Staithes is a natural harbour where Roxby Beck meets the sea, surrounded by breathtaking coastal scenery. It's on the Cleveland Way with stunning walks either along the cliffs or inland. There's a sandy beach, a stony shore and piers for fishing.
Visiting Staithes is like stepping back in time. Picturesque, higgledy-piggledy cottages with red pantiled roofs are grouped around tiny yards, up steps, down winding cobbled streets or through a maze of alleyways - and clearly steeped in history. There's not much that hasn't sprung from the sea and fishing - even the houses are named after boats - Blue Jacket House, Star of Hope Cottage, Mizpah Cottage, Confidence Cottage, Unity House and Wavelet.
The famous Cod & Lobster pub and The George are within five minutes walk of the cottages, both serve food all day and run quiz nights, and there are two cafes, a bistro and a restaurant in the lower part of the village. The upper part of the village features another cafe (try the kippers!) and the Captain Cook pub, renowned for decades for its wide and excellent selection of real ales.
If you're eating in there's a Co-op general store in Whitby Road at the top of Staithes village open til 10pm, an excellent butcher open mornings until 12, and a deli in the High Street. Further afield here's a big Co-op and a Sainsbury's Superstore in Whitby, a large Asda in Skelton, and a great farm shop with lovely fruit and veg and locally-reared meat a couple of miles drive north of the village as you aproach Easington.
Whitby (10m), Scarborough (30m), York (48m) and the beautiful North Yorks Moors National Park which boasts its own working steam railway are all within striking distance.
If you're coming by car, the addresses are 3 (Sea Haven) 4 (Old Jack's Cottage) and 5 (Fisherman's Cottage) Cowbar Bank, Staithes, TS13 5BZ. Turn off the A174 onto Cowbar Lane, follow the road to the end and drop down the hill, The Fishermen's Cottages are half-way down the hill.By train, Saltburn is the closest mainline station, take a taxi from there. The X56 bus route runs hourly running along the coast from Middlesbrough to Whitby, stopping at Staithes.
There are lots of lovely things to see and do in the area during your holiday. Heading south along the coast for two miles, you reach Port Mulgrave, the site of an old iron works and fossil heaven. Another two miles south is the beautifully curving Runswick Bay - great for swimming and walks.
The sandy beach of Sandsend stretches three miles along the coast to the Victorian market town of Whitby, most famous for being the place where Captain Cook learned his seafaring skills and for its jet industry. Further south is Scarborough and Robin Hood's Bay. Heading north up the coast from Staithes, you reach Boulby Cliff and the old mining village of Skinningrove with an interesting look back into the early days of the pits at the Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum. The delightful Victorian seaside town of Saltburn is a few miles further on.
Staithes is a great base from which to explore the North York Moors - amazing scenery, fabulous walks and the village of Goathland, otherwise known as Aidensfield from the ITV drama Heartbeat. Running from Grosmont on the moors to the market town of Pickering (where Francis Hodgson Burnett set his children's book The Secret Garden) is the NYM steam railway which boasts olde worlde stations, lovingly restored locomotives, theme days and a dining train. Several TV dramas, films and documentaries have used Staithes and nearby towns and villages as their setting - it starred in Penelope Keith's Hidden Villages on Channel 4, the BBC's Old Jack's Boat, Body Farm, Coast and Holiday Programmes, TV chef Rick Stein's fish series, TV detective Hetty Wainthrop, ITV's Heartbeat and - up on the moors - parts of the Harry Potter movies.
The old traditions persist - and visitors to our cottages still have the pleasure of sitting out front and watching working artists painting the view and listening to the chug chug of fishing boats in the beck.