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 Yorkshire's North East coast, this beautiful 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.
Staithes today is a very attractive tourist destination of great interest to both the amateur and professional Geologist, as this section of the UK is known as the "Dinosaur Coast". Staithes has so much to offer. It’s a gorgeous fishing village with a cosy harbour; a destination for geologist and fossil hunters; and, perhaps most famously, the home of a community of well-known artists.
The Staithes Group were active in the village in the late 19th centuries, often painting local scenes including fishermen’s wives in their distinctive draped cotton bonnets (which can still be seen being worn occasionally to this day). The group comprised up to 30 artists at any one time, including Dame Laura Knight, her husband Harold, Ernest Dade and Joseph R Bagshawe. And their legacy lives on.
For the past few years, Staithes has staged an Arts Festival over an autumn weekend during which many homes and shops are converted into art galleries and pop-up cafes and street food stalls cater for the thousands of visitors who descend on the village.
If you have young children, chances are you’ll recognise beautiful Staithes. It’s the location for the much-loved CBBC series Old Jack’s Boat, starring Bernard Cribbins as Old Jack and, of course, Salty the dog.
Recommended Places to eat in Staithes:
Dotty’s Vintage Tea Room, 28 High Street, Staithes. Tel: 01947 841096
Cobbles Café, High Street, Staithes. Tel: 01947 841117