Join us for the #Cook250 Festival 2018

Mast On HM Bark Endeavour Nearing Completion: CAG Photography

We’re excited to see Whitby host the Cook 250 Festival to celebrate the life of Captain James Cook. 2018 marks the 250th year since Cook first set out in the HMS Endeavour to change the way we saw and understood our world.

The Cook 250 Festival will take place in Whitby 6th – 8th July with special events happening around the town.

What’s on?

There are so many events booked in over the weekend, but make time to explore. Take a look at the live street theatre, listen to sea shanties, and partake of an ale or two. You can even navigate through Whitby on the Cook Selfie Tour!

Step aboard a ship

All weekend, two tall ships will be docked in Whitby harbour that you can visit for free. Visit the Spanish hand-built tall ship Atyla and experience life at sea, and re-live the Battle of Trafalgar on a replica of HMS Pickle, Nelson’s smallest warship.

You’ll also be able to step on board the authentic replica of Cook’s HMS Endeavour. It might only be 40% of the ship’s original size, but you’ll get a sense of what it must have been like sailing in her for months at a time. Luckily, your journey will only take you up the coast to Sandsend!

Time Will Tell theatre performance at Whitby Abbey

Come along and see a showing of Time Will Tell at Whitby Abbey and be transported back to the 18th century. This is a specially commissioned play that will draw you in to the age of exploration and discovery that Cook would have known.

There are performances at 11am, 1pm and 3pm during the festival weekend, and the play will also run throughout July.

It’s free for English Heritage members, £7.90 for adults, £4.70 children, and £7.10 for concessions.Whitby Abbey grounds ready to host a play during the Cook 250 Festival

Experience live cooking theatre

Over at Endeavour Wharf, you’ll find lots of live cooking theatre. Local chefs will being history to life with an 18th century twist on modern foods, as well as replicating the meals that would have been eaten at sea on long journeys. These demonstrations are free and will run from 10:30am to 3:30pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday 7th July:

10:30 – Christian Taylor – Chef and creator of the street food ‘Taylor Made’
11:30 – Mal Nicholson – Chef on board the HMS Pickle
12:30 – Rob Green – Award winning chef and UK Ambassador for Seafish
13:30 – Martyn Hyde – Chef behind the award winning ‘Eat Me’ café will be serving an array of food with an Asian twist
14:30 – Harrison Barraclough – Chef at Raithwate Estates and the Plum & Partridge
15:30 – Dan Hargreaves – Chef and creator of Hedgehogger Cider

Sunday 8th July:

10:30 – Christian Taylor – Christian is back again to entertain you
11:30 – Gilli Cliff – hear from the critically acclaimed food writer, TV star and restaurant owner
12:30 – Charlotte Cumberbirch – She’s now the chef on board the Tall Ship, but started out as a volunteer on the HMS Atyla
13:30 – Richard Johns – Award winning chef at Rascilla Restaurant
14:30 – Rob Clark – Chef at Clark’s Restaurant Scarborough and a previous tutor at Yorkshire Coast College
15:30 – The Cook’s Cook Off!! – see Martyn Hyde and Rob Green take each other on in a cooking battle


There are lots of things happening in Staithes over the weekend too. Take a look at the HMS Pickle as it spends the evening in their harbour on Thursday 5th July. Hear sea shanties and the Staithes Fisherman’s Choir perform during the weekend and take a history walk with Bill Hinchely.


To bring the Cook 250 Festival to a spectacular close, there will be a fireworks display on Sunday at 9:45pm on the East Pier.

East Pier in Witby ready for a firework display during the Cook 250 festival

Other Cook attractions

There are lots of other places you can visit to discover more about the James Cook history and legacy during the Cook 250 Festival.

Captain Cook Memorial Museum

The Captain Cook Memorial Museum is hosting a very special exhibit to celebrate #Cook250. Head to the museum to discover what life would have been like in Whitby when Cook was growing up and learning his trade.

Walk in Cook’s footsteps

You can set out on the famous Captain Cook walk, a 7 mile route around Roseberry Topping and see Cook’s monument standing proudly above his homeland.

You’ll find the route here

Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum

Come along to the Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum to learn more about Cook’s early life in the very building where he received his early education in Great Ayton.

‘Eye of the Wind’ film screening

On Thursday 5th July, you can watch a screening of ‘Eye of the Wind’ at the Whitby Pavilion Theatre. With a cast of Yorkshire talent to guide you through, you’ll learn the story of Cook’s first voyage on the HMS Endeavour.

We can’t wait for the festival to begin to celebrate the life and achievements of Captain Cook. We’ll see you in July for the #Cook250 fun!

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