The Mystery of the Haunted Vampire

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

Whitby rises from the grave

As anyone who has read my novel knows, I love Whitby. And I've never even been there. From The Yorkshire Post:

A seaside town which was once one of Britain's worst unemployment blackspots has come first in a national survey of British resorts. During the 1990s the fortunes of Captain Cook's old port of Whitby had sunk to an all-time low with the worst jobless figures in North Yorkshire. But the port's economy has been regenerated by millions of pounds following visits by the Australian replica of Cook's ship Endeavour. It is bidding for World Heritage status as the home of Grade I listed Whitby Abbey, and at the other end of the scale it has prospered from its Dracula connection – Bram Stoker was inspired to write the spinechiller in Whitby and set an early chapter in the port. Now Whitby has come number one in a poll of seaside destinations by Holiday Which? – part of the Which? network, formerly the Consumers' Association – which says UK coastal resorts have come a long way in terms of the quality of their facilities and the cleanliness of their waters. Combing the shores from St Ives to the Firth of Clyde to select the 10 best, they decided Whitby was "a historic port with every-thing you could possibly want from a seaside resort". "Captain Cook set sail from Whitby on his way to the Pacific and, in Bram Stoker's novel, Count Dracula leapt ashore here from the ghost ship Demeter in the form of an immense dog," Holiday Which? says. "Without pausing, the undead aristo skedaddled up the 199 steps to St Mary's church graveyard, and so missed the chance to sink his fangs into some of the finest fish and chips in the UK at the Magpie Café. "Whitby is a town of two halves, its postcard-perfect harbour split by the River Esk. Beneath the jagged ruins of the seventh century abbey on the east side, the old town is a gem of cobbled ginnels where pasty-faced Goths browse jet jewellery in Georgian shops."


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