Whitby Abbey


Abbey Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4JT



Whitby Abbey


Whitby Abbey has been inspiring visitors for nearly 1500 years – now it’s your turn.

Discover stories of saints, poets and Dracula as you explore soaring gothic ruins and take in the stunning sea views.

There’s more to see and do at the abbey than ever before. With fantastic views over the coast, a revamped museum and wide open grounds to roam, it’s a great value day out for everyone. Book now and explore one of Yorkshire’s best historic sites, with adult tickets just £10.

Whitby Abbey: History and stories

Set high on the clifftops overlooking the sea, the ruins of Whitby Abbey tell only part of the site’s incredible story. Communities have lived on this headland for over 3,000 years and it has long been an important holy place and seat of power. Buried beneath the soaring arches we see today are the remains of an earlier Anglo-Saxon monastery, whose tales of saints, poets and miracles still survive.

From its early, pivotal role in the history of Christianity in England to the arrival of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Whitby is a place where history and legend meet. Explore this page to discover the stories from the headland’s past.



Gothic ruins

For nearly 700 years, the splendid 13th-century Gothic abbey has towered high above the town of Whitby. Today you can take in wonderful views of the coastline and town while you explore the abbey’s extensive remains.


First founded in about AD 657 by King Oswy of Northumbria, it was refounded after the Norman Conquest and remained a centre of religious life until it was suppressed in 1539. Centuries of wear, weather and war have left their mark, and you’ll find many layers of history to explore and unravel.


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.


Visitor Centre and 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.



Prices and Admission to Whitby Abbey

Prices (Off peak online rate without donation)