Staithes is a popular pretty seaside fishing village on the North Yorkshire coast located between Whitby and Saltburn-by-the-sea. It is set on a relatively steep hill and visitors to the village must park in the car park at the top of the hill as only residents can park in the village. When you walk down the hill you will soon see why as at times the road isn’t even wide enough for two cars and there’s certainly no large car park at the bottom of the hill. There is a bus route that can drop you off on the main road.
Although there are fishing boats there today in the harbour it is no longer one of the main fishing centres. It is now largely a tourist destination and it was featured in the CBeebies series Old Jack’s Boat. Old Jack’s house is located at 4 Cowbar Bank in the town although we didn’t find it when we visited.
Staithes North Yorkshire Visitor Guide
The name Staithes comes from the Old English meaning ‘Landing-place’. There are numerous narrow streets and passageways that you can explore including one of the narrowest alleys in the world.
As mentioned above there is parking at the top of Staithes. It is a pay and display car park and although it fills up quick there were people coming and going all day. There is a small cafe in the car park plus some public toilets. Public toilets can also be found down in the village close to the beach.
At low tide, you can explore the rockpools and you may even find a fossil further along. Do be fully aware of the tide times though as it is very easy to get cut off by the fast incoming tide. We would advise visiting an hour or so before the tide goes out. In the early 1990s, a rare fossil of a seagoing dinosaur was discovered after a rockfall between Staithes and Port Mulgrave.
I found myself comparing Staithes to Robin Hoods Bay the whole time we were there. I love Robin Hoods Bay and I have to say that Staithes just isn’t as picturesque and although it’s all a matter of opinion I prefer Robin Hoods Bay. For me, it just has a nicer feel to it plus when the tide is out the beach there goes on and on.
The hill in Staithes is less taxing than Robin Hoods Bay to walk back up but it’s still going to set your heart racing. There are a few small shops along the way plus a free museum. There are a few places to eat in Staithes with the Cod and Lobster looking to be a great option for seafood.
When we arrived at the sea the tide was out. There was a section of beach however it was more seaweed and wood than sand and quite black in places. For the height of summer, it just felt neglected which was a shame. If you Google Staithes beach most of the photos have a picture of a lovely sandy beach which it was nothing like that when we visited. I appreciate that beaches can change in appearance from day to day but it just felt like no one was caring for the beach.
We walked along the harbour wall and debated heading right to the rockpools but without our beach shoes, we weren’t confident attempting the walk.
It was nice to visit and say we’ve been but Staithes wasn’t for us. There’s no denying that the village itself isn’t pretty though. Even if the tide had been in the beach itself wouldn’t have looked attractive enough to spend some time.
Staithes FAQ & Further Information
Address: Staithes, TS13 5DH, North Yorkshire
Category – Beach – Outdoors – Suitable for all ages.
What Facilities are there at Staithes?
There is parking at the top of the hill, public toilets, shops and places to purchase food and drinks.
Is there food available?
There are cafes, a seafood restaurant and other places to purchase food and drinks.
Is there parking?
There is parking at the top of the hill in the hilltop section of Staithes. 6 hours costs £5, 2 hours £3.30 etc.
Are they dog friendly?
Dogs are permitted on the beach all year round.