A day out at Staithes
Between Cowbar and Penny Nab cliffs, Staithes is a village in Yorkshire that captures the essence of a bygone era. Its steep pathways lead to a labyrinth of red-roofed cottages and winding streets frozen in time. A day out at Staithes can be a great day’s adventure.
You can explore art galleries, trails, and a scenic harbour in the village.
Staithes became a popular fishing port that drew in notable figures like Captain James Cook. Villagers believed that his time spent here as an apprentice influenced his legendary navigation skills.
The village’s beauty attracted artists, who formed “The Staithes Group” in 1894.
Staithes once thrived as a bustling fishing hub, hosting up to 80 vessels in its harbour during the early 20th century.
Today, Staithes is a serene harbour village perfect for day trips with plenty of relaxed options for leisurely activities in pubs and cafes. History buffs can revel in its heritage, while art enthusiasts will find inspiration aplenty in its galleries. Photographers can enjoy endless scenic vistas, and walkers and hikers can explore the boundless scenic trails.
Regarding the best time to visit, Staithes welcomes visitors year-round, but a dry, pleasant day might enhance the overall experience. Staithes is at the northern boundary of the North York Moors National Park, about 16 miles north of Whitby. Staithes is divided into an upper village with a visitor centre and a lower village that can be reached by a steep hill.
For access, traveling by car is convenient, though public transport options, like the Whitby to Staithes bus service (X4), offer an alternative. It is important to park at Staithes Car Park because of the steep descent to the lower village. The village roads are narrow, restricting large vehicle access.
Once there, Staithes unfolds with a myriad of experiences. You can explore the intricate lanes and alleys adorned with colourful doors and nautical elements. The dual sides of the lower village, divided by Staithes Beck leading into the sea, invite exploration over the harbour bridge.
Photography enthusiasts can uncover hidden vantage points for capturing Staithes’ iconic shots. The village’s heritage echoes in attractions like the Staithes Heritage Centre, preserving Captain James’s legacy and voyages. At the centre, you can learn about Cook’s early life and voyages through exhibits and information. It also acknowledges the darker aspects of his interactions with indigenous populations.
Art enthusiasts can delve into the Staithes Art Gallery, which honours the legacy of the “Staithes Group” and showcases works inspired by the region.
The Painted Illusions Trail is a unique attraction created by artist Paul Czainski. It has optical illusions at eight locations, giving visitors a fun experience.
In Staithes, you can enjoy seaside activities like rock pooling and shopping for unique souvenirs.
Visitors have a range of dining options, from traditional pub fare to locally sourced meals.
Why not pop in to Betty & Bo’s sweet shop (pictured below) and take home a treat from your visit.
Staithes is a charming place with a rich history, beautiful art, and coastal beauty. It’s a perfect destination for a day out at Staithes for a day trip, full of opportunities for exploration and discovery.
For more ideas of places to visit be inspired by our other blogs here.
Find out more about visiting Staithes by clicking on the welcome to Yorkshire website.