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199 Steps

To Whitby Abbey , Dracula's Haunt from Lewis Carrol's Lodgings

By Mike Singleton - MikeydredPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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From La Rosa To Whitby Abbey

There are a hundred and ninety nine steps up to Whitby Abbey and a lot is made of that.

Whitby Abbey is now a ruin , but is the setting for Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” , and now is an imposing Gothic ruin on what must be termed East Cliff in Whitby.

This is simply a write up illustrated by the ten minute video above of what it’s like to walk from my favourite Hotel , “La Rosa” to Whitby Abbey via these steps. You may want to dispense with this and listen to the video , or just read this or do both, whatever suits you best.

I used to think that this was an imposing and difficult undertaking , but every time I do this it does seem to get much easier. Maybe I am getting fitter as I get older , but I am certainly not complaining.

As you come out of La Rosa you cross the road and there are about thirty stone stamps over two flights that then go through a tunnel in the bank. The first time you go through the tunnel is a little disconcerting , but I am slightly claustrophobic and the tunnel seems to shorten every time that I use it.

When you come out there are another 70 steps down to the street behind the Magpie Café, I say street , there are dwellings on either side and some gardens but it’s about maybe four feet wide. This is the sort of place that Covid would have a field day if people did not isolate properly.

The first time I used these steps it was after dining at the Magpie Café and it was dark and wet. The stone can be treacherous in the wet and dark but luckily mobile phones have built in torches so that was a help, but the first time ascending those seventy steps and then having to navigate that dark tunnel was a challenge, but now it is quite easy even in the dark and wet.

The Ship Whitby

After coming out on the main street I wander along the quayside past my favourite pub in Whitby , “The Ship” (though I don’t actually drink. Then I cross the swing bridge and go up Church Street and end up at the start of the hundred and ninety nine steps up to Whitby Abbey.

Incidentally it was at the Market on Church Street that I got my signature “Vera” hat on a stormy day when I wanted to visit the Abbey (in the days when I had free English Heritage access from my bank). You can read the story of my hat here.

Ascending the steps sounds challenging but it isn’t , though maybe that is because I have now done it so many times. Every tenth step is marked with a metal boss with roman numerals telling you how far you have ascended, so you can check how far you have to go.

As you ascend there are plenty of viewing points and seats , if the steps become too much for some people. The other thing is you get some amazing views of Whitby Harbour and Whitby itself.

This is a great photo opportunity as long as you are up to the ascent, and eventually you step over the hundred and ninety ninth step and see St Mary's Church and the incredible Celtic gravestone

Many years ago I hit the top and there was a notice advising that people with heart conditions should not attempt the ascent. I posted it on Social Media suggesting it go at the bottom of the steps. Next Year it was gone.

So that’s it, the walk from the wonderful La Rosa to the Stunning Whitby Abbey via the 199 steps, two jewels in the Whitby Crown.

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Mike Singleton - Mikeydred

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