiting this place only if it's nice outside, when it's raining it doesn't have the same vibe;

- York- one of my favorite cities in the UK. You must add it to the itinerary if you arrive in the area; - Leeds - a city that I prefer over the city of Manchester; - Flamborough, a beach with white rocks; - The ruins of Fountains Abbey and Rievaulx Abbey, both destroyed by Henry XVIII;

...and something further away:

- Holy Island, for which you must check the crossing schedule because the road disappears; - Newcastle; - Raby Castle, which also has a deer and roe deer farm; - The Farne Islands, one of the best preserved ecosystems in Europe. Here you can see the magnificent puffins;

- Alnwick Castle - one of the places where Harry Potter was filmed;

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