a VirtualTourist member from Madison
We're going to Whitby for a few days (from the US) and I'm wondering if we will need a car to get around, or can we just take the train from an airport and walk the town for those few days?
Also, best airport to fly into for staying in Whitby?
I think Leeds airport is the nearest to Whitby. If you can get a flight into there that would be best.
Also if you go for car rental try here holidayextras.co.uk/car-hire...
Agree that if you intend staying in Whitby itself, or travelling only nearby, a car will be unnecessary. Parking at nearby spots such as Sleights and Robin Hood's Bay (both accessible by bus) is both difficult and expensive. Parking in Whitby itself is also not easy (or cheap).
You can download a leaflet about parking in Whitby here:
However, you might prefer to hire a car at the airport where you land (whichever that is) and drive to Whitby from there, rather than using trains.
www.nationalrail.co.uk will give you train times, details and fares for all the UK.
has useful info on getting to Whitby by bus, train or car.
will give your routes, info and estimated drive-times point-to-point for all the UK.
Birmingham and Manchester airports are nearer Yorkshire than those in/around London, and flights form the US may be possible to either.
You will find a list of Whitby bus operators (for local services) here:
I would choose Tees Valley to fly into - there is a link to the rail system there. You need to get to Middlesbrough on the train and then take a Whitby train from there. The other option is Leeds/Bradford and then bus link to Leeds rail station and then a Scarborough train from there (every 60 minutes). From Scarborough railway station you can take a bus to Whitby (the train line closed years ago) and it takes 60 minutes.
You do not need a car in Whitby. If you look at my Whitby pages here on VT you will see I have put some options in for travel. Have a look at the Moorsbus part - this excellent service allows non car users to see the Moors reasonably easy but you do need to plan - their website does take some navigating but is worth it.
Whitby is a great place to be - if you need any more help please ask here.
As already said, Tees is the closest airport but as also said, there might be bad connections if coming from the US and then you would perhaps be better off flying to for instance Manchester. There are direct trains from Manchester Airport to Middlesborough (just under 3 hrs journey) where you change for the little Whitby branch. But if you can find a connecting flight to Tees...
I agree that you don't need a car in Whitby - the narrow streets make it awkward and distances are short. Only for getting around into the North York Moors would it make sense but in high season, the Moorsbus already mentioned is fine, as is the excellent Yorkshire Coastliner between Whitby, Pickering and York/Leeds with stops in quaint villages such as Goathland and Thornton-le-Dale on the way. The regular Scarborough bus also stops at pretty Robin Hood's Bay and with all these buses you also know that the drivers are used to the steep gradients on the moors as well as to sheep suddenly appearing around bends or coming out of bus shelters :)
If this is your first time in England I would not advise you drive in the Whitby area anyway. Not only do you have to get used to right hand drive cars on the left of the road but many moorland roads are narrow and/or steep. There are sheep on the roads occasionally and it could be difficult.
I should be in Whitby on Sunday - let me know if there is anything you want me to look at for you.