Staithes is an attractive North Yorkshire fishing village of special character. The picturesque views, the charm of the village and quaint customs has attracted both tourists and artists.
In the 16th century it developed a reputation for shell fishing. By the 1800s it was the largest east coast fishing port north of the Wash with a lively fish auction on the harbour side and a thriving curing and boat building industry. Nowadays, a few fishing vessels still bring in delicious crab and lobster.
It has an attractive cobbled High Street with a collection of cottages, houses, chapels and narrow alleys. As you follow the High Street down towards the sea you catch glimpses of the sea and cliffs until you reach the full view of the beach and harbour framed by sheltering cliffs.
The 'staith' was once the landing place for boats but now the name applies to the whole village. Captain Cook discovered his love and fascination for the sea when he was employed in the village and for centuries Staithes has provided many master-mariners. The Staithes bonnet was once the daily wear of the fishermen's wives and it can still occasionally be seen being worn in the village today.
One superstition peculiar to Staithes is the legend about 2 mermaids who came ashore and were
made prisoners by the villagers. They escaped back to the sea and put a curse on the village. The ancient prophecy is not far from being fulfilled as the sea has already encroached on 13 houses between the shore and the wall...and
if you are walking in the village, don't mention pigs!
"Captain Cook discovered his love and fascination for the
sea when he was employed in