Things to Do in Staithes: A Local's Guide to Must-Visit Coastal Wonders

8 months ago   •   8 min read

By More Yorkshire
Table of contents

Things To Do In Staithes

If you're looking for things to do in Staithes, you're in the right place!

Staithes is a picturesque little harbour town nestled between the rugged cliffs of Yorkshire and the North York Moors, offers a delightful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This enchanting fishing village, steeped in history and boasting stunning landscapes, provides a wide range of activities, from leisurely strolls along cobbled streets to thrilling explorations through hidden alleys.

As you wander through the charming village, you'll find an array of unique shops, art galleries, and cosy pubs that highlight the rich maritime heritage of Staithes.

The beautiful coastlines and surrounding countryside offer ample opportunities for invigorating walks and hikes that reveal breathtaking views. The rock pool beach is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea, while treasure hunters will appreciate the chance to uncover fossils and other marine wonders.

The truly magical thing about Staithes is its ability to transport you back in time as you explore its history, breathe in the fresh sea air, and immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether visiting for a day or an extended stay, there are countless unforgettable experiences awaiting you in this captivating corner of Yorkshire.

Historical Significance

Staithes Museum

Staithes is a charming village in Yorkshire with a rich history worth exploring.

One of the best places to delve into this past is the Staithes Museum, a treasure trove of fascinating artefacts, photographs, and documents relating to the town's heritage.

As you wander through the exhibits, you'll uncover stories of fishing, boat-building, smuggling, and piracy that once took place in this coastal settlement.

Captain James Cook

One of Staithes' most famous residents was none other than the renowned British explorer, Captain James Cook. It was here where Cook began his maritime career, working in the local harbours as an apprentice grocer and merchant before later joining the Royal Navy. You can follow in Cook's footsteps by exploring the narrow lanes and alleyways of the village, which he once frequented.

The statue above is actually in Sydney, Australia... but it shows how far Captain Cook's influence reached!

The Staithes Group

On top of maritime history, Staithes also found fame as an artists' haven in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The artistic community became known as The Staithes Group. Comprising mostly British impressionist painters, they were drawn to the village by its natural beauty, unique landscapes, and unique architecture.

As you meander through the narrow streets, you can still observe the contrast of colours which inspired these artists and made Staithes such a magnetic destination for creativity.

So, during your visit to Staithes, make sure to immerse yourself in its remarkable history by exploring the museum, retracing the steps of Captain Cook, and discovering the enchanting world of The Staithes Group. You'll be amazed at the storied past hidden within this one-of-a-kind coastal village.

Things To Do In Staithes –Arts and Culture

Staithes is home to several prominent art galleries, showcasing a vibrant collection of works by local and visiting artists. As you explore the area, take the time to appreciate the diverse range of art on display. Make sure you visit the Staithes Gallery and the Staithes Studios Gallery, both of which have an array of captivating pieces on exhibit, reflecting the rich history and beautiful landscape of the region.

A must-visit in Staithes is the Staithes Art Gallery, situated in the heart of the village.

The gallery features a fascinating collection of contemporary art, including paintings, sculptures, and ceramics.

What makes this gallery stand out is the strong connection to the local art colony, with many works produced by artists who have spent time in Staithes' artistic community.

You will discover pieces inspired by the area's surroundings, ensuring an engaging and authentic experience. Don't forget to pay a visit during your time in Staithes to uncover the talent and creativity this pleasant village has to offer.

Leisure and Recreation

Nature Trails

Staithes, situated within the North York Moors National Park, offers a variety of nature trails for you to enjoy.

The stunning scenery of the coastline, combined with the rich biodiversity, makes these trails ideal for both casual strolls and active explorations. Breathe in the fresh sea air and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Rock Pooling

The beaches in Staithes provide excellent opportunities for rock pooling.

Head down to the shore during low tide to discover the fascinating marine life hidden within the rock pools.

You might find crabs, starfish, and other small sea creatures – all you need is patience and curiosity. Remember to be respectful of the delicate ecosystem and leave things as you found them.

Fossil Hunting

Embark on an exciting adventure along the Dinosaur Coast and try your hand at fossil hunting.

The coastal cliffs and beaches around Staithes are rich in fossils waiting to be uncovered, some dating back millions of years.

You don't need to be a professional paleontologist – just keep your eyes peeled for interesting rocks and patterns. As you explore, be careful of the cliff edges and always check the tide times to ensure your safety.

Destination Spots

The Cleveland Way

The Cleveland Way is a fantastic trail that stretches 109 miles along the Yorkshire coast.

You can walk, hike, or even run the various sections of this route, taking in the breathtaking views and alluring landscapes. It's an ideal way to spend a day or two exploring the beautiful countryside surrounding Staithes.


Filey is a charming coastal town located a few miles south of Staithes.

With its long sandy beach, colourful beach huts, and stunning cliffs, Filey is a must-visit for anyone exploring the Yorkshire coast.

You can also wander through the quaint town centre, popping into local shops and enjoying some traditional fish and chips.

Runswick Bay

Just a short distance from Staithes, you'll find the scenic Runswick Bay.

This amazing bay is home to a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for a leisurely stroll or a relaxing day soaking up the sun.

Don't forget to explore the charming village nearby, where you'll find narrow cobbled streets and lovely local pubs.


Scarborough is a bustling coastal town that blends the traditional with the modern.

You can pass the time wandering along the historic harbour and old town, exploring the bustling town centre, or enjoying the wide range of attractions, including the iconic Scarborough Castle and the popular SEA LIFE Centre.

There's plenty to see and do in this vibrant corner of the Yorkshire coast.

Food and Beverage

Staithes offers a variety of food and beverage options for you to explore and enjoy. From local seafood to cosy cafes and traditional pubs, there's something to suit your taste.

Local Seafood

One of the highlights of dining in Staithes is the availability of fresh, local seafood. Indulge in a delicious seafood platter or some traditional fish and chips.

You'll find many establishments in the area that serve up delectable dishes with locally-sourced ingredients.

Treat yourself to the catch of the day as you take in the beautiful surroundings of the coastal village.


Staithes is home to several quaint cafes, perfect for a midday meal or a relaxing cup of tea.

You can enjoy a lovely breakfast at Dotty's Vintage Tearoom, known for its delightful atmosphere and delicious homemade jam.

Other favourite spots include small delis and cafes scattered throughout the village, which offer an assortment of refreshments, baked goods, and light bites.


For those looking for a more traditional British experience, Staithes has a number of charming pubs to choose from.

The Royal George Pub is a fine choice, located just 100 yards from the sea and serving excellent food alongside a selection of real ales.

Alternatively, you can try the popular Captain Cook Inn, which offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere with a diverse menu of pub classics. Whether you prefer a quiet pint or a lively evening out, you're sure to find the perfect pub experience in Staithes.

Practical Information


In Staithes, you'll find a car park at the top of the hill, just a short walk from the village centre. This car park offers pay-and-display parking, making it convenient for visitors to leave their vehicles while they explore the area. Parking charges vary depending on the length of your stay, but it is generally affordable and easy to find a spot.

Car Park

The main car park in Staithes is situated near the entrance to the village, ensuring that your vehicle remains accessible during your visit. After parking your car, you can take a leisurely stroll down the hill towards the heart of Staithes. The walk will lead you through narrow streets and charming cottages, offering a glimpse of the village's rich history and picturesque scenery.

Bus Info

If you prefer using public transportation, there are regular bus services connecting Staithes with surrounding towns and villages in North Yorkshire. The local bus routes allow you to enjoy the stunning coastal scenery without worrying about parking or driving. Bus timetables and fare information can be found online, ensuring a smooth and hassle-free journey as you explore the delights of Staithes and its surroundings.

Visitors Review

Staithes, a fishing village in North Yorkshire, offers a variety of attractions to both first-time visitors and returning admirers.

Many travellers have shared their experiences on Tripadvisor, praising the scenery and diverse activities.

When exploring the village, you'll find both the harbour and Staithes Beach to be definite must-see spots.

The scenic harbour makes for stunning photos, while the beach is the perfect location to relax, take a leisurely stroll or rock pool. One traveller from February 2023 described Staithes as an "amazing place with amazing views."

Moreover, Staithes is home to a number of pubs and eateries offering delicious locally-sourced seafood dishes. For shopping enthusiasts, there are 38 Speciality & Gift Shops where you can pick up unique souvenirs.

For those interested in exploring the area's rich history, consider visiting the local art galleries and museums. Another fascinating aspect of Staithes is its connection to Captain James Cook, which can be discovered by following his footsteps around the village.

The idylic setting of Staithes has attracted many artists, resulting in a thriving art scene with galleries, trails, and festivals. If you're a culture lover, be sure to add these events to your itinerary.

Take note that Staithes may not be an ideal destination for those looking for exclusive hotels, a bustling nightlife, or shopping arcades. However, its charm lies in its traditional, unspoiled nature, which is appreciated by many visitors seeking a more tranquil experience.

In summary, there are so many things to do in Staithes. It's a worthwhile visit for anyone seeking natural beauty, history, and a taste of local culture. By exploring the top attractions in Staithes, you'll be sure to create lasting memories in this lovely coastal village.

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