A seaside town on the Yorkshire coast in England, Whitby famously inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula – head up to the cliffside ruins of Whitby Abbey to be suitably spooked. Today, the town is home to a lively Goth subculture and twice-yearly music festival Whitby Goth Weekend. Georgian and Victorian buildings line its narrow, cobbled lanes and its pretty harbourfront is filled with fishing boats. Whitby Beach is where you'll find colourful beach huts, and is popular with walkers, swimmers and the odd surfer.
Hostels in Whitby are often in heritage buildings and include one right next to the abbey ruins, with spectacular views from the headland. You can make your own meals in a self-catering kitchen or enjoy traditional Yorkshire fare at an on-site restaurant. Some hostels are just a short walk from the beach, and you'll find options with a garden too. You also can expect a games room and free Wi-Fi. Single-sex male and female dorms are available in a Whitby hostel.
The heart of Whitby is its buzzing harbour, where you'll find some of England's most famous fish-and-chip shops. The rest of the town is divided into two by the River Esk. East Cliff has fishermen's houses and Whitby Abbey, while on the larger West Cliff there are grand Victorian buildings and steep hills. Along the shore there's a handful of vintage amusement arcades and West Cliff Beach. Nearby areas to explore include the picturesque village of Robin Hood's Bay and the North York Moors National Park.
There's plenty to keep you busy here. You can climb the town's iconic 199 steps that lead up from Whitby Harbour to sturdy little St Mary's Church. At the top of West Cliff, a gigantic whalebone arch is another photo opportunity based on an old tradition. Whitby was once an important whaling town, and returning ships would display the whale's jaw to signal that the hunt had gone well. If you'd rather get active, you could try surfing, canoeing on the river or sea kayaking along West Cliff Beach.
You can get a train to Whitby from cities all over Yorkshire (3.5 hours from Sheffield, 2.5 hours from York). Newcastle International Airport is about 4 hours away by train, changing at Newcastle Central, or a 2-hour drive. Whitby is just under 4 hours away from Leeds Bradford Airport, by bus and train, changing at Leeds city centre and Scarborough. Whitby itself is small enough to explore on foot and you can travel around the local area by bus.