Whitby, North Yorkshire, and a Dog-Friendly Vacation
Where is Whiby North Yorkshire?
Whitby is a seaside come fishing town on the North Yorkshire coast. The sea is the North Sea and it can be cold for bathing even in high summer.
Whitby has many attractions including-
- A long sandy beach
- Whitby Abbey and its ruins which inspired the Dracula story by Bram Stoker
- An annual folk festival
- An annual regatta week
- Links to explorer Captain Cook
- Captain Cook museum
- Quirky shops
- Speciality fish and chips
- Steam train links to places like Pickering and Goathland
- Direct trains from Middlesborough
- A good bus service
- Huge cliff top golf course
- Cafes, restaurants and bars
- An active swing bridge that crosses the River Esk and separates the town
- Regular events such as craft fairs
- An annual Goth weekend
- Places such as Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Robin Hood’s Bay and Scarborough all within easy reach.
And above all it is a dog-friendly town.
Iconic image of Whitby and the ruins which inspired the book Dracula
A love affair with Whitby
I have loved Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast of England from being a child.
Day trips with school and the family were rare but always enjoyed. The problem for us as a family back then was Whitby was just that bit too far from our home city to really enjoy a day trip.
In some ways that remains true.
Still relying on public transport it takes us 11/2 hours on train to get to nearby Scarborough and then a further hour on bus to reach Whitby.
We can reach Minorca, a Balearic Island which lies in the Mediterranean Sea, in around three hours which includes a one-hour taxi journey to Doncaster Robin Hood airport followed by a flying time of a little over two hours!
However Whitby is well worth visiting
We spent a long weekend in Whitby some time ago. The intention was a long weekend but each day we asked our Bed and Breakfast host if we could stay for just one more day.
We ended up staying six days.
Last year however we bit the bullet and booked a week’s stay at a dog-friendly apartment in Whitby.
This was going to be a challenge in many ways but we had a great time and have booked the same apartment for late summer 2018 but this time for two-weeks.
Whitby and the sea
The main challenge for us was Tinka
What about the dog?
2017 was the first year Tinka accompanied us on a holiday.
At that time he had lived with us for five years and was aged about eight or nine.
Tinka came to us via a rescue service called Oakwood and we were his last chance.
When Tinka’s elderly owner died the dog’s life fell apart.
He began snapping at people, which he may still do if he feels threatened or is unwell.
He had been re-homed a couple of times but ended up at the pound. His card was marked and he was to be put to sleep.
Oakwood rescued him hoping to find him a suitable forever home and that turned out to be myself and my husband.
It has not been totally problem free but here we are almost six years later with one of the sweetest, good-looking dogs around.
But how would he cope on a long train and bus journey and with a vacation in another town?
Actually he coped very well.
We thought about trying to put Tinka in a cage for travelling and we also considered putting a muzzle on him.
In the end we did neither.
The first lap of the journey was a 20 minute bus trip across our city to the main bus and train station.
On local buses there is a 50p charge for dogs but as Tinka is small this is sometimes waived. The charge is aimed at larger dogs and Tinka takes up little room as he sits on my knee.
Another bonus is as we are retired we have a free bus pass each which is brilliant.
This was going to be a cheap holiday for travel.
The next lap was the train and the good news for dog owners in England is dogs travel free on trains no matter what size the dog is.
There are rail cards available for older people but at a cost of an annual fee. You will need to work out if this cost is viable for you. It was not for us.
I carried Tinka onto the train and we settled for seats with a table.
Were there any problems?
Yes people just would not leave Tinka alone.
He looks so cute that so many people wanted to stroke him even though we warned each of them he can bite if he gets anxious.
However he was as good as gold and lapped it up.
We had a fifteen minute wait for the bus in Scarborough which was a food, water and toilet break for all three of us and then it was onto the last lap of our journey, the bus to Whitby.
The good news in North Yorkshire is dogs travel free on buses. Yes even large dogs.
Tinka settled down quickly on this bus and we enjoyed the beautiful scenery as we crossed the Moors and went through Robin Hood’s Bay into Whitby.
A ten-minute walk to our accommodation followed.
It was literally an uphill struggle but we made it and were pleasantly surprised by the standard of our accommodation.
The Holliday adventures of TinkaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Whitby is so dog-friendly
There were one or two places that did not allow dogs and many of the beaches, if not all, in and around Whitby have dog restrictions but on the whole Whitby was Tinka’s oyster.
As a new traveller his head just went this way and that drinking in the place.
He travelled to each place we visited with us, for free on local buses and in 2017 we visited Staithes, Robin Hood’s Bay and Saltburn-by-the-Sea.
Tinka was accepted in pubs and even some restaurants. The weather was very good which meant outdoor venues were perfect.
Many shops in Whitby allow dogs access too with some obvious restrictions such as food shops.
The large Pannett Park in Whiby does not allow dogs which is shame.
It was late August and Whitby was packed with people and many had brought their dogs along too.
The apartment was situated within close reach of the cliff top where huge whale bones sit. This grassy area was perfect for a late night toilet break for Tinka.
We had packed small nappy sacks which we use at home to clear up any dog mess.
Remember you must clean up after your dog.
There are many reasons to clean up after your dog but if you do not you may get a hefty fine.
Our holiday apartment was in a large Georgian House with steps up to the house and more to our apartment on the first floor.
It did not take long for Tinka to get used to running up and down these steps.
The apartment consisted of a bedroom, bathroom with shower, sitting room with a division for the kitchen and large pantry.
It was perfect for us
On offer was a washer and tumble drier, large tall fridge, pantry, cooker, microwave, pots, pans, dog dishes, cutlery, some tea and coffee and more.
We brought one of Tinkas small beds with us and he settled down from day one.
Rules of the owner are no dogs on the furniture so Tinka slept in his small bed which we put in the entrance each night. We walked his little legs off and he would crash out in this bed quite early if we were watching TV.
Tinka does not really shed hair but the last day we vacuumed around to leave the place good to go.
One thing to note is you cannot leave your dog or dogs alone in this apartment and rightly so. It does mean you have to take your dog out with you everywhere but as Whitby is so dog friendly we had few problems.
For those arriving by car parking is available.
Our accomodationClick thumbnail to view full-size
Hints and tips
- Research what events will coincide with your visit
- Check any rules re your pet and accommodation
- Research the best dog-friendly locations and accommodation before you book
- Remember times change so look for the latest vacation travel and pet advice
- In Whitby local supermarkets and freezer shops are competitively priced meaning you do not need to take pet food with you unless you want a specific brand
- Take plenty of nappy sacks for your pet during the journey. Make sure you also have disinfectant hand gel for your use, wipes for your dog, a bag available in case the dog is sick and toilet tissue for any other toilet accidents
- Remember to take water for your dog during the journey
Taking your dog with you on vacation can be challenging especially if you do not have your own transport.
However with a little planning you and your dog or dogs can enjoy a great vacation and Whitby could be your perfect destination.
All three of us loved our day trip to Saltburn-by-the-SeaClick thumbnail to view full-size
Saltburn-by-the-Sea is 22.9 miles from Whitby via the A171
Whitby and Dracula
- How Dracula Came to Whitby | English Heritage
These days Goths enjoy Whitby for its links to Dracula. There are specific Dracula events and weekends plus regular ghost walks
Whitby Tourist Information
We give Whitby a 5 Star rating
All images apart from the Free Image (C) Eileen Kersey aka Ethel Smith
© 2018 Ethel Smith