The most north easterly part of the North Yorkshire coast, in fact Roxby Beck that runs through the village and is the dividing border between N. Yorks and Cleveland.
The name Staithes come from Staithe meaning 'Landing Place'. The village consists of two sides connected by a bridge over Roxby Beck, Cowbar to the North and the main village to the South, both hug the valley sides with houses seemingly perched on top of each other down the cliff sides.
Staithes has several historical claims to fame. It was home to the 'Staithes Group' of artists during the late 19th and early 20th century, no wonder! What a backdrop of coastal scenes, cottages, cobbled streets, back alleys enhanced by the intrigue of its historical smuggling past, and of course the local fishermen and other village characters.
In the mid 19th century James Cook worked as an apprentice in the local grocers, reports suggest an unhappy career move, however it did give James his first connection with the sea and from here he moved onto the local town of Whitby.
Another claim to fame is that Staithes used to be the hub of the North Eastern fishing industry. At the end of the 19th century it employed over 400 with over 80 boats taking advantage of the natural harbour from Roxby Beck. The industry only moved onto larger centres such as Whitby with the development of steam power.
Staithes is now very much a tourist centre but unlike some coastal villages still maintains a healthy local community as well. Several of the cottages are now used for holiday purposes and are served well by local shops, pubs, eating places and welcoming local residents.
Staithes is a great base for visiting the Coastline and the North York Moors National Park, and plenty more besides.
The village is a great place to wander and discover, loads of alleys, the narrowest road in England is in Staithes 'Dog Loup' down near the harbour. The Staithes Heritage Centre is a must, lots of info on the historical village and Capt. James Cook.
Staithes is on the Cleveland Way and there are lots of good walks from the village both inland and coastal. A circular walk via Port Mulgrave approx. 3 miles, Runswick Bay 5 miles or for the energetic a walk to Whitby approx. 11 miles, a very nice walk, get the bus back (after refreshment!)
Whitby is a must, lots to do and see, beware of Dracula! Visit the Abbey, the Church, There are at least 3 graves here to pirates can you find them? (I can only remember where 2 are). Walk around both sides or the Harbour, there are loads of great shops and galleries and numerous places to eat, one of our favourites is the tearoom at Bothams the bakers on Skinner street, fantastic lunches, big or snacky.
There are plenty of other coastal places to visit, Runswick Bay, Robin Hoods Bay, Port Mulgrave, Saltburn, Scarborough and lots of places in between. The coastline here is famed for its fossils, Port Mulgrave and Ravenscar are both very good. All these areas are safe at low tide, so please do refer to the tide information. We have a copy at the house.
Then there is inland, into the North York Moors National Park, so many lovely villages to visit, don't miss the Parks visitor centre at Danby, Goathland home of Heartbeat and a must is Grosmont the starting point of the North York Moors Railway, catch the steam trains to Pickering, have a wander round and return, fantastic.
For those who have not been before, York although an hour away is well worth a visit plus other fairly local towns are Helmsley and Stokesley. There really is so much to do and see but don't worry if you don't fit it all in, come back next year!
"old Jack's Boat" filmed in Staithes
Staithes: home of the CBBC series
"old Jack's Boat"