I first went, for the day, when I was 18 years old with a friend as a celebration after we'd finished our A level exams many, many years ago. While there we did all the Whitby things: bought lucky ducks, went up the 199 steps to the Abbey, and visited the Romany fortune teller in the harbour.
I can't remember all that the fortune teller said, apart from a string of letters relating to a future love (which I wrote down for reference) and, looking deeply sorry, that it would take me a long time to find true love.
She wasn't wrong about that, though having been badly mistaken several times over the past 30 odd years it's only now I realise it.
As for the string of letters ... x,w,i,s,n,h,a... well, she may have picked them out of thin air or she may not but all of them are in The Man's name so..... cue Tales of the Unexpected theme tune.
It seemed only fitting that when we got married we honeymooned in Whitby, and we've returned there one or two times a year ever since.
While we there last year, I met up with that very same friend I'd originally visited Whitby with all of 30 odd years ago. It seems she goes every year too, she even spent her honeymoon there :)
But a friend on Facebook has summed up how I feel about Whitby best: 'Whitby is part of who we are,' she said. 'It's ours and we love it. When you have visited it as many times it becomes an integral part of life. Whitby has a certain indescribable magic about it.'
She's not wrong...
*Plans next trip to Whitby*