All is calm, all is bright in Whitby scene caught on camera

On the eve of Christmas, it seems only apt to use the lyrics of traditional carol Silent Night to describe the soothing tranquillity captured in this Whitby scene.

All is calm, all is bright - and in the bay beneath the clifftop that is home to the infamous Whitby Abbey, there is not a brave swimmer in sight.

The picture, in two days’ time will no doubt be one of stark contrast. As it has for the last 45 years, the waterfront of the North Yorkshire coastal town will become a hive of activity for rather a chilly festive tradition - a Boxing Day dip in the North Sea. What initially started out as a bathe among a handful of brave locals has grown into a “fun and frantic” charitable event, organised by the Whitby District Lions, and has seen more than 150 people travel from far and wide to take part.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Participants, many in fancy dress, run into the wintry waves that surround the shore, cheered on by a number of onlookers witnessing the excitement from the sidelines. The intention, the Lions say, is that the dippers are sponsored for taking the plunge, with 80 per cent of cash raised being donated to a charity of their choice and the remaining fifth helping the local causes that the group supports.

A view over Whitby. Picture Richard Ponter.

The festive custom is not the only event with which the town has become synonymous.

Since 1994, it has played host to a festival that has grown to become one of the world’s premier Goth events - the twice-yearly Whitby Goth Weekend, with its live music, entertainment and an alternative market. And for more than 170 years, the Whitby Regatta has also drawn in crowds to witness yacht racing and rowing competitions.

Of course, no mention of Whitby can be complete without reference to its link to Dracula. Writer Bram Stoker found some of his inspiration for his 1897 novel whilst staying there. Parts of the town are referenced in the book, including the 199 steps that lead to St Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey.

Worth the climb, once up there, the view is equally as picturesque as the one captured here.

Technical details: Nikon D810 camera, 14 - 24 lens with an exposure of 1/200th f 2.8 ISO 400.