The wonderful town of Whitby nestles in a natural harbour on the north eastern coast of England in the County of North Yorkshire. This very picturesque fishing port has gained a reputation as a tourist resort over the last century. In Victorian times visitors flocked here principally for the bracing air and the bathing waters of the North Sea. This is evidenced by the many sepia photographs of that era (late 1800s) depicting the rows of changing huts on wheels along the shoreline from whence the Victorian ladies in their full one piece bathing suits alighted to paddle in the sea.
The town of Whitby today is far removed from that era. In the olden days, only a minority of the population were able to afford holidays but over the last century or so is has become increasingly apparent that the vast majority of everyday folk can at least afford a break or a full weeks holiday away.
The guest houses in Whitby are instrumental in affording the average holidaymaker accommodation at a reasonable price. There are, of course, the cheaper options by way of camping and caravanning, but for those wishing to leave the household chores behind, then the guest house is the obvious selection.
There are a wide variety of guest houses situated in and around the town. A large proportion of the guest houses are to be found on the West Cliff at the top of the Khyber Pass. It is in this area that George Hudson (the Railway King) built large houses in a circular fashion called Royal Crescent. These popular houses and the many streets situated behind are an obvious choice for conversion to guest houses as they are too large nowadays for a normal family home.
The guest houses of today differ vastly from those in days gone by. Principally, the main difference is that en-suite accommodation is available whereas before many bedrooms shared one bathroom. At one time it was said that many a landlady hid the bathplug from visitors so as not to encourage the use of hot water! Happily this is not now the case with the ever increasing modern facilities on offer by proprietors in competition with their neighbours to offer high standards and quality of accommodation. For any establishment to register with the local tourist office, they must adhere to the regulations laid down by the Council. Fire safety precautions, health and hygiene certificates, standards of cleanliness and the quality of the furnishings are all taken into account. The regulations can to a certain extent guarantee the visitor the standards expected by their choice of accommodation.
Competition is paramount in ensuring that accommodation providers strive to improve their properties and standards. The old 'take it or leave it' adage is no longer acceptable as has happened in the past.The modern day savvy customer will not tolerate standards below par. Happily, the town of Whitby is well renowned for its quality and standard of guest house accommodation as has been evidenced by the comments made in the national newspaper reportings.
As the beginning of a new year approaches, the guest house owners are already preparing for the next holiday season. The winter months, when the numbers of visitors are at their lowest, is the optimum time for redecoration and refurbishment. Upkeep is essential in the guest house trade as the number of visitors passing through the doors can make an impact on the décor, furnishings and carpets.
Over the last thirty years, the season has extended from merely just the summer months. The extended season is due in part to the various events staged over the out of season months by way of the Gothic Weekends and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway Events.
Whitby is fully able to compete with other tourist towns with regard to ever increasing numbers throughout the calendar year. Not only are the guest house owners playing their role in tourism, other businesses in the town for example restaurants, cafes and pubs are increasingly upgrading to offer visitors excellent service.