'Marry me' proposal at Dracula Abbey

Ryan Hill proposed to Kirsten Irvine at the Illuminated Abbey event.
Ryan Hill proposed to Kirsten Irvine at the Illuminated Abbey event.

It wasn’t just the stunning view of Whitby Abbey lit up at night that amazed visitors at the illuminated event – but a romantic proposal.

Ryan Hill, from Thirsk, said he couldn’t think of a better setting to pop the question to his partner Kirsten Irvine.

It didn’t disappoint. “She had tears streaming down her face, with the biggest smile,” Ryan said. “She said yes and was over the moon.”

He chose to ask the question as a performance of Dracula unfolded at the abbey.

“I was given the microphone and asked the question. Everyone started cheering.”

Kirsten told the Gazette: “I was shocked. I couldn’t say very much, but it was beautiful, really beautiful. It was a really nice night and very romantic. It was also nice to see the crowd’s

reaction – it was wonderful.”

Ryan added that the pair have a romantic affiliation to Whitby, hence why he chose town as the location for the important event. He said: “We had never been before we met, then we’ve visited a couple of times. That was another reason why I wanted to do it there.” Kirsten added: “We like the beach at Whitby and going on our little adventures.”

Speaking about their relationship, she said: “He’s made me the happiest woman there is and I am so thankful for him.

“He’s the best, dreams did come true when I met him.”

The English Heritage Illuminated Abbey event saw thousands of people attend in the week-long spectacle.

Visitors were wowed to see the ruin lit up in a stunning new light.

People experienced Bram Stoker’s inspiration for the Dracula novel at the event, which was brought alive by ghost stories, undertakers and grave robbers all contributing to the atmosphere that inspired a seminal gothic legend.

Whitby Abbey’s opening times are set to change next week. From November 6 to December 23 the Abbey will be closed during weekdays and open from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.