It may not be the usual time to embrace Halloween fancy dress, but people who enjoy wearing vampire outfits and other dark clothes may want to pack their costumes and head to Whitby in March.

Twice a year, the Yorkshire town plays host to Whitby Gothic Weekend (WGW), an event that attracts thousands of people who like this kind of activity.

In 2011, it takes place from March 25th to 27th and November 4th to 6th, so there is still plenty of time to plan an outfit and take a minibreak in the spring.

Vampire fancy dress could be a good idea as Whitby's abbey plays a key role in Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, but anyone hoping to participate will be pleased to know that pretty much anything goes.

WGW was first established in 1994 and is organised by Jo Hampshire who runs Top Mum Promotions.

It had become so popular by 1997 that it became a twice-yearly event at the Spa Pavilion.