Whitby Abbey

Photo by Kevin Cornman

High on the clifftop above the town stand the gaunt, imposing remains of Whitby Abbey. Founded in 657 by St Hilda, The Abbey has over the years been a bustling settlement, a kings' burial place, the setting for a historic meeting between Celtic and Roman clerics, the home of saints including the poet Caedmon, and inspiration for Bram Stoker, author of Dracula. Follow the photo link to Kevin Cornman's Flickr page which has a superb history of the Abbey.

Climb the 199 steps to discover how over 2,000 years of history make the Abbey one of England's most important archaeological sites. There are several "landings" beside the steps, originally built to enable pallbearers to rest on their way up to St Mary's graveyard, but they now have benches to give you a chance to catch your breath! At the new interactive visitor centre you can view archaeological finds and enjoy spectacular audio-visual displays. Click on the photo below for a programme of special events:

The Abbey Visitor Centre

This superb picture by local amateur photographer Jim Evans really captures the Gothic atmosphere of the Abbey.