Whitby Abbey

Things To See and Do

Welcome to Whitby Abbey

We have introduced limits on visitor numbers to help keep everyone safe, and you won’t be able to visit without your booking confirmation. If you’re a Member, your ticket will be free, but you still need to book in advance. To book your visit, click the button below.

Although things might be a little different when you visit, you’ll still be able to enjoy exploring the places where history really happened. And you’ll still be given a warm and safe welcome by our friendly – if socially distant – staff and volunteers.

Please click here for more information about the safety measures you can expect when visiting as well as our FAQs

  • Site entrance - All visitor access is now via the Headland car park entrance. If you approach the site via the 199 steps, please follow the abbey curtain wall round to the entrance.
  • Abbey - The Abbey and grounds will be open with a one way system in operation.
  • Museum - The exhibition will be open.
  • Shop - The shop will be open for ticket holders only.
  • Toilets - The Council operated toilets near the site entrance are open as usual. The visitor centre toilets remain closed.
  • Summer Explorer Quest - This summer, from 18 July, take your family on a free fun adventure quest. Dowload your trail map here.
  • Face coverings - Face coverings must be worn in Whitby Abbey's indoor shop and all other indoor spaces. We won't be able to give you a face covering so please come prepared so you don't miss out.

Book your visit

A walk through History

When you visit the abbey you’ll be following in the footsteps of many influential and creative people. Over the centuries, the abbey’s haunting ruins have inspired religious leaders, artists, writers and poets.

Among them was St Hild, a pioneering abbess. She hosted the 7th century Synod of Whitby at the abbey, where church leaders decided the English Church should follow Roman rather than Celtic practices - establishing the Roman method of calculating the date of Easter that is still in use today. Legend also has it that St Hild chased snakes away from the abbey, and that her righteous rage turned them into stone. 

History of Whitby Abbey

Visitor Centre & Museum

The visitor centre is housed in a 17th-century mansion. Inside you’ll find a new museum that tells the story of the abbey with the help of objects like Anglo-Saxon crosses, medieval manuscripts and even a rare signed copy of Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’.

There’s also a shop in the visitor centre – it’s the perfect place to pick up a memento of your visit. If you’re feeling thirsty, head to the new coffee shop, just by the entrance. 

 

Opening times

Family Fun & Events

There’s plenty for families to do at the abbey. Explore its hidden history by going on the The Ammonite Quest and discover Whitby Abbey’s hidden history through some of the objects and lost buildings that people once used.

Roam the wide open spaces of the abbey grounds, enjoy a relaxing picnic and play hide and seek among the ruins. Family activities and events take place during the school holidays, including Easter quests, Dracula performances and our ever popular Viking battles.  

Family Guide
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