What could be more enjoyable on a lovely summer evening than to walk into the wonderful town of Whitby and visit one of the many ‘watering holes’ to be found there! This ancient maritime port is host to approximately thirty public houses all of varying sizes and styles.

An evening stroll is obviously not the only good excuse to frequent one of these establishments. More increasingly they have become family friendly and the emphasis has moved away from purely drinking to a more social experience for the old and the young.

The provision of meals and snacks at all times of the day has increased trade dramatically over the last decades. The removal of strict opening and closing times too has helped to invigorate the pub trade. It is commonplace and indeed acceptable to enter Whitby Pubs at any time of the day, with or without children, to partake of something as mundane as a cup of coffee or a lemonade.

Sunday dining seems to be a winner with many of the pubs, offering a full roast with Yorkshire Puddings and all the trimmings, and now compete strongly with Whitby Restaurants. Ever open to any opportunity, the publicans of the town have taken advantage of the varying celebrations throughout the year. With Valentines Day approaching, the pubs are advertising special romantic meal deals.St. Patrick’s Day will see the large majority of the publicans advertising Guiness etc and decorating their bars with shamrocks and all things Irish!

The Halloween Celebration will inspire the landlords to bedeck their premises with ghostly and frightening regalia to tempt custom to their pubs. Bats and broomsticks, pumpkins and spider’s webs are to be found there, indeed, decorations of green, orange and black seem quite obligatory. Nothing sinister is ever intended, of course, everything is taken in good fun and a friendly ambient nature.

Whitby pubs are lucky in the fact that there are two Gothic Weekends on the yearly calendar which sees the town flooded with a huge influx of visitors eager to partake or spectate the proceedings.This has the effect of increasing the two Gothic Weekend trade tremendously.

The town has two more important events on the calendar. That of Regatta Week and Folk Week. The Folk Week festivities usually occur around the end of August and involve the town being invaded by ‘Folkies’. There is dancing in the streets, mummers, workshops and concerts. The pubs most of the day are bursting with the music and singing of folk melodies and shanties. guitars, accordians and flutes, to mention a few, accompany the various songs and all are welcome to join in. Regatta Weekend, a Whitby tradition, sees the town flooded with visitors to witness the rowing races, the fair rides and the many spectacles on the West Cliff provided by the Naval, Army and Air-Force, the fire fighters and display teams. Another opportunity for the publicans to keep the tills ringing!

Although this is all very lighthearted, there is the serious business of the beer and ale on offer throught the pumps or by the bottle. Many affectionados of ‘real ale’ will source information as to which public houses offer their particular favourite beer and whichever brewery the public house is tied to. It is the regular drinker who after all frequents the pubs all year round and who contributes to the income of the landlord. If he keeps a ‘tight rein’ on the quality of the beer and the management of the pumps, then he is guaranteed a following of dedicated drinkers.


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