Where is it?

Whitby, Yorkshire. The seaside town famous for its 199 steps, annual Goth Festival, and for inspiring Bram Stoker's Dracula.

Why do you go there?

Many of my childhood summer holidays were spent in Whitby, so it feels like a home from home.

My inner teen goth loves Whitby's spooky trappings: the goth guesthouse, the cheesy Dracula Experience, and the antique shop that has real taxidermy bats hanging in its window.

But I also just love the look of the place, from the salt-weathered gravestones in the clifftop churchyard to the hodgepodge pot roofs and chimneys.

Whitby also has a really, really good independent bookshop.

How often do you go?

At least once a year, ideally in the autumn, when the town is at its spookiest and most atmospheric.

How did you discover it?

My parents have always loved Yorkshire: when my little brother and I were children, we would always look forward to holidaying in Whitby, and visiting the nearby villages of Robin Hood's Bay and Sandsend.

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But I think I started to develop my own personal admiration for Whitby after reading Robin Jarvis' very chilling YA book The Whitby Witches as a teenager.

My child's-eye-view of Whitby as a place of paddling and ice cream disappeared and was replaced by a fascination with the town's much spookier side.

What's your favourite memory?

I have a photograph of me on the Whitby prom that was taken by my best friend Leon, on a trip to Whitby in around 2007. Leon was even more of a teen goth than I was (he'd even been allowed to paint his bedroom black), and we had a great time that week.

Highlights included eating fish and chips at the famous Magpie Cafe, drinking lots of good Yorkshire craft beer, and daring to climb the 199 steps at midnight.

Who do you take?

I've been most often with my brother, Nick, who loves the place almost as much as I do. It's become something of an October tradition for us to spend at least a long weekend there each year.

What do you take?

I take a notebook everywhere, but it feels especially important to have it with me when I go to Whitby. I find the place incredibly inspiring and always come away with pages and pages of scribbled ideas and half-finished poems.

What do you leave behind?

I pick up handfuls of sea glass, quartz and shells from the beach – they call to me at the time, but on the last day of every trip I have to sort through all the flotsam and keep only the "best" bits. The rest I sheepishly return to the beach. If I didn't, my house would be filled with pieces of Whitby shoreline.

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Sum it up in five words.

Atmospheric, friendly, quirky and cheerily gothic.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

I've always wanted to go to Glastonbury (the town, rather than the festival), but never have. I've promised myself that after Covid-19 is gone, I will.

Cover Your Tracks by Claire Askew is published by Hodder & Stoughton, priced £16.99