Haunting photos show streets of Whitby deserted as lockdown begins

This week's mild weather would usually herald the start of the summer season for Whitby.

Wednesday, 25th March 2020, 11:49 am

But today the streets of Yorkshire's most popular tourist destination were deserted as lockdown measures were enforced.

Shops, cafes, restaurants and pubs have now been ordered to shut by the government in a bid to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Many councils have closed car parks and outdoor attractions in a bid to deter visitors from congregating.

These haunting images show famous Whitby landmarks such as the 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey and the Swing Bridge completely devoid of people.

A deserted Swing Bridge

A poignant sign in the window of the Magpie Cafe, the town's most famous restaurant, promised customers that they would back, while the Riviera Guesthouse displayed a message of hope.

The empty scenes were a contrast to the weekend, when visitors were slammed as irresponsible by emergency services for descending on the coast en masse to celebrate Mother's Day in groups.

A paramedic posted an emotional video from his vehicle beside the A64 after seeing large numbers of cars heading for destinations such as Whitby and Scarborough despite social distancing guidance from the government having been issued.

While a Whitby couple in their 70s wrote to the Yorkshire Post expressing their concern and disappointment after seeing long queues at fish and chip shops at Robin Hood's Bay and Sleights that still appeared to be trading as normal..

The 199 steps up to Whitby Abbey

Whitby is dependent on income from tourism and is likely to be badly hit by coronavirus-related closures. The Whitby Goth Weekend in April and the Fish and Ships Festival in May have already been cancelled and events planned for later in the summer, such as Whitby Regatta in August, could also be impacted by the restrictions.

The harbour area was empty
Church Street is empty after shops were forced to close
A sole dog walker passes a shuttered ice cream kiosk
A message of hope from a closed-down B&B
Whitby was deserted on Tuesday
The Magpie Cafe is Whitby's most famous restaurant
A poignant message from the Magpie's owners
A lone jogger on Pier Road