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40 Staithes Lane
Tel: 01947 841423
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 round. There are loads of alleys and passageways. Try exploring at night! ‘Dog Loup,’ the narrowest street in the north of England is here, down near the harbour. At just 18 inches wide in places, try walking down it without turning sideways. The Staithes Museum is a must-see. Run by volunteers and with free entry, it’s a treasure chest of local artifacts and history, and hosts a craft shop. There is also another outlet for local crafters, up Church Street in St Peter’s Hall.
While you’re out walking, look for Paul Czainski’s fabulous ‘trompe l’oeil’ (meaning ‘trick the eye’) paintings dotted around the village. There are least 8 to hunt down. My favourite is the Red Boat and Shell, down by the beckside. Look for the house with the pink door and you’ve found it! You are welcome to borrow our cheat sheet on the paintings’ locations.
For kids, there’s the ‘Old Jack’s Boat’ sticker trail. We are one of the collection points.
Visitors to the village can go out to sea on trips, for fishing or wildlife tours, including whale-watching.
Staithes Lifeboat Weekend is held each summer, usually in August. A fundraiser for the RNLI, it begins with the Nightgown Parade through the village on the Friday evening, has fireworks over the harbour on the Saturday night, and ends with a service and singing through the village on the Sunday with plenty of events in between.
The Staithes Arts and Heritage Festival is generally held on the second weekend in September. The village hosts an impressive number of artists of all descriptions, and many houses, including Roraima, act as art galleries for the weekend. There is music and storytelling too. Book accommodation early for this weekend, as it’s often snapped up a year in advance.
Staithes is on the long distance walk, The Cleveland Way, and there are lots of good walks from the village, both inland and coastal. A circular walk via Port Mulgrave is approximately 3 miles, to Runswick Bay about 5 miles round trip, and for the energetic, a walk to Whitby is approximately 11 miles. Reward yourselves with some Whitby fish and chips and catch the X4 bus back!
Our village is at the very tip of the North Yorkshire coastline. Roxby Beck, which runs through Staithes, is the border between North Yorkshire and Cleveland.
The name Staithes comes from Staithe, meaning ‘Landing Place’. The village consists of two sides connected by a footbridge over Roxby Beck; Cowbar to the north and the main village to the south. Tightly packed cottages spill down the cliffsides separated only by footpaths and the single cobbled street which winds through the old village.
Staithes has several historical claims to fame. It was home to the ‘Staithes Group’ of artists during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and there’s no wonder! What a backdrop of coastal scenes, cottages, the cobbled street and narrow back alleys, all enhanced by the intrigue of the village’s smuggling past. It is still a haven for artists today, and there are usually plenty of their works on display and for sale in the art gallery on the high street.
For 18 months from 1745, a young James Cook was apprenticed in Staithes as a shop boy to local grocer and haberdasher William Sanderson. However, the sea proved to be far more interesting to Cook than shopwork, and from here he moved south to Whitby, to be taken on as a merchant navy apprentice.
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 men and boys with over 80 boats. The industry only moved onto larger centres such as Whitby with the development of steam power.
Staithes is now very much a tourist destination but unlike some coastal villages, it still maintains a healthy local community as well. Numerous cottages are now used for holiday purposes and are served well by local shops, pubs, eating places and welcoming local residents. Staithes has a small but well stocked Co-op supermarket at the edge of the village.
CBBC series “Old Jack's Boat" filmed in Staithes
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