Dracula fans and day trippers on 140-mile round outing fined for Whitby Abbey visits

Two Dracula fans who took a visit to Whitby Abbey over the weekend got more than a fright after being fined for breaching coronavirus regulations.

By Carl Gavaghan, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:28 pm

The couple took a detour during a trip from Edinburgh to Cambridge to visit the abbey and the town, which is described as the fictional character’s arrival point into England in Bram Stoker’s story.

The author is also believed to have written part of his novel during a visit to Whitby.

The pair were not alone in travelling to the seaside to see the abbey in breach of national guidance.

Sign up to our daily The Scarborough News Today newsletter

In the last week 210 Fixed Penalty Notices were issued by North Yorkshire Police, 110 of which were in the Scarborough borough.

At a meeting of the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum this morning Superintendent Mike Walker, North Yorkshire Police lead for the force’s Covid response, said that four more people had been found making a 140-mile round trip to visit the attraction.

He said: “We had four people from Newcastle claiming to be on the wrong train despite the fact their tickets clearly stated Whitby as the destination.

“And a couple travelling from Edinburgh to Cambridge who took a detour to see Whitby Abbey apparently because they are fans of Dracula.

“So we continue to patrol and will continue to enforce the relevant legislation where necessary to protect all our chances of coming out of lockdown in line with the roadmap as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Mr Walker said there has also been an increase of people found travelling into the county to ride bikes, motorcycles or to take part in outdoor activities.

In total, there were 110 Fixed Penalty Notices issued in the Scarborough borough in the last seven days, a majority of the 210 issued in North Yorkshire as a whole.

Two-thirds of the fines were handed out to visitors to the county.

It means that 630 fixed penalty notices have now been issued in Scarborough alone since January 6 when the third lockdown began, which is 42% of all fines issued by North Yorkshire Police for Covid breaches in that time.