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  • Writer's pictureKelly

Our recent trip to Whitby Abbey and Pickering Castle

We recently made use of our English Heritage memberships again and headed to North Yorkshire to check out the safety measures they have put in place.

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Now we were supposed to be going to Scarborough castle too, but traffic was a nightmare so we gave up and headed for a favourite spot of ours and looked for tadpoles, fortunately we also found some newts which was super exciting.

Pickering Castle

Originally a timber and earth motte built around 1180, developed into a stone shell between 1216-1236. The original structure was built by the Normans under William The Conqueror. In 1926 the ministry of works (predecessor of English Heritage) took possession and opened it to the public

We had Pickering Castle booked for 10am , the system they have works great, it is a one way system, masks are a must in the shop and church. Please be careful as some of the steps are a little bit slippery when it has been raining. Staff were amazing as usual and interacted with the boys we spent around an hour and half here. You can go into the little chapel and look at the display, but I think the best bit is the view across North Yorkshire it is just breathtaking.

Toilets are available (one only) along with hand sanitiser.

Pickering has always been a favourite of ours and we have stayed in Pickering many times when holidaying in North Yorkshire.

From here we headed into the town to grab some lunch, the market was on, you can always get some great little trinkets here. Then we headed along to the station to see the steam engines in at that time. From here we headed down to Scarborough but then ended up not going to the castle, due to traffic delays.

Whitby Abbey

A 7th century monastery that became Benedictine, overlooking the north sea on the east cliff above Whitby which was the centre of medieval Northumbria. Confiscated under the crown of King Henry VIII between 1536-1538. Now a grade 1 listed building and in the care of The English Heritage. Bram Stoker arrived in Whitby in 1890 as a business manager to an actor, Bram had a week to explore and this is when inspiration kicked in. It took him a further 6 years to complete his novel, which later became one of his most well known stories. You can purchase lots of Dracula related items here.

We were booked in for Whitby Abbey for 4pm, when we arrived there was already a few people in the queue and as always there was loads of parking spaces available.

They have completely changed the entrance since the last time we were here and there is now only one way in. We love the Gothic feel of the Abbey and always imagine the stories people would have heard back in the day. The architecture is just magnificent.

We headed in and they also have a one way system in place which is just so stupid if I'm completely honest. The reason being is you have to go through the museum, taking you through the museum with everyone else and it was really busy, through the shop and then out to then walk the 5/10 minutes up the path back round to the main car park. We had no issues with walking round to the main car park but those with mobility issues will as the path is very narrow (not wide enough for a wheelchair) however there is disabled parking near the exit. You are not made aware of any of this.

Toilets also available in the car park which are 40p to use, you also have to pay for parking regardless if you are a member or not.

We had a lovely walk around. No one was sticking with the one way system though.

The site has had a new path which leads up to the abbey itself making it a lot easier however the site itself was very slippery as it had been raining.

All in all it wasn't the best trip to the Abbey, but we will be going back once it is safe to do so. My opinion under the current circumstances and the current one way system it is not safe and you can not safely socially distance yourself once you are in the museum.

We grabbed some food and headed back home.

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