It's beautiful. Not a place where I would live (there's no Primark, HMV, or Waterstones) but lovely to visit and a great place for future settings.
We parked in an area that is completely surrounded by hotels all facing the sea. Can you just imagine what it would be like to wake up in a hotel room and go straight to the window where you have the ocean out in front of you? Gorgeous. The coast is quite curvy so when you look out you can see other land in the distance, watching the Yorkshire coast stretch out into the horizon.
Whitby was like a cluster. There's this open space where the car park was with hotels stuck to each other and lots of green space for small family attractions. And then you get steps that lead down into the harbour where the main shops, houses, arcades and restaurants are all situated. At the harbour people stay at the rails to do some crabbing (must do that next time) or lurk around the fish market eating the compulsory seaside cuisine, fish and chips. In England fish and chips at the seaside or any kind of seafood is practically the law. So while there's the fresh sea air around there is also the lurking smell of fish and chips cooking and the raw fish from the market. The raw fish... probably not the best smell around. This is all on the west side of Whitby.
The east side of Whitby is across a bridge that is chaotic with people crossing, cars crossing, and even boats cross. The bridge will be closed now and again to let the big boats through and I can just imagine how irritating that might be if you're on your way to work. But the east side is interesting with it's alternative shops. Quite a lot of New Age-y and gothic type shops, all selling gifts and souvenirs. There are even more cafes and fish and chip restaurants on this side with some lovely little ice cream parlours. I never really saw your well-known brand shops like Clinton cards or WH Smiths. They all seem very independent to Whitby. And this east side is also the path to the well-known Abbey.
To get there it's quite a walk. Whether you take another way near to people's houses or the 199 steps you're going to be faced with a steep walk that will get you out of breath. Most of Whitby was quite hilly and steep so make sure you're very fit before visiting. Also, don't climb these steps straight after food. But as soon as you get to the top it's worth it, just to see the view:
And to see the abbey. In the day time it looks like an open spaced, green, family friendly area. There are special maps to do for the children and heritage events for them. Famous faces of British history are lurking around the abbey. Even Dracula! The town thrives on its connection to Dracula and every tourist shop has Dracula merchandise and the book on sale.
And I can bet you at night when the sun goes down and there's mist from the ocean coming in that Whitby Abbey is a haunting view:
A lovely town with an eerie, supernatural connection. With a few ghosties settling there as well this setting could be perfect for that next supernatural horror novel.