196, 197, 198, 199. I could hear my photographer counting as we headed up hill to a very exciting place. Whitby Abbey, a place probably best known for its links to Dracula.
I sat in the handbag of doom to ride up the 199 steps, mainly so I could enjoy the view. Visiting on a bright sunny day allowed a clear view for miles around. I enjoyed watching the boats best, did you know there are pirate ships in Whitby?
I was a bit earlier than expected. Turns out my photographer is rather good at walking up stairs (unlike me). There is also a bus and a car park at the top of the hill, so anyone with mobility issues can also enjoy the Abbey.
I chose to sit next to the wall and enjoy the view of the town and the ocean. St Mary’s church is a grade 1 listed building. Some of you may have heard of the church as it is rumoured to be where a rather famous vampire is buried. Bram Stoker was inspired by Whitby when he wrote about Dracula. I know many stories are born of truth, so I read each of the gravestones, sadly no Dracula. Maybe I would spot him in the Abbey.
I had been given a discount code for tickets into the Abbey, which I chose to book online via English Heritage (a perk of having the Marks and Spencer sparks app). Though there were no queues so i could have easily paid on the day. One thing I hate about buying tickets online is the lack of actually getting a ticket to keep.
I chose to enter up an old set of stairs, but there is another entrance via a lift in the museum. It brought me up to the main alter. I have been to a few ruined Abbeys and Whitby is one of the best preserved. It was a rather grand entrance, and surprisingly rather empty. Surprisingly, the busy streets didn’t mean a busy tourist site. I was met with peace and tranquillity (I know I sound like a broken record).
If the weather hadn’t been so sunny, it would have had an eerie atmosphere. Perfect for spooky season. I headed through the old stones to a more built up area of the Abbey. I noticed a few humans standing in a corner looking confused. As an Adventursaurus I couldn’t help myself. I just had to see what was going on. There was some very scary noises coming from the top of the stairs. Luckily, there was a gated door to stop any monsters from coming out. You’ll have to visit my Instagram to hear the scary noise and let me know what you think it could be!
It was cold under the arched ceiling so I sneaked through an ancient doorway back into the sunshine. It was so warm, the site was reminiscent of a holiday abroad (if anyone can remember what they were like).
Having survived my scary encounter, I decided I had earned a seat on a bench in the sunshine. Choosing to follow a path towards the pond, I found an empty seat. Many swifts were diving into the pond. I tried to spot what they were saying but I was too slow. The Abbey reflected perfectly on the water when the birds weren’t flying about.
There are lots of paths to take through the long grass. I was in heaven, especially since I could hide in the long grass, then jump out and scare my photographer. The Abbey looked beautiful from every angle. I can see why it has been inspiring artists since 657 ad.
I was lucky to have the site to myself for an hour or two. But, sadly a giant crowd of humans with cameras appeared. I had nearly finished my loop of the grounds so I chose to head back to the museum. There is a lot of history in one area, sadly no dinosaurs, but it was founded by a woman. A woman who founded a monastery which was once once of the most important religious sites in the world. I think this should be taught to girls as a reminder of what they can achieve. There was also a lot of old stone faces and heads which had been excavated, one of which looked scarily like my photographer. Sadly my photographer wouldn’t let me share which one!
Sadly, my day in Whitby was coming to a close and it was time for the long drive home. I can’t believe there is such an interesting place in the coast of Yorkshire. Travelling around England has its perks and I can’t wait to find some more hidden gems.
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