Situated on the Yorkshire coastline and looking out at the dramatic waves of the North Sea, Whitby is a picturesque little English town that contains many reasons to visit it.
With a Gothic abbey on the cliffs above, many small streets to explore, and stunning coastlines to see, there are many things to do in Whitby for couples.
It’s location makes it a great place to stop by while seeing what else Yorkshire has to offer, and it’s one of the best day trips from York or other nearby cities.
Staying in Whitby is also one of our top recommended coastal breaks in the UK for couples, as it encapsulates the perfect British seaside town experience.
If you’re seeking out a romantic weekend away or just looking to explore this part of the country, check out these top recommendations of activities and places to visit.
1. Discover the ruins of Whitby Abbey
The key landmark that draws many visitors to Whitby every year is the abbey perched atop the cliffs looking over the town. Climbing the 199 steps up to it is well worth the effort both for the views at the top and to explore the abbey.
Dating back to the 7th century, it may now be in ruins, but what remains of the monastery still makes it a stunning sight to see. With the Gothic arches and features set against the Yorkshire coastline, it’s one of the most romantic spots in the area.
Whitby Abbey has long inspired artists and writers and was most famously used in Bram Stoker’s Dracula as the perfectly gloomy base for the eponymous vampire.
2. Go on a boat ride
There are few better ways to see Whitby than from the sea, and there are many options from to take a romantic boat ride out from the harbour.
Using a provider such as Yorkshire Coast Boat Trips will allow you to see Whitby and much of the surrounding coastline from an entirely unique perspective, which is one of the best ways to spend an hour or two if you’re visiting the town.
You can travel from Whitby to Scarborough by boat, seeing a good stretch of the coastline in the process, and on a clear day it’s a great opportunity to spot some of the local wildlife.
3. Take a walk with amazing views
With coastal walks in either direction and the beautiful North York Moors National Park if you want to head inland, there are many great trails to follow in and around Whitby.
This includes the fantastic 109-mile-long Cleveland Way that heads from Filey, up the coastline through Whitby and all the way around to Helmsley.
The whole trail would take around 9 hours to complete, but you can always explore a small section out from Whitby if you’re after a more manageable hike.
4. Get spooked on a ghost walk
Whitby is known to be one of the most haunted locations in the UK, with many myths and ghost sightings surrounding the streets and the ruins of the Gothic abbey.
If you’re interested in learning more about these local legends or if you just like to get spooked, there’s no better way than by joining a guided ghost walk.
You’ll find a few providers of ghost walks when you’re in Whitby, with one of the most popular being Dr Crank who takes you on a 75-minute tour of the town.
5. Have a romantic meal out
For one of the more typically romantic things to do in Whitby for couples, you can always check out some of the fantastic places to eat in the town.
Of course, when you’re in a seaside town like Whitby, one of the best things to eat is a classic fish and chips! There are plenty of chippies to get them too, such as Mister Chips.
6. Explore the picturesque streets and shops of the town
The small cobbled streets around the harbour at Whitby are worth exploring on foot if you get the chance, with lots of hidden nooks and crannies to discover.
There are many independent shops around too which are a lot of fun to look around, and they offer a welcome shelter if you’re visiting on a wet day!
These include many small jewellers who make beautiful pieces with local Whitby Jet, so you can always treat yourselves to something handcrafted.
7. Take a trip to Falling Foss waterfall
One of the most romantic things to do near Whitby is paying a visit to Falling Foss. This beautiful waterfall is very much a hidden gem and only a short drive out from the town.
Located in the middle of a scenic woodland, ths stunning waterfall is 30 feet high and is the perfect backdrop for a romantic picnic together.
The walk to see Falling Foss is most enjoyable on a warm summers day, but it’s also very picturesque surrounded by autumnal colours. Plus, if you want to see the waterfall in full force it’s best to visit just after heavy rainfall.
Right by the waterfall, you can also enjoy some refreshments at the Falling Foss Tea Garden.
8. See the views from the Captain Cook Memorial
For a great view over Whitby and its harbour, there are few better places than from the top of the western cliffs where the you’ll find a memorial to Captain Cook.
Next to a peculiar whalebone arch, the memorial offers panoramic views over the bay and the North Sea. You’ll also be able to see the ruins of Whitby Abbey on the opposite clifftops.
The stunning views make the walk up here one of the most romantic things to do in Whitby for couples, so make sure to take a detour away from the habour to head up to this amazing memorial.
Days out near Whitby for couples
There are many other things to do in Yorkshire for couples which are easy to discover if you’re based in Whitby or the surrounding area:
- York offers one of the most romantic city breaks in the UK. The rich history, stunning cathedral, and many fantastic places to eat and drink provide many fun things to do in York for couples.
- The North York Moors can easily be explored from Whitby, either on foot or by car. This national park contains many fantastic walking routes and picturesque villages to discover.
- Scarborough is located just south down the coast from Whitby and is a great town to visit if you want a day out by the seaside. Discover fun things to do in Scarborough for couples in our blog.
Things to do in Whitby for couples FAQs
What is special about Whitby?
The ruins of Whitby Abbey gives this coastal town in Yorkshire a unique and special atmosphere, with its link to Dracula make Whitby a world-famous tourist destination.
What are the best free things to do in Whitby for couples?
The best free things to do in Whitby for couples include taking a walk along its stunning coastlines and enjoying the views from next to the Captain Cook Memorial.
How long do couples need to explore Whitby?
Whitby is a small town so doesn’t need long to see most of what it has to offer. It makes for a great location for a relaxed weekend break, but you can also tick off most of its main attractions during a single day trip.