With its higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets, Staithes has the air of a place lost in time. Once one of the largest fishing ports on the North East coast, this coastal hamlet is now a well-loved base for exploring Yorkshire’s cliff top paths and discovering the delights of rock pooling and fossil hunting on the small sandy beach.
The Perfect Hideaway
This village’s unique charm, with its huddled cottages, towering cliffs and choppy sea, has long been a powerful draw for those interested in fine art, geology and getting back to nature. The ‘old village’, located in a small, sheltered cove at the base of the cliff, is peppered with small B&Bs and local fishermen’s cottages – the perfect place to spend a long weekend.
An great example of this is Peeler’s Rest, which joins onto the village’s former police house that was built in the 1920’s. The single storey building was added some years later and formed the police office and garage.
Exploring the Coast
The soaring, rugged cliffs make Staithes a great place for walking and exploring. Take the coastal pathways to the nearby Boulby Cliffs, or visit the northern headland of Cowbar Nab with its tiny hamlet snaking down the rock side. Part of the Cleveland Way runs between Staithes and Skinningrove, where you can explore the remnants of the alum mines that once made the village famous. This headland is also an ideal place to bird watch, with plenty of gulls and other seabirds nesting in the cliffs.
After you’ve finished exploring you’ll definitely have worked up an apetite for some food and Staithes is not short of a tasty treat or two. The Cleveland Corner Bistro is a small seafood speciality restaurant that is passionate about their food and strive to buy most of their fish in the village & landed in either Staithes or Whitby. Or you could try The Endeavour Restaurant who also pull on the fine resources of the area and provide a range of delicious seafood dishes. Also, at the top of the bank, strategically placed for a refreshing cup of tea, you’ll see The Tea Shop.
If this isn’t enough, The Captain Cook Inn offer freshly prepared meals and where possible source locally produced ingredients to cater for every taste, and The Cod & Lobster offer fresh seafood.
Finally if you’re looking to buy fresh produce, look no further than Whitby Seafish who supply seafood from Staithes Fishermen who still use the traditional methods and are only at sea for a matter of hours! This freshness combined with the traditional methods provides truly exceptional quality.
Artists and Historians
Visitors to this small village will be astounded by how much history surrounds it.Visit Staithes lifeboat station on the North side of the river. The station is open to the public and chronicles the heroic actions of the local life boat crew. The beauty of the village has always lent itself to art and has a long history of well known painters, including a small group of twenty to thirty artists known as the “Staithes Group” or the “Northern Impressionists”. The Staithes Gallery is housed in an elegant Georgian building on Staithes High Street and provides a showcase for the very best contemporary artwork inspired by Staithes and the surrounding area.
Staithes was once an important fishing base, home to locally built boats and a small fleet of brightly coloured Whitby Cobles. Now, the boats are used by local fishermen to catch cod, lobsters and crabs and some vessels offer short pleasure cruises. The tiny beach and cluster of rock pools make this a wonderful place to explore, and there are so many fossils that this area that it has been nicknamed the ‘Dinosaur Coast’ – so keep your eyes open!
Old Jack’s Boat
Old Jack’s Boat features Bernard Cribbins as ‘Old Jack’, a retired fisherman who lives in a little village on the North Yorkshire Coast. This little village just happens to be Staithes! Helped along by a cast of colourful characters, ‘Old Jack’ tells tall stories from inside his old fishing boat. The series is a mix of live action and animation which allows Old Jack to wander along the seabed, visit tropical islands and fly high in the air on balloons always accompanied by his faithful dog, Salty.
Staithes Festival takes place over the weekend of 13/14 September, where scores of cottages and public buildings will again throw open their doors to the public as pop-up galleries for a selling exhibition of work by local and visiting artists. Visitors will be able to find their way around the delightful maze of lanes discovering the pop-up galleries and tea rooms along the way.
Located within The North York Moors
There’s nowhere else on earth quite like the North York Moors National Park. Where else can you experience a landscape where stunning moorland, ancient abbeys and picturesque villages live side by side in such perfect harmony? It’s a living, breathing scene that will take your breath away.