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Whitby is a quaint village on the Eastern English coast. At the top of the town sits an old ruined abbey, like a guardian angel overlooking the town. While most people come to Whitby to visit the abbey, here are five other reasons I recommend Whitby for your kids.
1. Walking everywhere.
We walked out of our Airbnb and looked out onto a small cobblestone street so narrow a single car could barely fit. One of the things that I love about Whitby is that it is mainly pedestrians. Living in Atlanta, where the closest store is a fifteen minute drive away, it was a refreshing change to be able to walk everywhere. Walking down the street, making a sharp right turn before the main road, we crossed the bridge, pausing to look at ships. Time your walk right and you’ll be able to see the bridge open to let taller ships pass. Just don’t get caught on the bridge! Continuing on, we stopped at a Co-op supermarket where we were able to buy groceries and replenish our energy with delicious chicken pasties. On this side of Whitby you can stroll to the James Cook Memorial Museum, food vendors, a sandy beach, and a unique playground. Though this section of Whitby is worth taking a look at, it does have a somewhat steep hill, so be prepared.
2. Playing on a long, sandy beach at the base of a cliff.
Whitby has two great beaches: a sandy beach, and a rocky beach. The sandy beach is on the side of Whitby opposite the abbey, so we went over the bridge and down the ramp to get to the beach. There were rocks to climb on near the cliff, so we climbed up on those. I played near the water, letting the waves spray me. On this beach you can build sand castles, dig moats, and much more. It is fairly flat, so you can play games that need a flat area, such as ball games.
3. Hunting fossils.
Ahoy, all you fossil-loving people! Whitby is simply a haven of sea glass and fossils. Numerous people have found fossils and they come in all shapes and sizes. We found crinoids mostly, but also ammonites. We even found the imprint of a shell on a rock! Across the street from where we were staying, there was a stone staircase leading down to a rocky beach. During our stay we often went down there to hunt for treasure. I collected a whole bag full of sea glass, including red and blue pieces.
4. Browsing quaint little shops all along the streets.
Whitby’s streets are lined with shops of various colors, shapes, and sizes, and their insides vary as much as their outsides. Down the street from our Airbnb we discovered a little ice cream shop. We made our way through a maze of chairs to order ice cream and were presented with a very hard decision: how were we ever to decide which flavor to choose? Each person finally determined a flavor and we walked on, this time burdened (or were we?) with ice cream cones. Another day we entered a book store. The back of of the store was raised and had more shelves with a platform to display books on, and there we spent a pleasant time looking at books. Once the display window of a chocolate store, splendidly arranged with various candies, captured our attention, and we went inside to gaze at them. The toy store and trinket shop were visited also, and held an equal amount of charm. If you go to Whitby, you will no doubt spend time at a store such as one of these.
5. Enjoying a really cool playground.
Crossing the bridge one day, we decided to explore the other section of town. Walking up the hill, we came upon a playground. Jeremy and I jumped onto a teeter-totter that went up and around instead of up and down. It also had a couple play ships that we played on. Jeremy scaled a pole while I swung on a big mesh swing I could lie down in. This playground has a climbing area, a place for smaller children, and several benches.
This isn’t even all of what Whitby has to offer. I haven’t mentioned the 199 steps to climb to visit the stunning abbey ruins. Plus, we didn’t even make it to the James Cook Museum. There’s plenty to do in Whitby.
Written and contributed by Nadia, age 10