Back to Blog

Promotional blog provided by English Heritage

Looking for something to do this Halloween, then Illuminated Whitby Abbey is highly recommended. The annual and ever popular event allows you to see Bram Stoker's inspiration in a new light as Whitby Abbey is bathed in dramatic illuminations. Make sure to wrap up warm and have your camera at the ready as you explore the gothic splendour of the ruins lit up with all the colours of the rainbow.

The spectacular show will be taking place on the Yorkshire Coast until Tuesday 31st October and is a must this Halloween for grown-ups and children alike. It’s not just the light show there is also a superb play bringing to life tales gothic tales and Dracula for all the family that takes you round the site.

The event runs from 6pm-9pm and there is are plenty of food options, a bar and even a chance to toast marshmallows in a roaring warm fire pit.

Book now ▸

Illuminated Whitby Abbey 2


For nearly 700 years, the splendid 13th-century Gothic abbey has towered high above the town of Whitby. Today you can take in wonderful views of the coastline and town while you explore the abbey’s extensive remains.

First founded in about AD 657 by King Oswy of Northumbria, it was refounded after the Norman Conquest and remained a centre of religious life until it was suppressed in 1539. Centuries of wear, weather and war have left their mark, and you’ll find many layers of history to explore and unravel.

Plan your visit ▸


When you visit the abbey you’ll be following in the footsteps of many influential and creative people. Over the centuries, the abbey’s haunting ruins have inspired religious leaders, artists, writers and poets.

Among them was St Hild, a pioneering abbess. She hosted the 7th century Synod of Whitby at the abbey, where church leaders decided the English Church should follow Roman rather than Celtic practices - establishing the Roman method of calculating the date of Easter that is still in use today. Legend also has it that St Hild chased snakes away from the abbey, and that her righteous rage turned them into stone.

History of Whitby Abbey ▸


The visitor centre is housed in a 17th-century mansion. Inside you’ll find a new museum that tells the story of the abbey with the help of objects like Anglo-Saxon crosses, medieval manuscripts and even a rare signed copy of Bram Stoker’s novel ‘Dracula’.

There’s also a shop in the visitor centre – it’s the perfect place to pick up a memento of your visit. If you’re feeling thirsty, head to the new coffee shop, just by the entrance.

Opening times ▸


There’s plenty for families to do at the abbey. Roam the wide open spaces of the abbey grounds, enjoy a relaxing picnic and play hide and seek among the ruins. Family activities and events take place during the school holidays, including Easter quests, Dracula performances and our ever popular Viking battles.

Family Guide ▸

You may also like

York 300x300
Things to do white

York Leisure Centre: Clip 'n Climb

Wheatlands Lodge

Wheatlands Special Break

Wheatlands Lodge Hotel

Brown Collage Autumn Mood Instagram Post 1
Dog friendly white
12th Jun 2024 - 31st Dec 2024

3 Nights for the Price of 2

The Pheasant Hotel, Harome