Wet Steps at Whitby’s Iconic 199 Steps

Every photographer has the shot in their portfolio, only a few things make them different, weather, time of day, time of year make some of the shots that little bit unique, but the one thing that has always stood out for me in the making the best shots at this location is the wet steps.

Its a difficult one to capture for many reasons. Firstly getting the steps wet and then getting a sunset at the same time, well that happens rarely. Add to that the huge amount of photographers who gather on the steps each evening, its hard to get the conditions and its hard to get the steps clear of people.

After many years of trying I think I eventually have the one shot I want. Im not saying I’ll never photograph the steps again, but unless something very special arises I doubt ill photograph this particular scenes again.

Whitby 199 Steps Sunset

Whitby 199 Steps Sunset

Wet Nights, Puddles And Sunsets.

I had intended to head to Staithes to capture a few shots Ive been wanting to take for quite a while. It had been raining all day here in Whitby and it felt like it would rain forever more. But as I stepped out of my front door I looked down the street, and the Abbey was glowing that Golden Colour against a very dark sky in the east. This tells me the sun is out, so iI headed for west cliff.

Arriving at the whale bones, the last colours of a full rainbow over Whitby were just fading away. I looked west to the cliffs at Sandsend and the horizon was completely clear, this meant one thing, a sunset, and a sky full of clouds means beautiful colours across town.

I decided to head to the 199 steps to see if I could get the wet steps photographs I had been after for some years. I watched the sunset right on the end of Sandsend Ness. A few more days and the sun will set into the north sea once again. This makes our town unique in Yorkshire and one of only 2 towns on the entire coast where you can see a sunset in the sea.

As mentioned above I got the shots I wanted on the steps, so I decided to head onto The East Pier. I know from past experience that the puddles there can be great for reflections. Once again they didnt let me down and I got some lovely photographs that Im immensely proud of.

Whitby West Pier Lighthouse With East Pier Reflections

Whitby West Pier Lighthouse With East Pier Reflections

The next hour was spent snapping away and trying to make the best of the amazing colours out in the north west skies. The nice thing about this time of year is that twilight seems to last forever. The skies stay light for a good 90 minutes out to the north of the town. By mid summer it seems that the northern sky never gets dark at all.

The harbour took on the appearance of a mirror, there was not a breath of wind, nor a ripple on the water. Such nights are rare, so I hung about as long as possible making use of the light and the mirror effects on the water.


This past week has been amazing for sunsets here at Whitby. Summer is with us now, Amazing sunsets, calm seas and warm evenings. Where else in the world would you rather be at this time of year.

Whitby Harbour Sunset - Whitby Boat "RAN" At Calla Beck

Whitby Harbour Sunset – Whitby Boat “RAN” At Calla Beck

Whitby Harbour Sunset From Shipyard Area

May Sunset - May 2017, Taken From The Old Shipyard Area At Whitby

May Sunset – May 2017, Taken From The Old Shipyard Area At Whitby

Whitby Harbour Sunset At Backpackers Hostel

Whitby Harbour Sunset At Backpackers Hostel

Photography Of The 199 Steps At Whitby

Information and Photography tips for photographing the 199 steps will be here soon.

Further Reading On Whitby’s 199 Steps

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