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Does Staithes have a sandy beach?

Let’s be honest; there’s something incredibly magical about a sandy beach! Staithes has a beautiful one; here’s further information.

Staithes is located only 10 miles away from Whitby, just a 22-minute drive along the coast. It was once one of the busiest fishing ports on the North East coast and was home to the renowned Royal Navy captain and explorer, Captain James Cook.

We are always asked if Staithes has a sandy beach. So, we decided to answer this in a blog post and give you further information about Staithes Beach before you visit for yourself.

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Does Staithes have a sandy beach?

Yes, the sandy beach is small and features some areas made up of pebbles and rocks, but visitors should exercise caution around the cliff face as falling rocks can be dangerous. Dogs are allowed on the beach without any restrictions, and parking is available in the town, only a five-minute walk from the beach.*

Can I fossil hunt at Staithes beach? 

Lobster Pots on Staithes Pier.

Staithes is located on the famous ‘Dinosaur Coast’, making it a popular destination for fossil hunters, palaeontologists, and dinosaur enthusiasts from all over the country.

During low tide, there are plenty of rock pools between Staithes and Port Mulgrave. Seals can also be spotted sunning themselves along the shore if you’re lucky.  

You can join an organised fossil hunting excursion or explore independently in and around Staithes and Runswick Bay. If you’re visiting with family, children will have fun finding ‘fools’ gold’, which looks like the real thing to the untrained eye.

Stop for food and drink at the Cod and Lobster

Cod and Lobster in Staithes.

If you’re looking for delicious fish dishes, The Cod and Lobster is worth checking out! With daily coffee and tea opening hours, it’s a great spot to enjoy a warm fire while watching boats in the harbour. The pub serves traditional food with locally sourced ingredients and boasts a well-stocked bar. On warmer days, it’s the perfect spot for an afternoon drink.

Getting to Staithes

Arriva North East provides a bus service between Middlesborough and Whitby, with stops at Staithes and Runswick Bay. If you plan to drive from Scarborough or Whitby, follow the A171 and turn off at Scaling to reach the road that leads to Staithes.


Parking is not allowed within the old town, due to the narrow streets. There is a public car park near the old station as well as a privately-run long-stay car park for those planning on staying a few days

Other beaches you can visit nearby

There are several beaches near Staithes. Some of the popular ones are:

Runswick Bay Beach: Located just 2 miles south of Staithes, this beach is a beautiful sandy bay with rock pools and cliffs. It’s a family favourite for rock poolingfossil hunting and coastal walks.

Sandsend Beach: This beach is about 9 miles south of Staithes, near Whitby. It is a long and wide sandy beach with a promenade. When the tide goes out, the kids will love exploring the rock pools for signs of life. The sunsets here are lovely in the summertime.

Robin Hoods Bay Beach.

Robin Hood’s Bay Beach: This sandy beach with rock pools and cliffs is about 5 miles north of Staithes. It boasts sublime natural beauty and has long been a top pick for photographers and dog walkers.

Whitby West Cliff Beach: Whitby West Cliff Beach is a large sandy beach with some rocks that runs from Upgang Beach to the mouth of the River Esk. It is also known as Whitby Sands Beach. It is the most popular beach in the area and is located on the northern edge of Whitby town, only a few minutes walk from the town’s centre.

So yes, Staithes has a small sandy beach! But it is also a beautiful coastal village with so much history to learn about. You can spend the day fossil hunting, rock pooling, hiking or birdwatching. Then pop to the Cod and Lobster for a lovely meal. Staithes is so worth a visit.

*It’s worth noting that the water quality at Staithes is notoriously poor. Recently, discussions have occurred about removing it from the UK’s official list of bathing beaches. We wouldn’t recommend doing more than taking a paddle in the water.

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