The two piers in Whitby have been in existence since before the 1500's. By 1540, the two oak piers (east and west) were replaced partially, with stonework (in the reign of King Charles 1), with further work around the 1600�s. Both piers were rebuilt in 1735, each measuring approximately 183m, but by 1814 the west pier was further extended to reach a length of 309m. In 1905, both the piers had new pier ends built on, each of a length of 152m.
A Rainbow over the Whitby Piers
There are two lighthouses on the west pier, and two on the east pier. The larger, older lighthouse on the east pier was built of stone in 1854, and is a 55 feet high column tower, with lantern on top. This was replaced in 1914, by the new Whitby east pier light. The new pier was built as a wooden framework tower on �legs�. Currently operational, it displays an automated fixed red light (red for port).
Whitby Piers in the Evening Sun
The west pier lighthouse was built in 1831, and is a stone 83 feet column tower with a lantern on top. This light still displays a green light when shipping is expected. This lighthouse too was replaced in 1914, by a wooden framework tower on 'legs'. Only the older west pier lighthouse is open to the public, but on a limited number of days per year. The Whitby Tourist Information Centre is normally given details of the opening times shortly in advance.
Rough Seas in December
Fishing is allowed on the lower tier of the West Pier only, but this can be closed off in stormy weather, where there is a risk of fishermen being washed off the pier by the high tides. Indeed, the entire west and east piers are best avoided in very high tides and during rough seas. A new ornamental gate was erected and dedicated to Whitby seafarers, which is in place at the beginning of the newer extension. Along the older main west pier there is seating and lighting. There still remains some capstans and old mooring posts. A new addition at the beginning of the west pier, are fossil imprints in the paving.
Whitby's West Pier
Left of the West Pier
(there are children's rides here, in the Summer)
Here too is the Whitby Bandstand, a popular place for the tourists to perhaps watch a band play, maybe dancers at folk week or a venue for various charities to erect their bookstalls/tombola stalls. From here it is possible to step on board the yellow open topped 'hop on hop off' double-decker tour bus. Sometimes a charabanc operated by a local family, is available for rides or even wedding transport!
West Cliff Beach
There is a slipway down to the beach next to the west pier, at the top of which are the public conveniences. Leading around to the seaward side from here, there are small children's rides set up in the summer months opposite to the cafes.
Amusement Arcades on Pier Road
Leading from here, along Pier Road there are three amusements arcades. As well as the usual bingo, slot machines and small children's rides, there is a crazy golf, shooting gallery, mini ten pin bowling and a soft play centre for younger children alongside a cafe for the parents to supervise from.
Whitby Fish Market
A busy fish market stretches from the ice house to the inner harbour on the waterside. Daily catches are landed, auctioned off, packed in ice and despatched across different parts of the country. Opposite the Fish Market is the black and white famous Magpie cafe, alongside many other small cafes and bars. There are small huts selling seafood, hot dogs, tea, coffee and fancy goods including, buckets and spades and all manner of small toys.
The Magpie Cafe
A Fortune-teller's hut has been here for decades, the present lady fortune teller is Lee Ester Alita Lee. Other establishments found along the harbour side include a tattoo parlour , a fishing tackle shop, fish and chip shops, candy floss/rock/waffle shops, ice cream parlours, a gothic outlet, and the Dracula Museum. All the expected facets of seaside shops and cafes are here. Bed and breakfast, self-catering apartments and hotel accommodation can be found.
Shops and Cafes along the Harbour Side
Cafes and shops along Pier Road
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