Tourists on a path overlooking colourful beach huts, the coast and harbour piers at Whitby, North Yorkshire, UK - taken on a sunny day at the end of summer

Alan Morris/Getty

Whitby Sands


Whitby Sands, stretching west from the harbour mouth, offers donkey rides, ice-cream vendors and bucket-and-spade escapades, though the sand is mostly covered at high tide. The beach can be reached on a path from Whitby Pavilion, or from West Cliff via the cliff lift, an elevator that has been in service since 1931.

Atop the cliff at the beach's east end, the Captain Cook Monument shows the great man looking out to sea, often with a seagull perched on his head. Nearby is the Whalebone Arch, which recalls Whitby's days as a whaling port.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Whitby attractions

1. Bram Stoker Memorial Seat

0.21 MILES

The Bram Stoker memorial seat is on Khyber Pass; look for the bench furthest from the Whale Bone Arches, which is more battered than the rest. From here,…

2. Whitby Jet Heritage Centre

0.34 MILES

A museum housing the remains of Whitby's last Victorian jet workshop lies at the bottom of the 199 steps, with original tools rescued from a derelict…

3. Museum of Whitby Jet

0.35 MILES

Housed inside a 1901 chapel, this small museum has created a temple to Whitby jet – one of the town’s most prized exports, a gothic icon, and a favourite…

4. St Mary's Church

0.42 MILES

The 199 steps of Church Stairs lead steeply up from the end of Church St, passing the spooky graveyard of St Mary's Church, a favourite haunt of Goth…

5. Whitby Museum

0.42 MILES

Set in a park to the west of the town centre is the wonderfully eclectic Whitby Museum, with displays of fossil plesiosaurs and dinosaur footprints,…

6. Captain Cook Memorial Museum

0.43 MILES

This fascinating museum occupies the house of the ship owner with whom Cook began his seafaring career. Highlights include the attic where Cook lodged as…

7. Endeavour Experience Whitby

0.46 MILES

In 2018, a full-size replica of Captain Cook’s HM Bark Endeavour became a permanent fixture in Whitby harbour and opened to the public as a visitor…

8. Whitby Abbey

0.52 MILES

There are ruined abbeys, and there are picturesque ruined abbeys. And then there's Whitby Abbey, dominating the skyline above the East Cliff like a great…