Memories are made of this

Publication: Yorkshire Post

A bit like bumping into an ex, revisiting your favourite childhood holiday resort is fraught with potential disappointment.

My own candy floss-coloured memories of Whitby come courtesy of a distinctly 1980s set of photographs, a time when the annual summer holiday meant dressing up in a cagoule to go to the beach, when chicken in a basket counted as fine dining, and when wearing snow washed denim was acceptable.

We probably only went to Whitby a handful of times, but you only need to stand under Whitby's giant whale bone once as a small child for it to be imprinted on your memory and it has remained both frozen in time and my favourite British resort.

As a child I have vague memories of staying in a cottage which boasted an eclectic range of paisley furnishings, plastic bed sheets and evidence of woodworm and, while I'm all for nostalgia, thankfully this time around times have changed.

Walking into the Captain's Quarters - one of 20 four and five star luxury Shoreline cottages in and around Whitby - it's clear this is not the kind of self-catering accommodation of old, and a quick glance at the kitchen and lounge confirms the presence of a dishwasher, matching cutlery and soft furnishings.  Add in a sea view, crisp white linen and a complete set of Scrabble, and it's as close as you're likely to get to holiday heaven.

Frankly I would have happily taken in the sights from the comfort of Captain's Quarters, but it seemed a little churlish not to join the crowds which descend on Whitby in both the height of summer and the depths of winter.

While various attractions are closed from November to April, Whitby still has much to offer out of season, not least the Abbey in all its Gothic winter glory, the many James Cook attractions, jet shops and, for someone trying to recapture their childhood, the 2p arcade machines are still very much in working order.