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Bats `n` Broomsticks and Gothic Whitby

by Ambitions of Lisa 

Posted: 15 March 2005
Word Count: 590
Summary: A little piece on Whitby, North Yorkshire.

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Whitby, a picturesque fishing town located in North Yorkshire at the edge of the moors, is the place to go for anyone interested in anything gothic. Although its only an hour away from my home, I always try to stay overnight to make the most of my visits there.

I can highly recommend “Bats 'n' Broomsticks” which is an exquisite Victorian guesthouse with a gothic theme. Elegant and charming, it cannot be construed as being OTT. When you approach the guesthouse, you cannot begin to imagine the beauty and character beyond the front door. Walking inside you are instantly warmed by the deep colours of the decor in crimson, gold and forest green and you immediately know it is something special.

After staying in the “Lunar Room” and the “Solar Room” I am in awe of both. The magnificent fireplaces, wrought iron four-poster beds, gargoyles and decor make the stay perfect and bewitching. The classic Bram Stoker tale of Dracula and its links to Whitby enhance the imagination beyond belief for a wonderful experience at this gothic themed accommodation.

Each time I enter one of the bedrooms at “Bats 'n' Broomsticks” I feel reluctant to leave the welcoming atmosphere and comfort of the surroundings. I could quite happily undress, and bury myself in the beautiful softness of the luxurious inviting bed, and settle in to read that Bram Stoker classic by candlelight. However, only a few minutes away on foot is the town centre of Whitby, which offers something for all.

I have often climbed the 199 steps up to the ruins of Whitby Abbey and the quaint church of St Mary’s which stands nearby. Bram Stoker based much of his Dracula novel in Whitby when he spent time there in 1890. Should you be gifted with a creative imagination, you can sit at the top of the steps on the cliff and imagine the huge span of the most famous vampire's wings coming towards you from dark night sky....creating shadows, and gusts of wind as he flies above you. If you're a virgin... fear for your blood!

Whitby is a fishing town, therefore it is famous for the wonderful British delicacy of fish and chips. You can't escape the aroma as you stroll the quaint narrow streets. “The Magpie” award winning restaurant seems to have a queue of hungry visitors each time I pass by.

There is the distinct feel of a stereotypical British seaside resort in some parts, including amusements and family attractions, candyfloss and toffee apples, yet it seems different, a little exceptional.

Whitby Goth Weekend is a paradise for all who are seduced by vampires, fantasy, darkness and mystery, however, you have no hope of booking a room at “Bats 'n' Broomsticks” during the two weekends it is held throughout the year in April and October!! It is an intriguing experience to try to ‘blend in’ at Whitby when these events take place. The majority, wear fascinating, and unique black costumes, and dramatic make up and the public houses overspill with captivating dark characters.

Whitby is also famous for its association with the explorer Captain James Cook, where he became an apprentice to a local ship owner in 1746, and there are a number of monuments and museums dedicated to him in and around the town. The four ships James Cook captained, Endeavour, Resolution, Adventure and Discovery, were all built in Whitby.

It is a scenic town full of character, never failing to tempt me back for visit after visit, Whitby is a favourite for me.

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Comments by other Members

scoops at 17:22 on 16 March 2005  Report this post
Lisa, your enthusiasm for Whitby is palpable in every line. I think though, that the piece would benefit from a livelier intro, because the current one does not do justice to what follows. The way you develop the connection between Dracula and the gothic spookiness of the hotel is great fun. It imbues Whitby with a sense of mystery and dark purpose:-) You should move that up to the top or use a variation of your paragraph on the ruins. I've made a note of Bats 'n Broomsticks for future reference:-o Shyama


Another point, and this applies to your Indian piece as well, is that you tell us what's there - wrought iron beds, ruins, amusements, goth costumes etc - but you don't describe any of it. Instead, you tell us your response to them - awe, fascination, curling up in bedclothes, imagining bats etc. Use that same imagination to bring the places you're visiting to life for us: show us more of what you're seeing because it's easier then to visualise what it is that you're responding to. You have so much energy in your approach to travelling, I'm sure that you won't find desription too much of a hardship:-)

Ambitions of Lisa at 10:28 on 18 March 2005  Report this post
Thank you Shyama,
When I read the piece again, your comments made total sense. The intro is rather bland and could be much improved. Also I am going to tinker with it to include description and make more of a visual impact for the reader.

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