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  • Writer's pictureKit Eyre

Visiting Somewhere at the Right Time

There are some places you never go to, even if they seem like obvious pilgrimages.

Sometimes, it’s simply because it’s not a place you thought of visiting. Maybe you didn’t know about it or what you’d heard suggested it wasn’t for you. Other times, it can be because the place isn’t part of your usual repetoire.

For me and Whitby Abbey, it was the latter. Family holidays and trips were taken to Bridlington or Cleethorpes. I’ve leaned towards Scarborough more as an adult because I love the different vibes, plus there’s always Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay and Saltburn if I want something else.

However, until last week, I hadn’t been to Whitby for more than a quick errand near the harbour. I didn’t get chance during that first visit to even look out at the sea properly, never mind climb the steps up to the Abbey on the cliff. But last week was the time to do something special that we hadn’t done together, so my wife dragged me (yes, I mean that literally) up to the Abbey.

Forget Dracula. Forget Bram Stoker and all the mythology that’s sprung up around that place. When I was stood in what would have the Sanctuary when the Abbey was a functioning monastery, I felt the real history there. The weathered remains of the great building have seen so much, and they’ll see plenty more before they’re done.

Despite how much I loved it up there, I’m glad I didn’t make the journey until I was seasoned enough to stand there quietly and absorb it. But I’ll definitely be going back.

Whitby Abbey ruins looking towards the Sanctuary

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