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Moving to… Whitby

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Whitby is one of the most popular destinations along the Yorkshire coast, thanks to its status as a historic seaside town. There’s a strong community feel here, nostalgic charm and sweeping sea views. But what’s it like to live in Britain’s most sought-after seaside town? That’s what we’re here to find out with this guide on moving to Whitby. 

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A brief history of Whitby

The fishing port of Whitby emerged during the Middle Ages and was the location where Captain Cook, a famous British explorer, learned seamanship. The East Cliff is also home to the ruins of Whitby Abbey, where the earliest known English poet, Cædmon, lived. The town has long been a tourist hotspot, with its popularity with holidaymakers dating back to the Georgian period. 

Where is Whitby

Whitby is a seaside town in the Scarborough borough of North Yorkshire and lies on the east coast of Yorkshire by the River Esk. It’s around 50 miles to York, 75 miles to Leeds and 260 miles to London. Another coastal town, even further north, is Bamburgh.

Moving to Whitby

Expect to find plenty of charming period properties in Whitby, including cottages and Georgian townhouses. The town is small, meaning housing is high in demand. People look for property in areas like Ash Grove, Gledhill Drive and Henrietta Street. 

Buying in Whitby

Is Whitby a cheap place to live? The average sold price in Whitby is £266,366, which is higher than the UK national average of £329,547. Expect to pay an average of £375,568 for a detached home, £243,602 for a terraced house and £191,991 for an apartment.

There’s a varied selection of estate and letting agents in Whitby, with chain and independent options available to help you find a home when you’re looking into moving to Whitby. 

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Renting when moving to Whitby

One-bedroom homes rent for an average of £750 per month in Whitby, with two-bedroom properties fetching in the region of £950 per month. For larger homes, expect to pay an average of £1,150 per month.

Cost of living when moving to Whitby

If you’re moving to Whitby, you can expect to pay similar prices to the UK national average when it comes to everyday living. A meal for one person is around £18 (higher than the UK average), while a cappuccino and a pint of milk is £0.50p are lower than the average, costing about £2.65 respectively.   

Utility bills are in line with the national average in Whitby, at around £150 per month for electricity, heating, cooling, water and waste disposal (UK average £155). Broadband also matches the average at about £30 per month.

The Gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey

Is Whitby a nice place to live?

Open spaces

There are plenty of open spaces in and around Whitby. During the summer, you can soak up some rays on the Blue Flag beach. It also forms part of the Jurassic Coast, and you can enjoy walks along the cliff tops on the Cleveland Way.  

Wander the charming narrow streets, popping in and out of the local independent shops. There’s an array of quaint shops in Whitby, including jewellery, old-fashioned sweets and ornaments like glass ducks.  


Wander the charming narrow streets, popping in and out of the local independent shops. There’s an array of quaint stores in Whitby, including jewellery, old-fashioned sweets and ornaments like glass ducks.  


As a seaside town, there’s no shortage of fish in Whitby. The local produce comes from the daily local fisherman, serving the popular local restaurants.


Whitby has several bars and pubs, including a microbrewery producing ales ranging from Abbey Blonde to Jet Black. Locals also enjoy The BlackHorse Inn, which was opened in the 16th century and is one of Whitby’s oldest pubs. 

Art & culture

A full-size replica of Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour is filled with exhibits and more details about the famous 18th-century explorer. Or, if you fancy hunting for fossils, wander the Jurassic Coast for the Whitby Jet, a black gemstone formed from prehistoric fossilised wood

Things to do

Why is Whitby so popular? The ruins of 13th century Whitby Abbey are a popular landmark perched on the cliff tops looking out to sea. There’s also a Whitby Goth Festival with its alternative music. It takes place twice yearly – April and October – and features musicians dressed in an array of unique outfits. 

What’s not to like?

Whitby is a popular holiday destination, meaning there are plenty of second homes located here. Such a tourist-centric hotspot isn’t for everyone. 

Who lives there?

Whitby has a population of just 13,000 and a median age of 39. 

Typical broadband speeds

The average broadband speed is 40mbps in Whitby, which is lower than the UK national average of 67mbps.

Crime rates

The overall crime rate in Whitby averages around 79 crimes per 1,000 people. 

Moving to Whitby

Move iQ’s property report provides an in-depth analysis of specific properties as well as details about the local area of Whitby. If you’re thinking of moving to Whitby, make sure you get one first! 

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Last Updated: March 22nd, 2024

Phil Spencer

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