Whitby is a seaside town situated on the east coast of Yorkshire at the mouth of the River Esk. Whitby has an established maritime, mineral and tourist heritage. The fishing port emerged during the Middle Ages and developed important herring and whaling fleets, and was where Captain Cook learned seamanship. Tourism started in Whitby during the Georgian period and developed further on the arrival of the railway in 1839. Part of Bram Stoker's novel Dracula was set in Whitby, incorporating pieces of local folklore. Stoker discovered the name "Dracula" at the old public library.
The desolate ruins of the stand Whitby Abbey, founded in 651AD, stark above steep cliffs overlooking the old whaling village. The abbey continued as a place of monastic life until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII. The abbey's foreboding ruins are said to have provided inspiration for Bram Stoker's gothic masterpiece Dracula.