Things to Do, Attractions, Museums

Captain Cook Museum, Whitby

Adventure! Endurance! Extraordinary Seamanship!
Location: Grape Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO22 4BA
01947 601900 Call Us
Captain Cook Memorial Museum House Whitby

17th Century House on Grape Lane

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About Us

Adventure, endurance, extraordinary seamanship and survival against the odds mark the Cook story.

It began at the handsome 17th century harbourside house now the Captain Cook Memorial Museum.

This is where the great explorer, James Cook, came to serve his apprenticeship in Whitby in the year 1746. It belonged to Cook's master, the Quaker ship owner, Captain John Walker. When the young Cook was not at sea, he lodged here in the attic with Walker's 'other family' of apprentices.

Cook’s voyages were the 18th century equivalent of today’s missions to Mars. For ten years Cook and his crews explored the unknown, uncharted waters of the Pacific, the South Atlantic, and the Arctic Oceans. Danger was ever present.

The thought-provoking collection of original paintings and drawings, letters in Cook’s own hand, ship models, maps and fascinating objects gathered on the voyages illustrate the Cook story.

New special exhibition every year.

For 2024 'Parts Unknown: Cook’s Quest for the Northwest Passage'.

Cook should be remembered as an Arctic explorer! In 1776, Cook set sail with two ships, Resolution and Discovery, to find the fabled Northwest Passage. Why was the Passage so important? Europe’s maritime nations had long hoped to find a sea route to connect the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans through the Arctic which would provide a shortcut to reach Asia.

The Northwest Passage was seen as a way to expand trade, enhance geographical knowledge and strengthen national maritime prestige. The exhibition will highlight the importance of the indigenous peoples who had
inhabited these regions for thousands of years. Cook was by now an experienced observer of indigenous societies, and the responses of artists, officers and crew shed revealing insights into the cultures of peoples who were little known in Europe.

The achievements of the voyage, and subsequent attempts, to find the Northwest Passage will be explored. Original items collected by Cook’s crew will be on display as well as objects recovered from the later, ill-fated, Terror and Erebus expedition. The issues facing the region today, as the Northwest Passage becomes more accessible due to climate change, will also be considered.

We are maintaining anti-Covid measures, screens and extra cleaning. Face coverings are now a personal choice. We are encouraging visitors and staff to continue to use hand sanitiser and to keep to prudent social distance.

Specially for children, Museum Activity Trail, activity cards.

An exciting events programme for all - Online booking available

Display your drawings in the Museum.

Free house guide (in 6 languages).

Gift shop.

For informationon prices and opening dates, please visit our website, please click HERE.

For public transport info click here.

Opening Times

Sat 30 March - Sunday 3 November - 0945 - 1700

Last admission half an hour before closing

Adult £9.00

Child up to 16 free

Arrangements correct at time of writing.

Please check our website for current opening times HERE

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