Autumn in Whitby and the Esk Valley
We're into the second week of October, the summer holidays feel like a distant memory. The cooler air of autumn has arrived, along with the audible rustle of leaves soon to be shed.
In our opinion, there is no bad time to visit the Esk Valley, Whitby and the North York Moors. While we may miss the bright greens and blue skies of summer, autumn brings new colours to the valley as the leaves turn to browns, oranges and golds.
And as the saying goes, there's no such things as bad weather, just the wrong clothing!
If you're a keen walker, or just like being in the peace and quiet of the countryside now is the time to plan your visit to Yorkshire. Here are our top tips for the next few weeks - from family-friendly activities, to local events to places to eat and drink, we hope you'll be inspired to visit the Whitby area this autumn:
Things to Do and Places to Go
Whitby is a great location from which to explore the North Yorkshire coastline, moorland, market towns and cities. Here are some suggestions of places to go and things to do over the coming weeks:
Have you enjoyed ITV's recent drama Victoria? Castle Howard featured as Kensington Palace - one of many reasons to visit this wonderful historic home and its wonderful gardens. Castle Howard is about a 50 minute drive from Whitby - so it makes a very pleasant day out and you could always fit in some shopping at Monk's Cross on the outskirts of York - or even a quick trip into the city centre for a meal, or perhaps the theatre, while you're in the vicinity:
Perched high on a cliff, it's easy to see why the haunting remains of Whitby Abbey were inspiration for Bram Stoker's gothic tale of 'Dracula'. Sink your teeth into years of history, amazing views and a packed events programme, just a short climb away from the picturesque Yorkshire seaside town of Whitby.
Goathland and Grosmont (for the trains!)
10 reasons to plan a trip to the railway:
- How your visit supports the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Trust
- See 24 miles of Yorkshire’s amazing scenery
- Travel behind a Heritage Steam Locomotive
- Step back in time and Explore the Stations - themed throughout the different steam eras
- On holiday What to do whilst visiting North Yorkshire
- Journey behind a Heritage Diesel Engine and experience the sounds and smells of the workhorses of Britain’s railways
- Experience an unforgettable meal on the Pullman Dining Train
- Stay in our Railway Camping Coaches
- Peter's Railway Young Engineer's Centre for kids
- NEW Watch Live Webcam at Grosmont Station
Robin Hood's Bay
What's not to love? Beach, cliffs, cosy pubs, cafes and restaurants - ice cream and fish and chips! The perfect day out for the whole family.
Dalby Forest is situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park. The southern part of the forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a 'Rigg and Dale' landscape whilst to the north the forest sits on the upland plateau.
Based just a short walk from Adderstone Field and the World Cup Car Park Dalby Activity Centre can host an exciting day or half day of outdoor activities and/or paintball. Take a look and book at our Dalby Activity Centre page.
If you are hungry or thirsty after your forest adventure call in at the Visitor Centre where you will find Dalby Forest Cafe. The cafe is open 7 days a week, for catering enquiries please call 01751 460077.
Head out and try the range of bike trails around the forest. Drop into Dalby Bike Barn for cycles, repairs, courses and bike advice. Contact Dalby Bike Barn on 01751 460049. You can also hire electric bikes, perfect for exploring the forest drive or green cycle routes.
The North York Moors
The North York Moors is a special place, forged by nature, shaped over generations – where peace and beauty rub shoulders with a rich history and a warm welcome.
Local Events and Festivals
Whitby and area hosts a wide array of events and festivals throughout the year, here's some of what's coming up over the next few weeks:
Musicport Festival - 21st, 22nd & 23rd October 2016
Musicport was established in 2000 to promote live music and music education in Whitby and the surrounding area with its primary event being Musicport World Music Festival each autumn.
Over the last ten years the festival has grown year on year and has established itself as a prestigious event in the festival calendar attracting major names such as Rachid Taha, The Buena Vista Social Club presents Cachaito Lopez etc, Toumani Diabate, Levellers,Misty In Roots, Courtney Pine, Talvin Singh, Richard Hawley, Hugh Masekela, Chumbawamba, Altan, Mory Kante, Osibisa, Kate & Anna McGarrigle, & Los De Abajo.
2008 saw a major change with the festival moving to Bridlington from Whitby but in 2012 it returned to its spiritual home in Whitby where it will remain.
The Illuminated Abbey - 26th, 27th, 28th & 29th October 2016
Cast light on a dark history! See Bram Stoker's inspiration in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations. As you explore its gothic splendour, our costumed characters will introduce the darker side of the past with tales of grave robbing and witch trials. You can also experience a live performance of Dracula to complete your visit. Halloween fancy dress encouraged!
Whitby Goth Weekend - 4th, 5th & 6th November 2016
Founded in 1994, Whitby Goth Weekend has become one of the world's premier goth events, bringing thousands of visitors to the town every year.
Whitby Christmas Market - 19th & 20th November 2016
Whitby's Christmas festival will be held on the 18th 19th and 20th of November 2016. The event will open on Friday evening with the annual switch on of the towns Christmas lights which will be followed by a 10 minute firework display. There will be numerous stalls and attractions at various locations around the town throughout the whole weekend.
Whitby Winterfest - 2nd, 3rd & 4th December 2016
The mission of the Whitby WinterFest is to bring together, demonstrate and celebrate the nature, values, capacity and potential of the unique community that is Whitby and the Esk Valley in both its historical and present day form. Making use of the entire Spa Pavilion Complex, Whitby Winterfest looks set to become Whitby's premier Winter festival, featuring food & drink, crafts, gifts, music and all kinds of festive fun.
Local Food and Drink
Whitby has a long heritage of producing excellent food and drink - here are some local highlights:
The Whitby Brewery
Whitby Brewery has been producing delightfully delicious Yorkshire ales since 2013. The brewery itself was built by hand by local Whitby craftsmen and has proven to be perfect for brewing cracking Yorkshire ales.
The Whitby Deli
The Whitby Deli is situated in the heart of the famous Yorkshire coastal town.
The Whitby Deli kitchen, serves up a broad range of local produce from our seasonal menu with daily specails, which can be enjoyed in our vibrant dining area or taken away with you. We serve the best coffee in town, perfect to be paired with a slice of one of our homemade cakes.
At The Whitby Deli we try to showcase the best of Yorkshires produce. Our deli shelves are packed to the rafters with our award winning own label chutneys, jams and preserves alongside sweet and savoury treats, artisan chocolates and food cupboard essentials. We also stock a wide range of Gluten Free products including pork pies & pasta.
The Whitby Cheese Company
Buttery-smooth, full-bodied lingering flavour, xheesemaker Elizabeth uses local Jersey cow's milk and traditional cheesemaking skills to give Whitby Cheese its distinctive signature traits. Made in the heart of Whitby from a micro dairy on the east side of town below the Abbey, Whitby Cheese is founded on old family recipes.
Our delicious jellies are great accompaniments to have with most meat and fish dishes. It goes without saying that our Mint Jelly is a must to have with some nice slow roasted lamb and especially with 'Yorkshire Pudding'. They can bring that extra flavour to a good hearty soup or can be used to enhance gravy for that special professional taste.
A Ploughman's Lunch with a choice piece of cheese can be transformed into a gastronomic delight. Some tell us that our Beetroot Jelly with a slice of chocolate cake is divine. There are so many ways that our Jellies can be enjoyed and we would love to hear of your favourite choice. Watch out for new flavours in our range of 'Just Jelly' to widen the experience.
Since 1865, Elizabeth Botham & Sons has been a family run craft bakery in the ancient port of Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. Following their original recipes, the finest ingredients are skilfully combined to produce a wide range of bakery products from Biscuits, Plum Bread and Cakes to Pork Pies.