I boarded the bus in Saltburn in direction of Scarborough and already this through the stunning North Yorkshire moors was an amazing experience!
I had planned to visit Whitby Abbey but on the way through the harbour, I saw several boat trips and just had to take two – one through the harbour and then another one on the old Lifeboat along the coast. I do recommend both!
Whitby is a fishing town on the coast of North Yorkshire. The earliest known settlement was in 656 named Streanæshealh, when Oswy, the Christian king of Northumbria, founded the first abbey.
Whitby was a fishing settlement until the 18th century when it developed as a port and centre for shipbuilding and whaling. Trading the locally mined alum and the manufacture of Whitby jet jewellery.
Fishing still seems to play an important part, fresh fish was offered everywhere. And then there where all the people along the harbour and the coast trying to catch crayfish with some kind of cord. Lots of them seemed to be very successful and had filled buckets.
The River Esk flows due North through the centre of the town dividing it into East and West Sides, linked by the renowned ”swing-bridge”.
Whitby isn’t only known for its crayfish and the abbey, but also for its famous explorer Captain James Cook, the very first Anglo Saxon poet Cædmon and from Bram Stocker´s “Dracula”!
“This is a lovely place. The little River Esk runs through a deep valley which broadens out as it comes near the harbour… The houses of the old town are all red-roofed and seem piled up one after the other anyhow…Right over the town is the ruin of the Abbey, a noble ruin of immense size. Between it and the town is another church, the Parish one, round which is a big graveyard, all full of tombstones. It descends so steeply over the harbour that part of the bank has fallen away, and some of the graves have been destroyed.” (“Dracula” Bram Stocker 1859)
James Cook was born near Middlesbrough and moved later to Whitby to become a trainee with a local shipping firm. He joined the Royal Navy and two of the ships he used for his expeditions were built in Whitby. Today there is a small replica of the HMS Endeavour offering boat trips along the coast and another replica is moored in the harbour.
The Old Lifeboat – I choose that one for my second boat trip. Luckily both trips were only 3Pounds each.
The Old Lifeboat
The “Mary Ann Hepworth” went on service on April 11th 1938 and served until 1974 when a new lifeboat started its duty.
Barry Snedden, a former crewman of the old lifeboat and still working as a lifeguard along the coast of Whitby, bought her in 1988, brought her back to Whitby and restored her to her former glory.
Barry definitely has fun doing his boat trips! And he has many stories to tell, you don´t want to miss this!