I have a very soft spot for English Abbeys, and an even bigger soft spot for the English coast, so an Abbey on the cliffs by the sea, has to be one of my favourite tourist spots. Add to that a connection to one of the most famous undead, and you have a must see destination.
“Right over the town is the ruin of Whitby Abbey… It is a most noble ruin, of immense size, and full of beautiful and romantic bits; there is a legend that a white lady is seen in one of the windows.”
— ‘Dracula’ by Bram Stoker (1897).
Whitby Abbey is the remnants of a Benedictine abbey overlooking the North Sea on the east cliff of Whitby in North Yorkshire, England dating from 657 AD. Dismantled as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries during Henry VIII’s reign, all that’s left behind now is the ruins of a once great building that create a distinctively eerie atmosphere around the town of Whitby.
The Abbey itself stands over Whitby and is easily visible from miles around, from both land and sea, and it’s said that Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, was very taken with the atmosphere of Whitby whilst he stayed in the town in 1890.
Walking around the Abbey it’s easy to see where Bram Stoker found his inspiration for the book and the character, with the looming ruins and the romantic views around it. It’s also easy to forget that Dracula and the entire story are fictional, as the surroundings draw you into the atmosphere and almost transport you back in time.