White Horse and Griffin

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Have you discovered Whitby’s best kept secret?

From abbey ruins to sweeping clifftop views, there are no limits to the wonders of Whitby. But what about its hidden treasures? Nestled between quaint boutiques and bookshops, the White Horse and Griffin is one of the more elusive Whitby restaurants – and it’s got many stories to tell. 

Established in 1681, it has a long-standing connection with Whitby’s renowned naval history. This deceptively large Whitby accommodation was the meeting place for world-famous explorers Captain James Cook and William Scoresby. 

What other secrets is Whitby hiding? 

Of course, not all maritime activities were quite so above board. In fact, the small coastal town of Whitby has a far-reaching history of smugglers, going back as far as 1401. In this era, smugglers would often meet in local taverns to deliver their untaxed wares.  

Today, this has become part of local folklore – one 18th Century customs collector was quoted as saying, “show me a fisherman and I will show you a smuggler”. 

Spooky reports… 

Listen out for the “oyster man” as you make your way out of the White Horse and Griffin. Legend has it this creepy character haunts the streets of Whitby touting his oysters. He is said to have “died of remorse” after accidentally killing a man in self-defence. He’ll go anywhere but The Golden Lion, where the incident allegedly took place… 

If that wasn’t spooky enough, look out for the “brave lighthouse keeper” who met his demise on a slippery set of lighthouse steps. Or if you scale Whitby’s famous 199 steps after dark, you might just meet “the phantom coach” sitting outside St Mary’s Church… 

Sink your teeth into this 

Of course, Whitby is synonymous with Dracula. The harbour town was the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Gothic novel, after he stayed there in 1890. The ruins, castles and caves provided the perfect backdrop for the novel, and today, the town plays host to many a Dracula-themed tour. 

Tell ghost stories in this Whitby restaurant with rooms 

With so much history to explore, the story begins at the White Horse and Griffin. It seats 62 inside as well as 20 in its bar and 16 outside – perfect for summer trips seeing the sights. Hear tales of world-famous navigators, dastardly smugglers and spine-tingling spooks right from the comfort of this welcoming tavern. 

Ready to see Whitby? Book a table or reserve a room online today. 

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