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Whitby Abbey and beach

2/10  Best for a cultural trip

YHA Whitby

Coastal properties don’t get much grander than this Grade I-listed mansion on the headland. Located right next door to Whitby Abbey, the hostel enjoys remarkable views of the ruins. Guaranteed to capture the imaginations of little ones, the monastic majesty of the seventh-century Abbey makes a magical backdrop to a wonderful weekend on North Yorkshire’s Heritage Coast.

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When you stay at YHA Whitby you'll enjoy free entry to the abbey – on a family ticket that’s a saving of nearly £20. Beyond the Abbey you’ll find the Church of Saint Mary, the graveyard of which will be familiar territory for fans of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. From the church, descend the 199 steps onto the cobbled streets of the old town. You’ll be met with quaint narrow streets filled with quirky shops and cosy cafes. For a taste of tradition visit Fortune’s smokehouse and enjoy authentic Whitby kippers. Over the bridge you’ll find the bright lights, amusements, candy floss, fish and chips and all round fun of the new town. Continue on towards the prom and don’t miss a quick stop in the free entry RNLI museum.

Whitby has two beaches, one either side of the River Esk. There’s a small sheltered beach to the east but the main attraction is the sweeping stretch of sand to the west with its colourful beach huts, deckchair hire and children’s paddling pool.

There’s only one way to end the day, and that’s with fish and chips. Return to the hostel to sample hand-battered and freshly fried delights in the licensed restaurant. At many YHAs (and Whitby is one of them) kids under 10 eat free. Just purchase an adult meal and you’ll get a child’s meal for free.

Family ensuite rooms start from £39 and sleep between two and six people, including some with a double bed.

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