A short break in Whitby – is caravanning the way forward?

Over the past 16 years we have been fortunate enough to enjoy a foreign holiday a few times a year. We are also creatures of habit and tend to visit places that we enjoy and are familiar with. However, after our last 2 holidays this year – Fuerteventura and Croatia we both came to the same conclusion that we wanted to give them up for a while, apart from Fuerteventura again in January, as we visit a friend who lives there and our flights are already booked!

I think we both got tired of the whole suitcase, airport travel scenario,, plus having moved last December to our lovely new home we love it so much we don’t want to be parted from our home comforts for long! I don’t know if this is an age thing.

The current safety issues and currency challenges from Brexit did not influence or drive  our decision but in some small way they play a part.

So as we approached our 31st Wedding Anniversary, we booked a 4 night break in a caravan in Whitby – at Whitby Holiday Park.

We had walked through this park on a couple of occasions whilst walking part ot The Cleveland Way route from Whitby to Robin Hoods Bay. We always thought it looked lovely, on the clifftops – great views and peaceful.

We chose a Deluxe Caravan, we’re not completely ready to give up any luxury. Our caravan was lovely, had central heating if we required and 2 bathrooms – a main one with a surprisingly large shower and a smaller en-suite loo.

There is a Club and bar on site and we did pay a brief visit 2 nights out of the 4.The club was really nice and the bar well stocked. Staff were friendly. The park was reasonably quiet, although there were may tourers staying. On our second visit we exeuted a smash and grab raid, by this we rolled up around 10pm by taxi – called in the club for a nightcap. It had been quiz night and the Entertainment manager announced that he had one last quiz if everyone was interested. There was a unanimous Yes! He politely asked if we wanted to join in – me being the competitive person I am , plus I love quizzes of any kind said Yes. 30 questions later we were the winners – proudly presented with a box of matchmakers! A final drinks and we left for our lovely caravan proudly clutching said chocolates! Not bad for 40 minutes work!

The caravan park as I said is on the cliff tops, as well as being reached by road from Whitby centre it can be reached on foot too! We walked to and from the town every day apart from the aforesaid taxi return one night, this was after we stayed out to watch my beloved Manchester City in one of the pubs in Whitby! The walk is quite strenuous and takes around 30 minutes. There is a lovely walk along the coastal path to the magnificent ruins of the Abbey and Church of St Mary which can both be seen standing proudly on the East Cliff over the town.

Walk through this lovely churchyard which was founded around 1110, this churchyard is featured in Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Once through the churchyard  there is the feat of the 199 steps that lead down to the cobbled street of old Whitby. Thankfully there are strategically placed benches for the climb up, to aid anyone needing respite to catch their breath. I love that there are small discs in Roman Numerals set into the steps in intervals of 10 counting your progress. There are some magnificent views from the churchyard and steps.

As I am trying to improve my fitness and taken to wearing a pedometer to count my 10000 steps – this held no fear, although I did realise how fit my husband is at nearly 58, he constantly had to wait for me on the uphill climb!

Whitby itself is a popular fishing town that attracts many visitors, it was surprisingly busy even in late September. In my opinion the attraction is the bracing sea air and the fabulous architecture. There is a lot of history attached to the town, most famously the great sailor and explorer Captain James Cook who lived in Whitby as a trainee with a local shipping firm, and Bram Stoker’s Dracula was written after Stoker stayed in Whitby, the town features throughout the novel. Whitby is still a thriving fishing town, the fishing boats can be seen sailing in and out throughout the day and night, their nets lie all around the harbour sitting at the mouth of the River Esk. It was a centre of ship building and a major whaling port in former years.

Another famous attraction of Whitby is it’s fish and chip shops, the town’s fishing fleet catch cod and haddock. The most famous is probably the Magpie Cafe where people queue, even in the rain in peak season to eat it’s famous fish and chips. It has been described by Rick Stein as the best fish and chip shop in Britain. I will devote another post to my review of the  Fish and Chips I’ve tried in the town.

As Whitby is close to the North York Moors national Park and on the Heritage Coastline there is plenty to see and do within a short distance. We have stayed in the town several times and visited a few local places. This time we decided to take a bus ride to Scarborough. It took an hour each way through undulating hills, which challenged the gear boxes and skills of the drivers  of the buses, but afforded lovely views. Scarborough is another historic seaside town and we spent a pleasant few hours there, mainly walking along the sea edge and  around the harbour.

We had our usual ice cream, however a note of caution – the seagulls are very large and very fierce, they will swoop and steal any food or ice cream. I’m not ashamed to say I threw my ice cream in the sand and ran off screaming as one very large gull was hovering above me, squawking and ready to pounce! Other visitors were amused by my antics!

Another day we drove to nearby Goathland, which was the setting for the TV programme Heartbeat, and then we visited Malton. This description and review of our stay mustn’t fail to mention that the caravan park has access to a small enclosed beach, framed by the cliffs, Saltwick Bay. We spent an hour walking on this beach on our wedding anniversary, again another bracing walk u and down many steps to reach it, but once there it was almost deserted, just another couple of people exercising their dogs. It was windy but not cold and lovely. I should imagine it’s a sun trap in the height of summer.

Returning to the original subject of the caravan stay,  our overall opinion is that we are now fans of this type of trip. We could amuse ourselves with sightseeing during the day and return to our lovely home from home at night. We love TV so we could keep up with soaps and drama’s plus there was WiFi so I could browse the internet and social media at leisure plus indulge my other hobby of entering competitions.

There were high winds on a couple of nights and lying in bed listening to the gusts of wing, we did wonder how the caravan stayed so stable. but it did! Also we were pleased to see in the morning that the tourers with their awnings were still all intact.

Weloved it so much that we have booked another caravan holiday for next year, this time to Northumberland, a part of England we have never visited.

Our aim to discover parts of our beautiful Isles is growing along with our wishlist of places to see.

I hope you enjoyed this review, and comments are welcome, maybe there a hidden gem in the British Isles that you recommend? Please feel free to comment or contact me earlyretirementrocks@gmail.com

Diary of An Imperfect Mum







4 thoughts on “A short break in Whitby – is caravanning the way forward?

  1. Ordinary Hopes

    Being from Cornwall, the seagull/icecream story did make make me chuckle!

    I have never been on a caravan holiday and am unlikely to as my husband has too many unpopular memories of annual caravan holidays from his childhood! I am sure things have improved a lot from those days but he is stuck fast!

    I look forward to following more of your travels.


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