Have been to some British towns, yet none of them is quite like Whitby.

Whitby, a seaside town in North Yorkshire, England that sits at the mouth of River Esk; seemingly merely full of fish and chips, yet always more than that! This time I picked three spots in Whitby, classic but unique, and be certain that you’d love them!

Whitby Abbey

This time I lodged at YHA Whitby, a neighbour of Whitby Abbey. Every morning I saw it standing upon the highland and mirroring the lighthouse far on the east side, every evening I saw it wrapped by the glow of golden hour. Whitby Abbey is Gothic ruins of 1500 years of history, founded in AD 657 by King Oswy of Northumbria. What we see today is the remain after the Norman Conquest. Whitby Abbey is most well-known for the English poet, Cædmon, ‘the earliest English poet whose name is known’. It was in this area, then called Streaneshalch, Cædmon lived and invented one of the first fragments of English verse; and fairly interestingly, under an unconscious circumstance. Without any instrumental preference, he stayed every night at where he thought ‘the harping coming his way’. He was referred to as, by Tom Nancollas in ‘Caedmon, Whitby and Early English Poetry’, a ‘harp-dodging middle-aged everyman’. Turning from an everyday man to an accomplished poet, as what goes on in most heroic adventures, took Cædmon only one night. On an ultimately surprising night he was in a dream asked by a man to sing everything he knew about creation. Although feeling incapable of doing so, he sang ‘verses in praise of God’ that he had never heard before. ‘Cædmon’s hymn’ is forever read in the form of English literature.

Magpie Café

Magie Café is a seafood restaurant built in 1937 in the spirit of a eighteenth-century merchant’s house. Recommend: the fish and chips! According to English celebrity chef, Rich Stein, this restaurant is ‘the place that opened my eyes to how good a chip shop could be’. Stein’s praise was valid. The cod was perfectly fresh, the chips well-seasoned and crispy–a pure incarnation of what you hope a fish and chips could be like in its best. For those who prefer eating surrounded by the sea view to waiting in a long queue for seats indoor, the take away shop is available, just right next to the main restaurant.

The Whitby Bookshop

Perhaps inherited from Cædmon’s literary relation to this place, bookshops in Whitby are always within reach. Yet of all of them, it’s The Whitby Bookshop that remains for me the most ideally cosy corner to nourish my literary imagination. This bookshop has 2 stairs of collection, with full range of classic, memoir, picture book, and something of practical use, such as culinary and gradening books. The staff here is fairly friendly, working like elegant busy bees with the dimly yellow light weighed upon them. In the midst of wintertime, threatened by the windy-like chill, go grab a book from The Whitby Bookshop. Sneak into any of the family-run little cafes where everyone knows everyone. Let your mind soaked into literary vibe mixing with picturesque town view!

So, Whitby is my ‘nothing quite like here’, share below what’s yours!


Header Image © | Whitby Abbey

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