What could be better than spending a sunny weekend in July on the glorious East Coast? When Yorkshire is bathed in sunshine and particularly on the coast, you simply cannot beat it. My destination for the weekend being the beautiful village of Staithes.
Historically a fishing village, Staithes is a jumble of whitewashed, pantile roofed cottages clinging to the (rather steep) hillside and leading down to a pretty harbour and beach. Our cottage for the weekend lay perfectly situated at the bottom of the hill a stones throw from the sand and with views across the harbour. I couldn’t believe my luck! However with no visitor parking in the village, the climb back up to the carparks at the top of the hill certainly gets the blood pumping! A small price to pay for such a location I might add.
The cobbled streets and maze of ginnels are worth exploring, there are some beautiful buildings, a sprinkling of quaint shops, a rather delightful art gallery – historically Staithes has been a bit of a magnet for artists – and of course, some cracking pubs. The closest of which to our cottage – The Cod and Lobster. Frequented by locals and visitors alike, I really enjoyed the convivial atmosphere. As I relaxed with a glass of wine, the eclectic mix of walkers, holiday makers and locals were enjoying anything from a coffee or a pint, to a plate of fresh Whitby Scampi and chips with a glass of Prosecco! I plumped for a crab salad, well, when in Staithes and all that. There must have been a whole crab on my plate, with bread and butter, chips and salad. Much more than I expected and so much better than I hoped.
This pub serves belting food and at what I thought was surprisingly good value. I would have expected to pay a premium for the location at least yet there I was was sat admiring the bay and fishing boats bobbing in the harbour, in the sunshine, with my crab salad and glass of Chards. All for around £14. Tell me that isn’t a bargain?
This is Insta heaven, the temptation to get snap happy in Staithes in undeniable, it’s just so pretty. So after lunch I ambled back (the 10 second amble) to my cutie pie cottage ‘Glencoe’ and took advantage of the wifi to upload my treasure. Although small, Glencoe is perfectly formed with two comfortable bedrooms, house bathroom with bath and shower and downstairs a kitchen and lounge – you could self cater here if you so wished but as mine was a short stay I chose to dine out.
I found plenty of information in the cottage about the surrounding area leading me to jump in the car and head off to the delightful coastal town of Saltburn-by-the-sea which has maintained much of its original charm as a Victorian seaside resort including its pier, the colourful Italian Gardens and walks through Riftswood. I enjoyed a wander around the shops and an ice cream on the prom. I also spied a couple of trendy bars and restaurants I might have been tempted to partake in a glass of fizz in if I hadn’t been driving.
The following day, having been joined by him indoors and my dog Ernest (Glencoe cottage allows one small dog to stay with you) we embarked on one of the suggested walks I found in the cottage. A short (but steep) jaunt to the top of our cobbled road, off onto a moorland path and we are heading out on the Cleveland Trail. The views were simply outstandingly good. From the top of the cliffs you can see for miles, twinkling turquoise waters lapping into rocky bays and fresh sea air rushing through the lungs. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy this stunning scenery. The walk led us (with simple instructions) around 4 miles of pleasant terrain back in a loop to Staithes. I would highly recommend it, for the breathtaking views alone.
Later on we took a trip into Whitby, a twenty minute drive from Staithes, this famous seaside town is just as charming as ever. I would normally have been ‘anchoring’ see what I did there? – after some fish and chips from paper and a fight with a seagull here however, we decided on a more upmarket affair and had reservations at The Star Inn The Harbour, Andrew Pern, whose name is synonymous with his Michelin-starred pub, The Star Inn at Harome’s latest venture. This restaurant is situated right in the heart of the harbour and serves up a plethora of local seafood. We feasted on steamed mussels to start, and the ‘Posh Prawn & Hot-smoked Salmon Cocktail’ with caviar. We devoured our starting plates with gusto and gazed longingly at the platters of shellfish and plates loaded with fresh fish and dripping cooked chips wafting by.
Alas it was worth the wait. I had ordered lobster with garlic butter, fries and ‘salade verte’ and his lordship plumped for T-Bone Halibut with melting potted shrimps. A crisp Chenin to accompany the mains went down a treat. This restaurant, it’s food, service and location is knockout. Every plate I watched leave the pass was something I wanted to eat and the atmosphere was relaxing yet buzzy with seamless service. I suggest you put this place on your ‘bucket and spade’ list, it’s well worth a visit, tell them I sent you.
Back to Staithes for a glass of bubbles in the last of the sunshine, on a picture perfect cobbled street lined with fishing boat window boxes over spilling with flowers. The Royal George pub is also worth a visit, they too serve up some great food and catch the late evening sunshine – seats are are at a premium though so be prepared to stand.
Staithes is a fantastic weekend destination and I wouldn’t hesitate to book again with Ingrid Flute Holiday Cottages, the cottage provided the perfect base to explore the coast and the booking process is simple and hassle free. Glencoe is available to book through Ingrid Flute Yorkshire Holiday Cottages from £364-£580/week sleeping 4 and welcoming 1 well behaved pet.
To book, search ‘Glencoe’ on https://www.yorkshireholidaycottages.co.uk or call 01947 600700