A walk to remember in Whitby: 199 Steps

The 199 steps in Whitby is one challenge visitors to the town cannot resist. They are one of our most famous attractions. But, how much do you know about the history of Whitby’s steps?

During the old days, the first record of the Whitby Abbey steps comes from 1340, but they’re believed to be even older. The steps were originally made from wood. It was not until 1774 that the original wooden steps were replaced with stone from Sneaton.

It is thought the 199 steps were used as a test of Christian faith to those who wished to worship in St Mary’s Church. Mounting the steps would attest that you were faithful. Anyone who has scrabbled them recently knows how hard they can be!

Nobody is entirely sure why there are 199 steps up to the church. In fact, there has been lots of debate whether there are in fact 199 at all!

You get some of the most spectacular views of Whitby from the top of the cliff and as you climb the steps. You can wander around the churchyard, visit St Mary’s Church and spend time exploring the ruins of our famous Abbey.

If you’re not able to take on the climb or fancy a gentler trip up to the top, you can hop on the Whitby tour bus instead.

After the long steps, visit Abbey steps tea room and coffee shop. Based in Whitby, at the bottom of the famous 199 steps. pop in and say hi, grab a delicious coffee, and some scrummy food. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/199stepswhitby.

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