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About

Whitby Abbey’s Gothic style ruins sit on the Whitby clifftops overlooking the sea in North Yorkshire, England. Abbess Hild originally started the monastery for men and women in 657 AD. Subsequently, the abbey became an important centre of religion in Anglo-Saxon times. Significantly, the monastery was the host of the synod meeting in 664 to decide the date of Easter. This meeting shaped the direction of the English church by following a Roman catholic date. In the 9th century, the monastery fled the abbey due to Dutch raids. After this, the abbey was abandoned until 1078 when a Benedictine monk established a new monastery. In 1539, Henry VIII declared dissolution of Benedictine monasteries. However, the remains of the abbey can still be seen on the headland today. Whitby Abbey has since inspired many artists and writers, including Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

What is there to do at Whitby Abbey?

Whitby Abbey in North Yorkshire, England is a historic venue with lots to explore. Here you can discover the abbey’s extensive Gothic ruins full of history. This history includes being the site of the synod meeting which determined the English church would follow Roman rather than Celtic practice. Additionally, the abbey’s remains overlook the picturesque Whitby coastline and town. Visitors are welcome to picnic here. As well as this, there is a visitor centre which is home to a museum with the history of the abbey, Also, the museum at Whitby Abbey holds historic objects including a signed copy of Dracula. Here you will also find the a gift shop. The abbey hosts family activities and events during school holidays.

For more information about a visit to Whitby Abbey, click here.

Accessibility

Whitby Abbey’s site is mostly grass, but there is a smooth pathway on some areas. The abbey has step free access from the carpark. Additionally, there is a ramp up to and through the ruins. In terms of the museum, there is a ramped entrance and 3 accessible parking bays nearby. As well as this, there is 4 accessible parking behind the abbey ruins. Also, there is seating around the abbey ruins.

Sensory experience whilst at the abbey includes wave sounds, sea bird noises and a smell of the sea. The museum is inside so noise levels may vary depending on how busy it is. A map of the abbey is available online to help prepare for your visit.

For more information on days out in Whitby and Yorkshire, visit the Eric Knows website.

Q Is there free parking?

Q Are dogs allowed at the venue?

Q Can I prebook my ticket?

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  • Monday10:00 AM - 05:00 PM
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