Last weekend we took a lovely, fairly relaxing family trip to the beautiful village of Staithes. Here is what we got up to…
Staithes is a village in the Scarborough Borough of North Yorkshire and is situated within the North York Moors National Park. It was once known as one of the largest fishing ports on the North East coast and has ample opportunity to have a go at a bit of rock pooling. It is also famous for fossil hunting as it is situated on the ‘Jurassic Coast’. Staithes is also the location for the CBeebies series ‘Old Jack’s Boat’.
**Just a quick note…this may be a photo heavy post**
So, we set off early on a Friday morning, reaching Staithes around lunchtime, with the trip taking about two hours from Leeds. We decided to take more of a scenic route, avoiding the A64 and travelling through quite a few different Yorkshire villages. Lucky for us, the weather was quite good, with a bit of sunshine peaking through the clouds.
Prior to arriving, we had booked a space in a private car park called Glen Vale rather than relying on the council run one, and for our two-night stay, it only cost £10, which I think is quite a good price. Most parking in the village is at the top of a steep hill, with minimal parking for visitors to the village. To be honest I wouldn’t want to drive down to the village with the hill being quite steep and the narrow cobbled roads in parts.
We booked a little two bedroomed cottage through booking.com, with the cottage being situated on the main high street. I think we got a bargain with this one, as it cost us £170 for two nights, which was between three of us. The cottage itself could sleep four and had full amenities to make your stay a pleasant one. It was lovely to have a base in the main bit of the village, with the added bonus of one of the pubs being directly next door to the cottage! It was also only a short distance away from the harbour and beach of the village. We really could not complain about the cottage and would definitely be booking another stay if we were to visit Staithes again for the weekend.
As we arrived at lunchtime, we could not check into the cottage (check-in time was from 2 p.m.) so we left our bags in the car and took to having a mini explore of the village. The village of Staithes is just beautiful I couldn’t put my camera down all weekend. Big and little cottages, quaint storefronts and winding cobbled streets to explore, what more could you want? We mainly explored the main part of the village, including the main street (spotting and passing our cottage for the weekend) and the harbour, before heading into the harbourside pub called ‘Cod and Lobster‘. Here we grabbed a drink and bite to eat whilst we discussed what the plan was for the rest of the day. I tried the homemade tomato and basil soup, and it was absolutely delicious, definitely homemade and not of a tinned variety.
After filling our tummies full of yummy food we trekked back up the hill to retrieve our bags to check into the cottage. We donned our walking boots and continued to explore the village. Our exploration took us to the other side of the harbour where we faced another steep hill (seeing a theme here?) and of course decided to climb it. The climb was absolutely worth it for the view you get of the village from the top!
We continued along a bit more of a coastal path and were greeted with further views of the coast, including what looked like some sort of waterfall from the side of the cliff.
We finished the day by returning to the cottage and cooking up something in the little kitchen before heading out for drinks in the three local pubs, choosing the pub next door as the last so we didn’t have far to walk.
We woke early as the millions of seagulls around the area decided to give their morning chorus. I could actually see them clinging to the side of the cliff from the window in the room I was staying. We had a quick breakfast in the cottage before heading out for the day. This time we chose to explore the beach and rockpool areas and were greeted by a bitter wind. The weather also decided to throw a bit of a spanner in the works by adding a bit of drizzle to the mix. That combined with the wind made it a bit unpleasant exploring, however, this soon cleared with rays of sunshine attempting to break through the gathering clouds. I found it fascinating how much the tide went out, exposing all of the smooth rocks, and pools, so that you could walk far out into where the sea should have been.
To warm ourselves up after this, we went into the ‘Dotty’s Vintage Tearoom‘ which is opposite the cottage for a hot drink and piece of cake. I chose to have a hot chocolate with all the toppings, and a slice of pistachio cake. We also sampled fresh fruit scones and beetroot with white chocolate cake. All were delicious and certainly filled a gap. The tearoom is small but is decorated beautifully, with the owners being warm and friendly. The tearoom also doubles up as a shop, selling various vintage goods and at reasonable prices.
After warming ourselves up, we headed back up the main hill to greet my sister-in-law and niece who decided to visit for the day. We did a bit more exploring and spent hours (felt like it) on the beach with my niece really enjoying throwing pebbles back into the sea, as well as sticks for the many dogs enjoying the seaside too. We also went over to have a look at the RNLI Lifeboat, which allows you to have a look at the working lifeboat, as well as gather a bit of history about it. I must say that the lifeboat is a lot bigger than I thought it would be up close.
After our guests had left, we headed to the Co-op just off of the main road into Staithes and grabbed ourselves something to cook in the cottage. We were exhausted after walking about all day (I racked up over 22,000 steps on my FitBit) and decided to stay in that night with the log burner burning and a glass or two of wine. It totally made the cottage feel even cosier and was definitely nice to just chill out. Phone signal was very hit and miss throughout the village so we were more dependent on wifi to get messages, but I really didn’t mind this and it was nice to be disconnected from the ‘world’ for a few days.
This was our final morning in Staithes (😪) and I was quite sad to leave. I feel like I have left a piece of my heart in this beautiful little village and I will definitely be visiting again. Before we left we packed up our belongings, loaded up the car, and luckily for us we were fine to leave the car in the car park for a few hours longer. We capitalised on this by having a final walk up and around Staithes, capturing further views of this picturesque village. We found little shortcuts through the village and the start of the ‘Cleaveland Way’ coastal walk that takes you from Staithes all the way to Whitby, stopping at Runswick Bay along the way. It apparently takes around 4 hours either way from Staithes to Whitby. We didn’t go too far on this walk, just making it to the cliff top which overlooked Staithes. Let me tell you it was quite an adventure getting there. From the rain, the day before the ground was quite wet and muddy in places, not to mention slightly steep. There was also a short walk in between a farm’s fields where your breath was certainly taken away by the strong manure smells of the farm. Again, it was all worth it for the wonderful view of the bay of Staithes that you got.
Heading to the car we decided to have a few more stops before fully setting off for home. Our first stop was to the lovely Runswick Bay, which is just down the coast from Staithes en route towards Whitby. Now, Runswick Bay is another lovely seaside village, with house or cottages built up the cliffside, with a vast beach to walk and sunbathe (in good weather) along. It is another firm favourite for dog walkers too. We parked at the top of another very steep hill, one I decided wasn’t worth driving down, as I thought I would probably get stuck at the bottom!
We had a walk along the beach, before making our way through the narrow ‘streets’ of the village before heading on back to the car for our final stop.
Our final stop was to the seaside town of Whitby, a place I haven’t visited in years. We spent a good portion of the afternoon here, arriving about lunchtime (ish), which was ample time to have a little explore, grab a bite to eat and of course a seaside ice cream!
We walked up the famous 199 steps towards The Abbey, having a look around the grounds but not actually entering the Abbey itself. I think it cost around £8 roughly to have a real look around at the Abbey, however, we decided not to do this. Whitby was packed full of people compared to where we had just visited in Staithes and Runswick Bay, and you had to move around on the stairs to let those coming down/up pass.
It was a fab weekend, and I would fully recommend visiting Staithes! There is more to do such as visiting the Captain Cook museum and visiting the art galleries, but that can wait for the next trip.
Have you been to Staithes or somewhere similar?
Where would you recommend for a weekend away? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading,