Days out in Yorkshire: Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby

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There’s nowhere on the seven seas that sails you this close to one of history’s most daring and successful adventurers.

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum in historic Whitby is home to the 17th century house on Whitby’s harbour where the young James Cook lodged as apprentice. It was here Captain Cook trained as a seaman.

So if you want to get up close and personal to a man without fear, drop anchor here.

In short, Cook is the man who made the first European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands, and made the first recorded circumnavigation of New Zealand.

Cook’s second voyage was on the Resolution and the museum proudly displays an incredibly detailed model version of it.

Popular with the kids, it features a cutaway section which shows how the ship’s stores were organised to make sure the crew were well looked after on the long voyages.

Artefacts, jewellery, artwork and original letters also adorn the walls and cabinets of this unique museum.

A must see is the intriguing map in the Orientation Room. The maps here show the known world before Cook’s voyages – pretty incredible to see and a world away from your iPhone or Google maps.

And The Scientists Room houses artefacts from the voyages, pictures and botanical prints which all show how the frontiers of knowledge were pushed back by scientific advances made by Captain Cook, Sir Joseph Banks and other expedition members.

It’s pretty incredible stuff.

Add in a visit to the Gothic splendour that is Whitby Abbey – and the seaside town itself – and you have a great day out that even the Captain would approve of.


Price: Adult £4.80, children £3.30

Opening Times: 9.45am to 5pm (see website)

Address: Grape Lane, Whitby

Car Parking: Town centre

Attraction Website:

Telephone: 01947 601900

Sat Nav: YO22 4BA

For more great days out see

Days Out: Little Alf Trails, Yorkshire Dales