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A Dracula Masterclass in Whitby Abbey Ruins

A Dracula Masterclass in Whitby Abbey Ruins

Is there a more apt and inspiring place than Whitby Abbey to hear the tales of Dracula? A Gothic Abbey set imposingly on a cliff above the bustling coastal harbour at Whitby…. It’s ruins offering a spectacular backdrop for the night-time illumination show and performance of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. A truly memorable evening from one of the most iconic English Heritage sites.

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Having taken our girls across Europe in the search for new Roadschooling Experiences. We’ve uncovered some fantastic opportunities to learn. Most notably our visits to the French WW1 Battlefields to read Wilfred Owen poetry in the trenches. Or the chance to learn geology some 24km underground in the Postojna Caves in Slovenia….. however the chance to hear the story behind one of the Guardian’s Top 100 novels was always going to be a chance not to be missed….
England is rightly known for its great stately houses, castles and churches but thanks to Henry VIII, a list of England’s Top 10 ruins could easily be dominated by ex-monasteries and having visited Whitby, we reckon its Benedictine Monastic ruins might also be worthy of celebration. Especially if it can be put to such good use with this type of dramatic production of Dracula.
But for those that choose to spend their time inside the ‘Leading Campings‘ resort style complex at Playa Montroig, you’ll not be disappointed by what you find… so we thought we’d try and distil it down into six reasons why we’d happily return here next summer.
Arriving at the cliffside car park for the night-time illuminations, you’re met with an apparition of ghostly magnificence….. Doubled by it’s reflection off the monastic pond beside the Abbey. But when you add in the Halloween focus…. you come face to face with spider webs, silhouettes of bats and even the odd Victorian Undertaker strolling the ruins….
Aiming to grab some more creative writing inspiration to add to our Harry Potter Experiences in London…….Our girls stood transfixed by the growing plot. A cunning story of deception faithfully recounted by the actors in front of  superb backdrops to their performances….. however that’s not all you can enjoy on an evening in Whitby Abbey!!!! There are stalls to purchase hot food/drink or places to buy Victorian trinkets or wooden carvings. It’s also the perfect place for budding photographers to strive to take that ‘once in a lifetime’ picture (just like Lottie above!)
With Halloween approaching, the Dracula performance was only one of a number of fantastic grisly performances as we listened intently to the tales of the Victorian undertaker or heard the Resurrection Man tell us a spine-chilling tale or two about grave robbing. (see details of English Heritage’s half term events here)
In truth, the girls loved every aspect of it….. from the atmospheric ruins to the chance to watch a live performance (just like the Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen) It’s exactly this type of experience that we’ve been searching for across Europe…. an opportunity to inspire, engage and most importantly teach them about history and just how enjoyable creative writing can be….

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Ever wanted to pack your bags, just jump in a motorhome and go off and explore Europe as a family? Well, that’s exactly what my family has done since September 2015. Visiting 35 European countries, travelling over 54,000 miles and grabbing over 450 family experiences on the way… enjoying Bobsleigh in Norway, Climbing into Mt Etna in Sicily or Kayaking the River Dordogne.


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