I first visited Whitby when I was not even 10 years old. We stayed at Sandsend, in a little cottage just up the hill. When I think back to those times I just have warm memories of simple pleasures paddling in the rock pool, swimming in the sea, playing cricket on the beach with my dad and brother and everyone else who wanted to, going into Whitby and enjoying the evening and a bag of chips.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve revisited Whitby over the years. It draws me back through all of life’s ups and downs. I returned many times with my parents to the same cottage in Sandsend. And When i left home to go to university my parents went there with my younger brother and I joined them. When I started work I dated girlfriends and took them to the delights of Whitby. Indeed I dated my wife there walking through Sandsend and pointing out the pleasures of my childhood.
When my own children were young I would get in the car and drive to Whitby. They got to know it as well as I have done. I can’t remember when I first went to the magpie cafe to have their incomparable fish and chips but it is now a compulsory part of any visit there. In some respects I prefer Whitby in the winter when it is quiet and on a clear, cold, crisp winters’ day you can walk through the centre unhurried by the tourist traffic and enjoy the same pleasures of window shopping and the beautiful vista of the abbey ruins on the hill made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel always brings such pleasure to see.
My last visit to Whitby was just two weeks ago when my two children, now adults, took me for a surprise birthday weekend and we stayed in a lovely little fisherman’s cottage to once again revisit the delights of this wonderful place.