Staithes is a charming, traditional fishing village on the North Yorkshire Coast, it is the perfect place to enjoy some time beside the sea.

The North Yorkshire seaside town of Staithes is just 10 miles from Whitby, it embodies many of the reasons why seaside towns hold such appeal. Once one of the busiest fishing ports on the North East coast, Staithes boasts a long proud history as the one-time home of famous Royal Navy captain and explorer, Captain James Cook. Staithes is approximately 22 minutes drive from Whitby along the coast. Click here for directions.


A Brief History of Staithes 

Remnants of Cook’s time here can be seen in many of the tourist attractions of today including Captain Cook & Staithes Heritage Centre. A recreation of the shop in which James Cook worked during his residency here, the museum is a treasure-trove of over 200 books, engravings, letters, medals and more, providing an insight into his incredible life and career, as well as into Staithes itself.

Staithes Lobster Pots

You can also visit ‘Captain Cook’s Cottage’, and the Captain Cook Inn – a lovely pub/restaurant and hotel overlooking the sea. Famous for its real ales and great food, which includes a range of vegetarian and wheat-free options, you are sure to enjoy a relaxing stay, whether simply enjoying a bite to eat or staying the night. Don’t forget to try their house ale, the Northern Navigator, brewed especially for the Captain Cook Inn by the nearby North Yorkshire Brewery.

Staithes Art History 

There is so much to do in Staithes, for both young and old. Fans of art and history will love strolling through the pretty town’s narrow cobbled streets and paying a visit to the elegant Staithes Art Gallery.

Staithes at sunset

Staithes is a magnet for artists who come to admire the beautiful coastal scenery, traditional fishing scenes and village ambience, and immortalise them on canvas. The advent of the railway in 1883 brought a host of artists to Staithes including Hannah Hoyland, Fred Mayor and Harold Knight. Many paintings from local and visiting artists are on display at the gallery throughout the year – look out for special exhibitions and showcases too.

Things to do in Staithes

Exploring and Walking

Staithes Street

A popular activity whilst in Staithes is to explore the old village through its fascinating alleys and ginnels. Winding through the village’s cottages and cobbled streets, each alley boasts a quaint name, such as ‘Dog Loup Alley’ – the narrowest alley in the world at just 18 inches wide! You will discover a different side to Staithes through each alley you visit with lots of opportunities for taking a unique and quirky photograph of Staithes from all angles!

Rockpooling and Fossil Hunting

Fossil hunting at Staithes

A trip to the seaside wouldn’t be complete without a bit of rock pooling in the abundant rock pools left at low tide between Staithes and Port Mulgrave, many of which are teeming with life that children especially will love to seek out. You will certainly find plenty of fossils and tiny marine creatures whilst exploring, and if you are lucky, you may even spot some seals sunning themselves along the shore!

Staithes sits on what is known as the ‘Dinosaur Coast’, making it a favourite with fossil hunters, palaeontologists and dinosaur fans from across the country. You can choose to go on an organised fossil hunting trip or, for the more experienced, explore independently in and around Staithes and Runswick Bay. If visiting as a family, children will love their finds of ‘fools’ gold’ – little nuggets of Iron pyrite which, to the untrained eye, look just like the real thing!

The Cleveland Way

Cleveland Way Sign Post

Whilst it is entirely possible to stroll through the streets of Staithes or wander its coastlines in search of fossils, fans of a long walk will be in their element on a holiday to Staithes, thanks to its location on the 109-mile long Cleveland Way.

Running from Filey to Helmsley in a horseshoe shape along the eastern, northern and western edge of the North York Moors, the Cleveland Way National Trail will spoil you when it comes to spectacular views. Whether you prefer dramatic coastlines peppered with views of castles and fishing villages, or you prefer to look out over wild heather moorland, you can see it all from the trail.

The route is well sign-posted however it is always a good idea to bring a map or GPS with you. Suitable for those who are reasonably fit, the Cleveland Way does get a little challenging at times, but that all adds to the experience! Families may like to head to the cycle-friendly sections and those visiting with dogs will be pleased to know that they are also welcome on the Cleveland Way.

Accommodation in Staithes

Ravenscraig House

Ravenscraig House in Staithes

Find peace and tranquillity during your stay at Ravenscraig House. This superb pet-friendly holiday home provides accommodation for up to eight adults and two well-behaved hounds. This supremely spacious property has been refurbished to a very high standard with all mod cons available for your enjoyment and convenience.

Ravenscraig House boasts not one but two outdoor areas; a picnic patio for family meals on the ground floor and a relaxation terrace on the first floor, perfect for those chilled out summer evenings. The view over Staithes Beck is stunning.

Check availability & book online

Harbour Cottage

Harbour Cottage in Staithes

Situated in the historic fishing village of Staithes, once home to Captain Cook and a popular seaside retreat on the North Yorkshire coast. Harbour Cottage has been recently refurbished to a very high standard and provides accommodation for up to four guests across two bedrooms. Suitable for friends and families, with dogs also being more than welcome. Harbour Cottage is the perfect place for a luxury getaway by the sea. The holiday home has 2 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a microwave and a fridge, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Towels and bed linen are offered in this accommodation.

Check availability & book online

Gull’s Haven Cottage

Gull's Haven Cottage

If you’re looking for a relaxing break, Gull’s Haven is your perfect match. Located in the quaint fishing village of Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, this picturesque holiday home is packed with charm. Sleeping up to 6 guests, Gull’s Haven is ideal for coastal family getaways and friends looking for a tranquil bolthole. The holiday home features 3 bedrooms, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 2 bathrooms with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided in this accommodation.

Check availability & book online

A great place to eat, The Cod and Lobster

Cod & Lobster pub in Staithes

If you want amazing fish dishes this is the place to go! Open every day for coffee and tea, The Cod and Lobster is a great spot to watch boats coming in whilst enjoying a blazing fire roaring inside. The Cod and Lobster serve traditional pub food prepared with local produce. The bar is well stocked with a wide range of beers, wines, and spirits.

Find more information here.

Further Visiting Information

Rainbow over Staithes Harbour

Getting to Staithes

The nearest railway station to Staithes is Whitby, on the Esk Valley Line. Arriva North East operates a bus service between Middlesborough and Whitby with stops at both Staithes and Runswick Bay. If driving from Scarborough or Whitby, follow the A171, turning off at Scaling for the road into Staithes.


Parking is not allowed within the old town, due to the narrow streets. There is a public car park near the old station with space for over 100 cars as well as a privately-run long-stay car park for those planning on staying a few days.

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