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Holiday, Vacation & Tour

 

Whitby's History - Stranger Than Fiction

St Hilda's Abbey, Whitby

Even as you bask in the sun on Whitby's sandy beaches, you cannot fail to be aware of the imposing and slightly sinister presence of the ruined Abbey, high on the East Cliff.

Situated on the eastern edge of Whitby, the Abbey is accessed by climbing the 199 stone steps that lead from the end of Church Street. These steps were originally wooden, and were built to allow coffin-bearers to reach the church. To this day there are coffin rests and seat...

whitby, captain cook,yorkshire, nautical, holiday, Holiday, Vacation & Tour, sea, ships, boats, maritime

St Hilda's Abbey, Whitby

Even as you bask in the sun on Whitby's sandy beaches, you cannot fail to be aware of the imposing and slightly sinister presence of the ruined Abbey, high on the East Cliff.

Situated on the eastern edge of Whitby, the Abbey is accessed by climbing the 199 stone steps that lead from the end of Church Street. These steps were originally wooden, and were built to allow coffin-bearers to reach the church. To this day there are coffin rests and seats along the stairs to allow weary limbs to rest. The present-day Abbey ruins date back to 1078, when the Normans built a Benedictine Priory on the site, replacing the ruins of the original monastery which was sacked by Vikings in 867.

The Abbey is steeped in history, both religious and otherwise - the nearby graveyard of St Mary's Church is reputed to have been the haunt of Count Dracula, and the legend that has built up around this story has led to Whitby becoming a popular destination for gothic enthusiasts, particularly during the biannual gothic music weekends.

The monastery was originally home to both nuns and monks, amongst whose number was Caedmon, reputed to be the first English poet and the father of sacred song. He was recruited to the abbey at Streoneshalh, as Whitby was then known, by Saint Hilda herself after she had heard him sing. Today, the significance of Caedmon's work is recognised with a large and ornately decorated gothic cross in the graveyard of St Mary's Church.

The abbey's importance as a regional centre became apparent when the Synod of Whitby was held there in 664, but its political power was to be fairly short-lived as in 867 Vikings landed in the area and ransacked the monastery. At the time, Danish settlements were spreading along the east coast of England, and it is thought that the Danes went on to settle in Whitby for some years after their arrival in 867.

The abbey was re-founded as a Benedictine Priory around 1078, in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest. Again, it was home to both nuns and monks, and remained on the site for nearly 500 years, until the brutal policies of King Henry VIII forced its final closure and partial destruction as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1539.

St Hilda's Abbey was then allowed to fall into disrepair, inadvertently becoming a source of stone for local residents, but today the remains are administered and maintained by English Heritage, and the unmistakeable profile of the abbey's ruins against the skyline is visible from many miles away when driving towards Whitby.

St Mary's Church, Whitby

Dating from 1110, St Mary's Church was originally built to provide a place of worship for the workers serving the Abbey, who were not allowed to worship within the Abbey itself. Although it has been extended several times, the original church still remains and is still the parish church of Whitby today.

Inside St Mary's Church, there are several notable design features - including a triple-decker pulpit, built to ensure the whole congregation could hear the sermon being read. Other notable features include the original 17th century box pews, which were originally hired by families for their exclusive use, and the extraordinary Cholmley pew, built in front of the chancel arch for this leading family so that they could have an unimpeded view of the service and the congregation.

The Church also has an unusual upper gallery and still has an original Elizabethan altar table.

St Mary's graveyard is well known to fans of Bram Stoker as the lurking place of Count Dracula, and at night the looming ruins of the nearby Abbey do indeed add a sinister and mysterious aspect to the area, leading one to think that fact could indeed be stranger than fiction.

 

Whitby's Nautical Heritage

Whitby's nautical heritage runs deep in the town's blood, and everywhere you go there are reminders of this affiliation - from the dark passageway leading to the old and evocatively-named Old Smuggler café, nestled unexpectedly between two modern shops on Baxtergate - to the more obvious reminders in and around the town's harbor.

Whitby's first and last link with the sea was fishing - ever since its foundation, fishing has been a means of supplying the settlement with food...

whitby, captain cook,yorkshire, nautical, holiday, Holiday, Vacation & Tour, sea, ships, boats, maritime

Whitby's nautical heritage runs deep in the town's blood, and everywhere you go there are reminders of this affiliation - from the dark passageway leading to the old and evocatively-named Old Smuggler café, nestled unexpectedly between two modern shops on Baxtergate - to the more obvious reminders in and around the town's harbor.

Whitby's first and last link with the sea was fishing - ever since its foundation, fishing has been a means of supplying the settlement with food, but over the years fishing and ship-building were to grow from subsistence and small-scale businesses to become major sources of income for the town.

By 1706, Whitby was the sixth-largest shipbuilding port in the UK, building more than 130 cargo ships each year. The output of the local alum mines kept local merchant shipowners busy transporting alum for the textile and tanning industries, and the coastal trade in coal had a strong presence in Whitby.

Although the alum industry gradually closed down in the 19th century, rendered redundant by more modern dyeing technologies, by then the Industrial Revolution had led to an increase in demand for one of the fishing industry's most lucrative seasonal catches - herrings.

Once a year, in late summer, fishing boats from as far afield as Scotland and Cornwall would converge on Whitby, ready to take their share of the herring catch. Much of the fish was exported and for a time both supply and demand for the little silver fish seemed insatiable.

The period from 1753 until the middle of the 19th century also saw great wealth and success for Whitby's whalers, which although fewer in number could make huge profits from a single trip, creating a number of extremely wealthy men in the town. The whaling industry is commemorated by a huge whalebone arch, several times the height of a man, which stands at the top of the steps leading to West Cliff. Nearby stands an equally impressive statue of Captain James Cook, perhaps Yorkshire's most famous seafarer.

Today, fishing is conducted on a fairly small scale, with a mixture of a few deep sea trawlers, and rather more smaller boats which are used to catch the shellfish that Whitby is so popular for. Most of this freshly-caught produce will later grace the tables of luxury restaurants, both in the town and elsewhere in the UK. Its premium quality fetches strong prices and is one of the ways in which the fishing industry continues to survive in Whitby.

Many of today's visitors to Whitby are content simply to see, smell and occasionally paddle in the sea, but for those of a more adventurous or hands-on nature, there are a range of seagoing activities available.

Lovers of deep-sea fishing will find ample opportunities to practice their craft, with both group charter services and scheduled excursions available, often with all equipment provided.

There are a range of boat trips available in season, appealing to the inner child within us all - Whitby's old lifeboat makes regular trips around the bay, and for the more adventurous rides on a jet-boat are on offer.

 

UK Vineyards Travels

England is abundant with its vineyards and wineries. England offers an opening to enjoy a day at some of its vineyards to make your moments the best with rich food and local wines. The attractive period with unique events takes place every May.

England has gained and proved its worth by producing many techniques and by bringing various tastes in wine. They produce the traditional champagne to the dessert wines. Some of the principal vineyards are the English wines Tenterde...

travel

England is abundant with its vineyards and wineries. England offers an opening to enjoy a day at some of its vineyards to make your moments the best with rich food and local wines. The attractive period with unique events takes place every May.

England has gained and proved its worth by producing many techniques and by bringing various tastes in wine. They produce the traditional champagne to the dessert wines. Some of the principal vineyards are the English wines Tenterden and Kent, Denbies wine state in surrey, and the three choirs in Gloucestershire. The emblematic English white wine with its clean and good finish is yet remarked as the best wine and a blend of wine with cheese is marked as the right combination.

Uk vineyards like the Bidden den vineyards is well known as the oldest commercial vineyard and this was instituted in 1969 with an extensive area of 21 acres. They produce superior quality Kentish ciders and apple juices. They allow visitors to watch their vineyards as a part of their tours with minimal charges and the touring group should not be less than 15 people. They are open from Monday to Saturday between 10 and 17 hrs.

Bookers are the ancient vineyards of the modern English epoch. They own 23 acres of area with nine varieties of grapes. They produce red and white wines. They offer educative tours to experience how wine is made from grapes. Adding to this education you are given to taste three to four wines. Bookers vineyard is facilitated and organizes for conferences and functions.

Camel valley situated at a corner of Cornwall produces award winning wines. They have been awarded as the Britain's best wine tour. They command in producing high quality red rose and dazzling white wines. They have marked their performances by winning national and international awards and this is credited for the class and traditional wines. They organize grand tours between April to October.

Denbies is also another spectacular vineyards in Europe with marvelous facilities and they specialize in organizing wine tours. Denbies has 265 acres of vineyards and is the largest vineyard of UK. Another feather to its cap is it is privately owned. Their tours are unique and mark the epoch as they offer fabulous views of the valley and wine tasting.

Lamberhurst placed in the countryside of the Kent offers tasting of fine and food free of charge all around the year, and is also the well known vineyards of UK. Similarly, Painshill park also produces a blend of wines, and are specialized in producing rose, dry white wine and sparkling wines. Ridgeview estate is prominent for its superior quality sparkling wine. Sharpham vineyard are specialized as they adopt both new and classic techniques. The leading vineyard of England is the three choirs and is the centre of attraction of Gloucestershire for tourists and for aficionados.

Uk vineyards has encircled the whole of UK and has been producing challenging wines.




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