17 March 2022
The ruins of Whitby Abbey are among the most visited spots here on the North Yorkshire Coast and home to a rich tapestry of history.
The first monastery on-site (founded in around 657) became an important religious community in the Anglo-Saxon world and in 664 it was the setting for the Synod of Whitby, a landmark in the story of the Church in England.
The cliff face is now dominated by a shell of the Benedictine monastery founded after the Norman Conquest, which in the 13th century was rebuilt in the iconic Gothic style.
Today you can follow in the footsteps of artists, writers and spiritual leaders to explore the soaring ruins, take in the surrounding sea views and uncover centuries of antiquity via an interactive guide.
You can also visit the recently revamped museum to find out more about how the abbey inspired Caedmon (the first named English poet) and Bram Stoker, author of Dracula.
There is plenty for families to see and do here, from uncovering hidden history on an Ammonite Quest to a whole host activities and events that take place during the school holidays, including Easter egg hunts, performances and ever popular Viking battles.
It’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy Whitby’s famed fish and chips atop the 199 steps. In fact, there has been lots of debate whether there are in fact 199 at all, as some records state there are 198 steps and others 200. How many can you count?
Here at Thirley Cotes Farm we’re only a 25 minute drive from Whitby and perfectly situated to explore the neighbouring towns and villages, such as Scarborough and Robin Hood’s Bay.