With its higgledy-piggledy cottages and winding streets, Staithes has the air of a village lost in time. Once a thriving fishing port, this coastal hamlet is now a well-loved base for exploring Yorkshire's cliff-top paths and discovering the delights of rock-pooling or fossil-hunting on the small sandy beach. A designated conservation village due to its unique character and charm, the narrow cobbled streets and tucked-away alleyways are steeped in history, with tales of smuggling and the bohemian art community known as the Staithes Group. Inspired by the local scenery, the Staithes Group painted in and around the village in the late 19th century. Their legacy continues in the annual Staithes Arts Festival in September, when homes and shops are converted into art galleries and pop-up cafes welcoming visitors.
The Cleveland Way passes through the village, with spectacular cliff-top walks from your front door, or rambles into the surrounding countryside of the North York Moors National Park. Or you could take a 2-minute stroll down to the harbour to fish from the pier or enjoy a pint and some home-cooked food at the Cod and Lobster on the seafront. You can take courses in sketching, painting and photography in the village, or book onto an organised fishing trip. You can even learn to catch, cook and smoke your own mackerel. Or if that sounds too much like hard work, browse the Art Gallery and gift shops or settle into one of the delightful cafes for an afternoon with a good book and some home baking.
There are child and dog friendly pubs in the village as well as a couple of bistros, or you can pick up some fresh fish from the award-winning fishmongers and cook at home.
You'll find outstanding beaches at Runswick Bay and Sandsend within five miles. And just ten minutes' drive along the 'Dinosaur Coast' lies the historic town of Whitby, where you can sample kippers from the smokehouse at the base of the 199 steps up to the Abbey, then climb them for stunning views across the Esk Valley. Explore the Whitby Jet workshops and treat yourself to award-winning fish and chips at the famous Magpie Cafe.
A little further afield you can find Scarborough with Sea World and the brand new £14million Water Park, or catch a play at the renowned Stephen Joseph Theatre. You're an easy drive away from Flamingo Land, the Moorland village of Goathland (location for TV's Heartbeat), a steam train trip on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, or a day out in historic York. Bike hire, horse riding, golf and swimming are all available nearby, and there is a growing trend for surfing locally, with enthusiasts drawn to the waves off Staithes and neighbouring Saltburn.
- Large Co-op in the village for food and general supplies
- Artisan food store / deli on High Street
- Coal and logs available locally
- Butcher and award-winning fishmonger
- Art Galleries
- Restaurants & Tearooms
- Traditional Pubs
- Working Lifeboat station
- Location for CBeebies' Old Jack's Boat
Visit North Yorkshire Moors - www.visitnorthyorkshiremoors.co.uk
Yorkshire Tourist Board - www.welcometoyorkshire.net
Staithes Gallery - www.staithesgallery.co.uk
Staithes Town - www.staithes-town.info