With its stunning coastline, picturesque harbour, famous abbey ruins and links to famous explorers and literary greats, there is much to see and do in Whitby. Bursting with character and filled with friendly residents, it’s no wonder that it’s one of the most popular holiday destinations in Yorkshire.
In addition to its historical landmarks, interesting visitor attractions, beautiful sandy beaches and fabulous foodie scene, Whitby is pretty great for shopping. As well as a number of high street favourites, in Whitby you will find a fantastic range of quirky independent shops that you won’t find elsewhere. Run by hard-working locals and stocked with unusual products and handcrafted delights, the independent shops in Whitby are each a treasure trove of unique surprises, set in the most idyllic of Yorkshire towns.
If you’re lucky enough to be planning a trip to Whitby, make sure you check out some the unique independent shops listed below…
7 of Our Favourite Shops in Whitby
Despite being tucked away on Brunswick Street, Gutsy Gingers cannot be missed with its colourful shop front and quirky window displays. Opened in 2003 with just 39 items of stock, it is now an Aladdin’s cave of beautiful handcrafted jewellery, clothing, furniture, homeware and gifts sourced from all around the globe.
Inspired by her time spent working as a Henna Artist, the incredibly creative owner, Leisha, mainly stocks items from countries where Henna holds its routes. Step through the doors of Gutsy Gingers and enter a colourful treasure trove of exotic goods made by talented crafters from places such as Turkey, Egypt, Morocco and India. Whitby is indeed lucky enough to have plenty of wonderful independent gift shops but this is certainly the place to go if you’re after something a little different. We particularly love their handmade paper notebooks which wouldn’t look out of place at Hogwarts! They also stock a beautiful selection of sterling silver jewellery.
Gutsy Gingers, 4 Brunswick Street, Whitby YO21 1RB
W H Hamond
Established way back in the year 1860, WH Hamond is the original Whitby Jet shop. They gather the finest Whitby Jet from the town’s shoreline and expertly cut, polish and set it into the most magnificent pieces of unique jewellery.
Located on Church Street at the foot of the 199 steps, W H Hamond is also home to The Whitby Jet Museum. Housed on the first floor, the museum offers a fascinating insight into the history and geology of Whitby Jet, as well as its spectacular transformation into the fine pieces of jewellery made and sold onsite.
Although famous for their Whitby Jet, this wonderful jewellers on Whitby’s most visited street, also sells a sparkling range of diamond and precious gemstone jewellery. If you’re heading to Whitby to pop that special question or you want to find a glittering memento of your time here, W H Hamond is certainly worth a visit.
W Hamond Jewellers,112 Church Street, Whitby YO22 4DE
The Whitby Bookshop
Another gem of a shop on Church Street is The Whitby Book Shop. Opened in 1985, this quirky old shop with its twisting staircase houses over 10,000 books. With such a vast and varied selection of titles to choose from, you’re bound to find something to suit your taste in literature. If you can’t find exactly what you are looking for, their friendly and knowledgable team can advise you on the whopping 13 million titles they have available to order for next day delivery. We suggest picking up a copy of Bram Stoker’s Dracula before making your way u the nearby 199 steps to the famous abbey ruins.
If you’re local to the area, take advantage of their loyalty scheme which offers regular customers discounts on future purchases. If books aren’t your thing, The Whitby Bookshop is still worth a visit as they also stock some wonderful unique gifts.
The Whitby Bookshop, 88 Church Street, Whitby, YO22 4BH
Artemis and The Mermaid
One of Whitby’s quirkiest little shops, Artmeis and The Mermaid stocks a beautiful selection of handmade jewellery and gifts. Inspired by, sourced from or created in Whitby itself, the products here are wonderfully unique and make the perfect holiday souvenirs or gifts for loved ones. You’ll find the shop on Flowergate but if you cannot get there, their products are also available to order online.
As the name suggests, the shop has a nautical theme and you certainly won’t struggle to find pirate, mermaid or sealife themed items crafted by talented makers. They stock eveyrthing from handknitted toys and pretty handmade cards to stunning natural crystals and an eclectic range of trinkets and treasures. There really is an abundance of unique items here that you would be hard pushed to find elsewhere.
Artemis and The Mermaid, 50 Flowergate, Whitby YO21 3BB
This shop is an absolute must-visit for those on self-catering breaks in the town. In addition to their wonderful cafe serving delicious hot and cold treats, they boast an impressive selection of excellent Yorkshire produce. Here, you’ll find locally produced sweet and savoury treats, artisan chocolates, Yorkshire gins, store cupboard essentials and their very own award-winning range of chutneys, jams and preserves. It’s the little things that make holidaying in the UK that extra bit special so head to Whitby Deli on Flowergate and stock up on yummy Yorkshire treats for your caravan, cottage kitchen or picnic on the beach.
The produce stocked here is really good and you can stop for a coffee and a bite to eat before you browse the shelves. They also hold quite a diverse range of gluten free products including pork pies which are an essential element of a British picnic!
The Whitby Deli, 22 – 23 Flowergate, Whitby YO21 3BA
The White Rabbit
This Alice in Wonderland themed gift shop on Skinner Street offers a fun shopping experience for the whole family. Step through the doors and be transported into the wacky and wonderful imagination of Lewis Carroll. The famous author was particularly fond of the Yorkshire seaside town and frequently holidayed here during his lifetime. Whitby’s connection to the literary great no doubt inspired the name and theme of this lovely shop, which is stacked high with treasures that wouldn’t look out of place in one of the most famous fantasy worlds.
You’ll find all sorts of shabby chic and fairytale treasures at The White Rabbit, including clothing, jewellery, furniture and homeware. If you, like so many us us, have a fondess for Alice and the colourful charcters she meets on her adventures then you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with their window displays.
No visit to Whitby would be complete without popping into the famous Fortune’s Kippers smokehouse and shop. Established in 1872 by William Fortune, it is Whitby’s only traditional smokehouse. They’ve been smoking kippers for over 139 years in this building on Henrietta Street and the distinctive aroma from Fortune Kippers is apparent as you approach. If you’re a fan of this fishy breakfast staple, then it’s certain to tempt your tastebuds.
As it is the only traditional smokehouse and is still run by the very same family who established it all those years ago, this is by far the best place to get smoked kippers in Whitby. Still gutted by hand and smoked in the traditional way, these large North-east Atlantic herring are the perfect way to kick-start a day exploring this delightful coastal town.
Fortune’s Kippers, 22 Henrietta St, Whitby YO22 4DW
As with all our articles of this nature, we will be adding to the list over time. If you would like to make a suggestion or would like us to consider your business for inclusion, please email Alexis@theyorkshirepress.co.uk