Whitby's 199 Steps, The
So now you know that there's 199 steps, give or take, depending upon your point of view - and you know that there's no point in going up for the fantastic vista... what's the point?
Well, there isn't one actually... but as a local to Whitby I must tell you that I make this pilgrimage regularly, whenever I find myself buying kippers at fortunes, or walking to Tate Hill beach - or the east pier, I pass the bottom of the steps and I can't resist. I have no idea why. They're just magnetic. Come and see for yourself!
Here's a picture to whet your appetite:
Note that nobody is taking in the view, or in fact appearing to enjoy themselves. Completely pointless - but with a little bit of magic.
Reason 3. Life is about memories when it comes down to it, and a walk up the 199 steps is something you will never ever forget, and it's absolutely free.
There is an unofficial record for the ascent of the steps - currently held (to the best of our knowledge) by a Mr R Parkin who is reported to have made the full ascent in just under 30 seconds!
Another local legend is that someone once managed to cycle up the adjoining donkey track. We tried this in our younger days (well I did, my friend wouldn't after seeing my attempt) and quite literally rolled backwards, bike and all, into Church Street.
If you have any information about cycling up the donkey track without rolling backwards - or ascents of the steps in under 30 seonds - please let us know and we'll post an update on this page. If you can take a photograph of the attempt in progress, all the better!
Yet more reasons, added by our website visitors:Reason 4: To follow in the footsteps of Peggy Woollley and Lillian Bellamy who, with a great deal of complaint in the latter's case, ascended the steps on 4 January 2013... (fictionally, and really in The Archers studio in Birmingham with windy sound effects...)
Reason 5 (by Eva Marsh, Lynden Ontario, Canada, April 2015): To meet incoming fishing boats, follow Cook to grill and enjoy fresh catch before climbing back up the steps to have supper.
Click on the thumbnails for larger images...
Whitby's 199 Steps, The
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Whitby Gallery Photo
Whitby in 1959
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What did the health attendant say to his assistant?... Hi Jean.