The Abbey, the harbour and vampires are probably most people's perceptions of Whitby, a historic seside town and fishing port on the beautiful North Yorkshire coast. Whitby's holiday cottages come in all shapes and sizes, from converted fisermen's cottages to swanky sea-view apartments. Whitby's skyline is dominated by the striking hill-top ruins of St. Hilda’s Abbey which overlooks the bustling harbour around which clusters the old town of Whitby. The town is a maze of alleyways and tiny streets made famous by the images of the photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe. The picturesque fishing harbour is home to a wide range of sea-going craft from traditional fishing cobles, yachts to North Sea trawlers and cargo vessels. The writer, Bram Stoker was inspired by the churchyard of St Mary’s, the parish church to write Dracula, forever associating this town with gothic tales.

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Although whaling from Whitby ended in 1837, you can still see some of the leviathins by taking a whale watching boat trip from the Harbour. A replica of Endeavour, the ship Captained by James Cook, a son of Whitby welcomes visitors on board while on-shore are plenty of other museums and galleries to lose yourself in as you delve into the arts and culture of Whitby. Not only do they hold works of art but architectural masterpieces, also and a collection of Victorian toys and dolls. On track with the Victorian theme, visit the English Heritage building that is Whitby Abbey, which seems to overlook the whole town, and see for yourself the stunning ruins that enchant whoever has the pleasure to experience them.

There is also a golden Blue Flag beach across the front of the town, framed by the unusual whalebone archway pointing to the maritime heritage and history of Whitby as a whaling port. Within the town are a range of eating places ranging from award winning seafood restaurants to gnarled old sea-shanty inns, all serving delicious locally sourced food. Local shops selling local produce such as Whitby cod, mussels, seafood ravioli and Halders Farm steak ensures mouth-watering aromas will issue forth from your Whitby holiday cottage's kitchen every evening.

Travel a little further along the coast to explore Saltburn-by-the-Sea, a picture-perfect elegant little clifftop town. Take the water-powered cliff railway down to sea level and enjoy a stroll along the pier (it's the last one still surviving on the North East Coast). Pick up some fresh fish or organic meats for supper at the Real Meals delicatessen. Foodies should book a holiday cotttage for the end of July purely to spend time at the Saltburn Food Festival!

As well as the connection to the sea and oceanic activities you can also find yourself on the sprawling North York Moors National Park, trekking or cycling across the stunning countryside that hugs the North Sea coastline. Whitby is also within easy reach of other Yorkshire resorts such as Scarborough and Bridlington, while a day trip to York is highly recommended. Whitby really does have something for everyone – it holds the beautiful landscape of countryside and ocean views alongside the beautifully intricate history of legend and Victorian life - and has some very welcoming and cosy seaside holiday cottages. What more could you want for a self catering holiday in North Yorkshire?