The colourful UK coastal town of Whitby is packed with character: cobbled streets are lined with independent, unusual shops and cafés, leading to the hilltop Whitby Abbey. This Yorkshire seaside town is known for its Gothic culture, including links to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and its hotels are aptly historical and quirky – these are our best picks, bookable on Culture Trip.
It doesn’t get more enchanting than this 1516 Tudor manor house, which retains many original features, including beamed ceilings and carvings on the stone walls. Bedrooms continue this theme, sporting classical designs, with chesterfield sofas and original fireplaces. After your slumber in a sumptuous four-poster bed, head downstairs for a breakfast of Fortunes Whitby kippers.
This country house hotel, in the quaint rural village of Goathland, boasts suites with traditional decor and views over the Esk Valley. Book in for dinner at their award-winning Valley View restaurant, serving seasonal local produce from the North York Moors; highlights include pan-fried lamb rump and curried cod loin. Cocktail lover? Try the Moorlander – Whitby Gin, Pimm’s, lemon juice and gommes – before switching to champagne bellinis.
Dillons of Whitby is proud to call itself the only B&B in central Whitby that’s recommended by the Michelin Guide. This five-star, adults-only hotel cinched its recognition through an award-winning breakfast and characterful rooms, fit with all mod cons, which take inspiration from global destinations. The Toulouse, an ode to France, features French doors that open up to a private balcony, while the Zanzibar nods to the tropics with bright design details. All rooms are united by luxurious Molton Brown toiletries and fluffy towels and bathrobes.
Feel at home in this spacious, open-plan two-bedroom apartment, perfect for families or small groups. Whitby Harbour Retreat is an ideal base for exploring, with Whitby town, Sandsend Beach and many cultural landmarks nearby, including the Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby Lighthouse and Whitby Museum. Back at the peaceful retreat, do nothing but watch boats bob on the calm shores of the River Esk.
Choose this Grade II-listed former shipbuilder’s residence, built in 1785, for an eclectic Whitby stay. Each room at this Georgian hotel, near Pannett Park, is fit with chandeliers and big bright windows, and uniquely nods to White Linen Whitby’s maritime heritage through themes including adventure, discovery and upper deck. Expect thoughtful touches here from the friendly owners who are known to leave treats in the rooms.
History lover? You’ll be fascinated with this Georgian Manor, built in 1790, once home to Margaret Campion, the first female banker in Britain. The B&B dedicates its suites – including single, twin and superior rooms – to former Whitby residents, like Bram Stoker, author of Dracula, explorer Captain James Cook and seascape artist George Weatherill. Enjoy Arundel House’s harbour views, its position opposite Pannett Park and hearty breakfasts with vegan options.
Test your party’s trustworthiness with a visit to Ruswarp Hall’s snug honesty bar. This is one of the adult-only hotel’s highlights, along with its daily continental breakfast and close proximity to the train station. Visiting Whitby to clock up your daily steps? The hotel, occupying a 400-year-old Jacobean country hall, is just a stone’s throw from North Yorkshire Moors National Park, featuring almost 100 trails.
It’s said that British explorers Captain Cook and William Scoresby used to frequent the White Horse & Griffin, a rustic pub with a neighbouring Grade II-listed cottage. Make like the duo with a pint by the pub-hotel’s open fire, before tucking into posh Sunday lunch or honey and orange roast sea bass from its bistro-style restaurant, prided on using local ingredients. Plump for the Helga Maria room, outfitted with trendy bare brick walls and floor-length drapes.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.