B&B and Beyond: Union Place, Whitby - bed down amid Georgian flair in North Yorkshire

This grand Grade II-listed property combines historic detail with modern touches. Tina Walsh settles in for the night

This expansive Georgian townhouse B&B wouldn’t look out of place in an interiors magazine. Just two rooms of Union Place, a beautiful 17-room Grade II-listed property in the seaside town of Whitby, North Yorkshire, have been turned into chic, airy guest accommodation.

The elegant 18th-century terraced house is one of four that stands, peacock like, on an otherwise unremarkable suburban street, a five-minute walk up the hill from Whitby harbour. Painstakingly restored over 16 years, it opened as a B&B in 2007. With its period windows, plasterwork and original fireplaces, Union Place’s doors are thrown open to the wider public during Heritage Open Days, an annual celebration of the best of England’s culture, architecture and historical landmarks.

The Bed

Everything about Union Place is aesthetically pleasing, whether it’s the cast-iron rolltop bath and smart walk-in shower in the enormous bathroom – shared between the two first-floor bedrooms – the original Georgian longcase clocks in the hallway, or the sumptuously lined silk curtains in the living room. In the Green Room, a polished oak sleigh bed takes centre stage, along with a Chinese lacquered cabinet and muted Laura Ashley wallpaper. At the back of the house, with glorious views of the garden and the North York Moors beyond, the Blue Room has a French antique bed, reupholstered in rich ivory brocade.

Downstairs, in the guests’ living room, the scent of fresh lilies hangs in the air and tasteful watercolours grace the walls; there’s a Bang & Olufsen TV and DVD player in one corner and a James Bond-esque 1960s chrome floor lamp in the other. Guests can use the pretty, south-facing garden and, if they wish, take a look round the art studio at the bottom. It’s worth noting that Union Place has a resident dog, Hettie, a very friendly miniature lurcher.

The Breakfast

Breakfast is served in the smart open-plan kitchen in the stone-flagged basement. As with any self-respecting B&B, there’s a Full English option: bacon and sausage from Whitby master butcher Landers, kippers from Fortunes, free-range eggs, beans, muffins, toast, mushrooms and tomatoes and, in the autumn, figs from the garden. There’s plenty of choice when it comes to cereals, plus freshly squeezed orange juice, fresh coffee, tea and preserves, either from Bracken Hill Fine Foods or home made to the owner’s recipe. Vegetarians, vegans and food intolerances can also be catered for.

The Hosts

Self-confessed “Georgianophiles”, Richard and Jane Pottas – a watercolour artist and a scientist at the Natural History Museum respectively – spend much of their spare time rooting out quirky objets d’art and fine antiques in the UK and south-west France, where they have another property. “We like to mix the old with the new and wanted Union Place to reflect our home and be somewhere people could relax,” says Richard, who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the house.

The Weekend

The North York Moors National Park is a Shangri-La for hikers and nature lovers. One of the most scenic coastal walks runs from Whitby to Runswick Bay (01723 383636; discoveryork shirecoast.com) part of the 177km-long (110 miles) Cleveland Way.

Brooding over the town, high up on a headland is Whitby’s ruined Benedictine abbey (0870 333 1181; www.english-heritage.org.uk). Follow in the footsteps of the huge black dog in Bram Stoker’s Dracula and climb the 199 stairs to the top. For a fascinating glimpse into a lost world, the Sutcliffe Gallery (01947 602239; sutcliffe-gallery.co.uk) showcases late Victorian life in Whitby and the surrounding area as recorded by the renowned photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe.

The Pit stop

If the queues outside Yorkshire’s most talked-about fish and chip shop, the Magpie Café (01947 602058; www.magpiecafe.co.uk), are too long, Trenchers Seafood Restaurant (01947 603212; trenchersrestaurant.co.uk), with a takeaway next door, is a good alternative. For the best Sunday lunch around – everything is locally sourced where possible – head to Cross Butts Stable Restaurant (01947 820986; cross-butts.co.uk) just outside Whitby. Mains (£11.95) run the gamut from beef, chicken, pork, turkey, duck, salmon and cod. Award-winning Green’s Restaurant & Bistro (01947 600284; greensofwhitby.com), directly overlooking the harbour, makes a lovely spot for dinner.

The Essentials

Union Place, 9 Upgang Lane, Whitby, North Yorkshire, YO21 3DT (01947 605501; unionplacewhitby.co.uk). Both rooms are £65 (£70 if booked for just one night over a bank holiday), including breakfast.

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Print Designer - High Wycombe - Permanent £28K

    £25000 - £28000 per annum + 24 days holiday, bonus, etc.: Ashdown Group: Print...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Travel Consultant

    £20000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in London, Manches...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager

    £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer and Brand Manager required for ...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator

    £25000 - £35000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Administrator A...

    Day In a Page

    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
    Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

    Why are we addicted to theme parks?

    Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
    Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

    Iran is opening up again to tourists

    After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
    10 best PS4 games

    10 best PS4 games

    Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
    Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

    Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

    Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
    Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

    ‘Can we really just turn away?’

    Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

    Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

    ... and not just because of Isis vandalism
    Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

    Girl on a Plane

    An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

    The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent