As the autumnal equinox neared, I took a trip to the north east of England to visit some friends for a well-deserved break and while I was at it -I was desperate to spend a day exploring Whitby. I’ve spent quite some time there before, including trying to explore it’s cobbled lanes in my wheelchair –not ideal. This time I wanted to take it slow and try to discover more; and maybe things I haven’t had the opportunity to see before.
I think my happy place is Whitby. It’s a place that when I think about it, it’s really a combination of so many of my favourite places. It has the quaintness of Rye, it’s location to the sea always reminds me of Whitstable or Tenby. There’s a darkness and quirkiness to it, that reminds me of Hastings and then of course the historical elements always remind me of Rochester or Canterbury. It truly is a wonderful place.
We explore so many shops -in fact, we hadn’t long arrived before I had found the perfect Christmas gifts for my grandparents and my mother also found so many gems. Naturally, I had already done some research on bookstores before our visit so knew exactly which direction to head in; but nonetheless we had a nosey around along the way also. It weren’t long before I had purchased more presents in the Lucky Duck glass-shop and picked up some really cool cards too.
We stopped off at the Abbey Wharf for a cold drink and some grub. It was such a pretty place to eat at and had a really cool industrial design to it. The food was absolutely delicious and so well-priced given how the cost of living crisis is going on. I cannot wait to take Bearded Boyfriend back there. I know he will love it just as much as I did. I also loved how dog-friendly it was -I think we were one of the few tables who didn’t have a four-legged pal with us.
I ducked out of the restaurant a little while before my companions as I really wanted to head for the bookshop and I’m notorious for spending far too long deliberating on what books to buy -whilst my companions are infamous for embarrassing me in bookstores. I found an amazing print store on my way which did some beautiful souvenir-style prints that I fell in love with; I’m not quite a homeowner yet but I cannot wait to fill my home with prints from my travels. The store also had a whole host of books by local authors and of course a lot of Dracula. I think this store probably had every English edition of Dracula currently in publication. I picked up a few items in this store, including a mammoth book called The Vampire Archives. This was a really chunky book but I am so glad I got it; I’ve already begun reading it and it’s so good! I also got into a conversation with the store-worker, a fellow English literature student we got chatting about Dracula and I was quickly learning all sorts of facts about how local events and people inspired Bram Stoker’s classic tale. Honestly, I think I could’ve become best friends with the worker if only I lived there!
From there I headed to the Whitby Bookshop and oh my! This store was so magical to me. At face value it looked like any other, ordinary independent bookseller but as I looked at the titles it felt like home. It was as though someone had curated this store and its selection of books just for me. Maybe its just that time of the year or perhaps its simply that Whitby has a bit more of a gothic element to it, but there were so many amazing, darker reads that were right up my alley! I actually spent a little under £100 in there. I will defend myself by saying that the books I did buy were all editions that I had never came across and after a quick search on my phone, I knew I couldn’t access these editions via Waterstones or Amazon. That was the one rule I made for myself with everything while away… only buy what you cannot get back at home.
This bookshop also had an upstairs where they had more books and a great selection of cards. I got a few cards and managed to jot down some book titles to look into when home but for the most part I had already set my heart on a selection of books already. I will say that I really loved how they arranged the clothbound classics in colour-coordination. I have a few of these books myself and never thought to arrange them like this. If you do ever go to this bookstore, beware of the staircase. Absolutely beautiful to look at but oh my, it is so creaky to navigate and I honestly thought that I would either break it or come tumbling down it.
It weren’t long before I caught up with my companions but by this point I was a bit hot and flustered from all the book-excitement and really needed some fresh air. I had to of course include this photo of a dog in a denim jacket! We quickly decided to drop our bags off at the car and head off for some ice cream that we enjoyed sat by the harbour. While it weren’t a particularly warm day, the sun was always out and there was a slight breeze -making it the perfect crisp, early autumn day.
We then took a scenic drive home, following the shoreline and country lanes through Gods-own-country. I’m still so so pleased with my purchases -in particular, a book called Secret Whitby which I bought for Bearded Boyfriend. He has a few of these Secret… books and I’m hoping it will inspire him to go back with me some day soon.
Cheerio for now!