Jo’s Monday walk : Peaceful Staithes

Shall we start with a bench?

Shall we start with a bench view, in Staithes?

You can probably guess how this post is going to go, from my opening shot.  This month Jude is featuring benches ‘by the beach’ in her Bench challenge.  It just so happens that on a windy, partially sunny day this week I had the good fortune to be in Staithes.  It’s one of North Yorkshire’s more characterful seaside villages, with houses tumbling pell-mell down the cliffs. And, importantly, it has a good collection of benches.

Shall I share them now, then we can go walking?

A 'plaice' to bear in mind for your lunchtime fish and chips?

A ‘plaice’ to bear in mind for your lunchtime fish and chips?

Click on any image to see the galleries in detail 

Everything looks better in the sunshine but those railings do need a coat of paint

Everything looks better in the sunshine but those railings do need a coat of paint

Now that we’ve established where you can eat, or just sit and enjoy the view, let’s go back up to the clifftop where my walk starts.  There’s a car park up there and a nice little TI- not always open because it’s staffed by volunteers. (another job I’d like!)

A map is always helpful

A map is always helpful

As Jude will know, we are in James Cook territory.  Cook had his first employment in Staithes, for a local merchant named William Sanderson, whose quayside shop was destroyed by a violent storm in the early 19th century. Materials from this shop may have been used in the construction of the new premises in Church St., now known as Cook’s Cottage.  A footpath leads off to your right from the top of the village and descends gently between a hodge podge of houses. Beyond the rooftops the cliffs stand guard, keeping a watchful eye on the sea.

The sea waits patiently below

Below, the sea waits patiently

In the harbour there’s a sense of drama.  These cliffs can both shelter and entrap.  Today not even the chimes of the icecream van disturb the peace, but a wind whips the sand in little flurries. I try to capture the movement with my camera but it craftily eludes me.

Can you feel the motion in the sand?

Can you feel the motion in the sand?

And yet, looking back, all is calm

And yet, looking back, all is calm

The boats sleeping peacefully on the shore

The boats sleeping peacefully on the shore

The baskets, empty

The baskets, empty

Time to climb back up to the cliff top.  Dawdle up Church St. and, if you like, pop into the Arts and Crafts Centre.  It has a lovely little garden at the rear.

The crafts are lovely too

The crafts are lovely too

On the cliff top you can join the Cleveland Way– 110 miles of walking, much of it beside the sea. I don’t suggest that you do all of it right now, but I can give you a glimpse of what you might find up there.  It stretches from the hub of Helmsley- a totally different kind of village- inland and down the coast to Filey.  I spent most of my childhood holidays on this coast and I love to return.

It was blustery on the cliff tops so I didn’t stay long.  A path off to your left will bring you round behind the village and back to the car park, or you can simply retrace your steps.  Another Monday, another walk!  I hope you’ve enjoyed this one, and please don’t forget to seek out those benches for Jude.

walking logo

Again I have some wonderful shares for you so thank you very much to all who support me and contribute.  You are my happy band of walkers.  Details of how you can join in Jo’s Monday walks are on the logo above.  Time to rest those weary legs and put the kettle on for a good read.


I can always make time for a day trip.  How about you?  The company’s good!

Day Tripper

It’s many years since I was in beautiful Salzburg.  Debbie had much better weather :

Sunny Stroll along the Salzach

Blossom to die for! (or is that a tad melodramatic?)  Gorgeous, anyway!  Thanks, Violet :

Sakura in the sunshine

Speaking of sunshine, anyone been to Scotland lately?  Cheers, Anabel!

Sunny Dunny : Dunbar

I know that Jude loves the Cornish beaches and sunshine, but the gardens?  Just fabulous!

Garden Portrait : Tremenheere

And while we’re looking at Spring sunshine, let’s visit Meg in Warsaw and those cute ladybugs of hers!

Another day of Spring glory

Praga is a little known area in Warsaw.  This guided tour is fascinating.

Across to the Dark Side

More conjectures and Thames footpath with Geoff :

The Thames Path- Bablock Hythe to Oxford

And Amy, enjoying nature and sharing so beautifully :

Monday Walk 

Prepare yourselves!  It’s tumbling time!  You’ll enjoy this terrific post from Yvette (did you catch the icecream man, hon?)

Force of Nature- walk with Jo

A little more sedately, Jaspa tackles some history, ‘down Panama way’ :

A stroll through Old Panama City, Part 1- Panama Viejo

Down in the southern hemisphere, thoughts are turning to Autumn :

Day 3 of the road trip and we revisit Eastwoodhill 

Brilliant, aren’t they?  I hope you have a happy week.  It’s a Bank Holiday in the UK next weekend but I’ll still be here.  Hope that you will be too.


  1. Thank you Jo for taking me on this walk. Your words and photos capturing the charm of the stressed paint railing the quaint cottages, picturesque steep narrow lane ways, the typical costal photo of the upturned dingoes.
    Then your easily read photo of the sing and the information you added about an exceptional man, perhaps the best of those old sea heroes that charted the unknown world, unknowns that is to the empire builders.
    Blogging at its most enjoyable.

    1. Thanks a lot, Jack 🙂 Though just the other week, this walk feels like a lifetime away, largely due to some family problems. It really is the most beautiful spot and I think you’d love it. Will try and catch up soon. Love to Pauline 🙂

  2. ed eccomi ad uno dei tuoi grandi reportages che adoro e che esprimono tutta la tua grande passione e gioia per i viaggi e per la fotografia e che cie ne fanno pienamente partecipi
    la foto che più mi è iaciuta è quella del molo che si scorge fra i tetti rossi delle case

  3. Another lovely, bracing walk, Jo. I’d much rather be there than sitting at Heathrow waiting for a long plane ride, but then I wouldn’t be able to walk along my favourite beachfront, so I’ll just have to suck it up and smile. 😄

  4. Hi there Jo, lovely to meet you. I was pointed in your direction by Anabel Marsh from “Anabels Travel Guide” as she thought I would enjoy your posts and she was right. What a lovely place Staithes is, so charming and quaint, it almost looks like it could be somewhere on the coast of Europe. I have a love of the outdoors and these little fishing villages have a place in my heart. Just reading your post makes we want to put my boots on and go exploring! I recently posted about a short walk I had in Falkirk, Scotland. I hope you enjoy it.

    1. Hello Paul 🙂 Lovely to meet you. I was just about to abandon ship for the evening and go in the bath with my book but I’ll have to hang on a while. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      1. I apologise for my late intro in your world and sincerely apologise for getting in the way of your book! I love reading almost as much as walking so I know how good a book and a bath is. I like a glass of red with mine though!

    2. It’s morning and I’m here again 🙂 Sorry if I sounded churlish last night.. It’s always an effort to prise the laptop from my hands but my book habit is one I’ve clung to down the years. Sometimes I don’t get very much read though 🙂 I’ll try to find time to have a look around at your place.

    1. I think I’d rather have brisk beauty than sunny ugliness, Jaspa, but don’t quote me on that 🙂 Many thanks for your contribution. I enjoyed it 🙂

  5. Oh I want to live in one of those cottages by the sea, so idylllic and yes, everything is so much better when the sun shines isn’t it? Gorgeous walk, thank you for taking me with you Jo 🙂

  6. Hi Jo, I’m now 6 months pregnant, and this post make me wanna go to the beach. Feel the calm and see the blue sky, i think it’s good for me and baby 😀

    1. That’s wonderful news, Noe! Congratulations 🙂 I hope that you and the baby are keeping well? Boy or girl- do you know, or mind which? So long as it’s healthy is the main thing 🙂

    1. Never assume, I told myself, as I typed TI. But I was sure you’d have a picture in mind of me behind the counter in that nice little Tourist Information office, Karen. 🙂 Sorry!

    1. Some of it like your Maine coast (but different 🙂 ), Mary? The scenery, that us. The weather is crazily unpredictable right now. Yesterday we had sunshine, rain, thunder, lightning and hailstones, then back to sun (much later 😦 ) Part of life’s rich pattern 🙂

  7. I truly envious of all the walking you do, especially through just scenic spots. I most definitely need to exercise more, I must start putting on my trainers and heading off more often. 😉

    1. Conversely I could happily have explored much of France from your vantage point. It’s always a regret, Keith 🙂 Grass being greener, etc. but I acknowledge how lucky I am with my surrounding scenery. Even this morning I went for a fabulous walk at Finchale Priory, Durham, though now the rain is hammering down. 🙂 Thanks for your visit.

    1. Ah, Naomi- I really loved your company 🙂 I visited your Weekly Challenge post but didn’t leave a comment because I’d been there before. I smiled and sent you a hug though 🙂

      1. Hi Jo,
        Thank you for dropping by! I am doing some serious revision on what I hope will be the final draft of a novel, and so I am reposting some oldies for my newer followers. Today I am dedicating myself to editing–cross your fingers for me!

  8. Beautiful photos, Jo! And you got the motion of the sand! Is that you all wrapped up against the wind in the photo? The sand looks like it would sting bare legs!!

    1. Nope, not me, Jill 🙂 The sand kept swirling but stopping every time I took aim. The lady walked across just as I’d managed to more or less capture the movement and when I looked back at all my attempts this one was probably the best, so I decided to use it anyway. It was a day for squinting up your eyes. 🙂

  9. Cleveland Way has me intrigued, Jo. 110 miles of trail sounds amazing! Love your photos, especially the indiscriminately shared garden. Thanks for the lovely walk around James Cook County

    1. I’ve done quite a lot of it- never intentionally- because it links some of my favourite villages, especially along the coast. It mostly is very beautiful countryside 🙂

  10. I am mesmerized by that cliff!
    This reminds me of when I spent a couple of days in Whitby, back in the late 80’s, and was desperately trying to figure a way of emigrating.
    No walk for me this week – it’s far too nice to be inside composing my photos….

  11. Staithes is a very pretty town – another lovely place to go onto my list! Thank you for the walk – it was a breath of fresh air, and lovely blue sky after our wet and blustery day here. The little boats in the craft centre are delightful.

    1. It’s a nice little spot, Elaine 🙂 Our Monday walk was cancelled because the weather was so dire. I’ve spent much of the day in catch up or watching Chelsea Flower Show.

  12. So the walk first, I love mermaids so I’d have to check her out, as well as the competition in the craft shop. Then I’d collapse in a heap with my fish and chips and enjoy the view with my ice cream. Perfect 🙂

  13. In my eyes a breathtaking area both the moor and the seaside – always worth a couple of days enjoyment the year around – always reminds me of my native danish Jutland where I spent my study time, the Yorkshire Moor just much much larger – excellent for walk or biking even horse riding… 😀

    Wonderful captures here, my friend – what a walk… 🙂

    1. It was an ‘out of the blue’ day, Drake. I hadn’t planned it but it was too nice to be indoors and I didn’t have any ‘must do’ jobs. Lucky me! Glad you enjoyed it and many thanks for your company again. 🙂

  14. Oh it all looks just the same as it did when i visited about eight years ago.we stayed in a cottage called crow tree cottage with amazing views of the colourful roof tops and glistenjng sea.often bobbed into the cod and lobster and walked along the cleveland way to skinningrove and once to runswick bay.x

    1. Runswick Bay is my absolute favourite, Shazza. 🙂 I plan to do the Skinningrove walk later this year too. It’s a beautiful coastline we have, isn’t it? 🙂

      1. It certainly is. Love that coastline. We are going to be staying in Whitby in November so I’m sure we will revisit Staithes. 🙂

  15. Jo, Hub and I just gorged on the Doc Martin series and I’ve fallen in love with these quaint pockets of the coast – everything about these villages is charming and yet you show the reality of that quaintness in the harsh wind, the sometimes limiting cliff boundaries and the lobster traps whuch evoke a precarious profession indeed.

    Jude told me Port Isaac was the setting for the series; now I see from your beautiful array we can poke along the coast and find many pockets to explore. If only I had my airline ticket !!

    1. To get right around the coast might take you a while, Sammy, even though we are only a small island. It’s all those wriggles in and wriggles out 🙂 🙂 I haven’t been down to Cornwall and Doc Martins territory since I was a youngster (it’s quicker to fly to the Algarve!). Our coastline in the north east is probably as good, but it’s much cooler (hence the need for the Algarve 🙂 )

      1. Kind of like wriggling along our Maine coast. I have wriggled the Irish ciast many decades ago, but England is yet in tge ‘hope to’ column. I should have visited back when my knees could hike hills.

  16. Enchanting Jo, and I don’t mean just all those wonderful benches, but the whole village! Looks a little bit like Mousehole with the steps and houses all scruunched together, supporting one another “a hodge podge of houses” as you remarked, and the patches of gardens. I could live there, but I suspect, much like Mousehole, a lot of those are holiday homes. A very beautiful part of Yorkshire. I need to take the OH up there, he’d love fish ‘n chips at the Cod and Lobster 😀

    1. Richard (A bit of Culture) shouts up for Cornwall too and has some good walks on his, Jude, but I told him today we can rival Cornwall up here. Just maybe not the temperatures 🙂 Runswick Bay along the coast is all holiday cottages now. I think Staithes has a good proportion still lived in. It’s quite a sizeable village with a lovely church and the Captain Cook Hotel (of course) up top. I have quite a few more photos but I try not to send people into a snooze. 🙂

      1. and here’s one for you for next week:

        There will be a lighthouse post soon, but as it is not really a walk – only a very short one – I won’t link to your walks, so keep your eyes peeled 🙂
        Jude xx (from the very breezy and somewhat chilly Shires)

    2. Cheers, Jude 🙂 I don’t know what we did to deserve it but it was glorious here this afternoon! I settled in the garden with a good book and my notepad (so I could look industrious 🙂 )

  17. Hi Jo,
    Thanks for the wonderful tour. 🙂 I think I need at least two more lives to see all the beautiful places in GB alone that I know of. 😉
    Thinking of fish and chips makes my mouth water. 😉
    Have a great week,

    1. I think so, Pit! 🙂 Even just getting down the coast far enough to visit villages I haven’t seen since I was a kid takes time. I’m running out, too 🙂 Wishing you a happy week!

  18. I really enjoyed walking with you today Jo, but when don’t I? You offered plenty of benches and curves and bright boats and stairs to the sea and sculptures and crafts and Cook who keeps popping up, here, there and everywhere (Hawaii via Warsaw; Cooktown; and now Staithes) – huge variety! How far did you actually walk? And then a feast of words as well as landscape: crafty movement, sheltering and entrapping cliffs, sleepy boats (although movement wasn’t crafty enough: you caught the movement of the sand.) And even a pun.

    I wish you ran Warsaw TI: you wouldn’t sit there typing while I lent on the desk waiting, and you’d tell me clearly how the hell to visit the cellars below the Old Town square. You’d probably even take me out of the building and point!

    1. I’d be great in the Warsaw TI, Meg! So long as everyone spoke English 🙂 🙂 I quite fancy a trip down those cellars anyway.
      He had the strangest life, Cook! (reminds me- I MUST visit the schoolroom museum in Great Ayton) Sad, too. How far? I spent a lot of time annoying Michael, taking shots of benches and nooks and crannies, There was a coven of photographers there. The real thing with tripods! I kept a low profile 🙂 But who can blame them- it IS so picturesque. So then we brisk marched up the cliffs a kilometre or so, took a wild guess at a route back that didn’t involve going down and up the cliff again, and there you have it… maybe 4/5, that’s all. 🙂
      Thank you for your lovely company.

    2. Just butting in to say Cook was also in Simonstown (Cape Peninsula) too… I do seem to have folowed him about the world, though, as yet, not to Hawaii 😉

      1. But it could be my place of most glory! The scenery looks spectacular 🙂 Or how about the Azores? Are you or Jude up for that? 🙂

      2. Why not? I seem to be saying yes to everything. Latest seems to be Ubud writers festival in November with my Australian daughter! And then a year in Warsaw, beginning next spring – merely mooted, but in the current climate it’ll happen, mercy help us!

      1. Oddly, I’m not really a sea person. Rarely swam as a child and rarely swim now it’s on my doorstep. Do you immerse? Or just ramble the shores, beach combing in the broadest possible sense? I think I enjoy a taste of the urban life, but not the loss of agency that comes with unaccustomed cohabiting!

      2. I’m actually quite frightened of the sea though I love to be on or beside it. I’m not a swimmer (can’t go out of my depth) but do love the lap of the waves. I get worse as the years go by and the confidence erodes.

  19. Girlfriend, you truly live in a beautiful part of the world .. and maybe it’s you that brings out the beauty in where ever you walk. This will keep you fit both to body and brain – even soul. Absolutely stunning. I visit your blue bell post yesterday, but I was too tired to comment, Will go back no and enjoy one of the things I miss most about UK: My favorite pick here is the gallery with the houses and their details. Lovely .. just lovely. A Jo view …

    1. You’re right, Vivi! 🙂 I have some truly beautiful countryside and coast around me. 2 big shames- 1/ I don’t drive so can’t take off whenever I want (I’d never be home) and 2/ the weather isn’t always our friend up here in the north east. But then you know that, living in Sweden. 🙂 I have hopes this Summer to travel further down the coast because I haven’t been in Filey since I was a girl, and I have wonderful memories of it.
      Bless you, darlin’ and thanks 🙂 Sunshine hugs! (after the rain)

  20. Oh this looks my kind of place Jo ! For such a picturesque little place it looks surprisingly devoid of crowds . Marvellous . I think lunch at the Cod and Lobster would be a necessity after all that up and down the lanes . Now you’ve made me want a drfitwood boat … have piles of it here … * thinks maybe I could run up a sail 😉
    In this light I can see why it appeals to artists now and in the past . Laura Knight known for her dazzling paintings of the Cornish sea and landscape after her marriage lived nearby and painted many scenes of the fishing community .
    Super post … keep ’em coming !

    1. Bless you, Poppy! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 As I remarked to Sue, there were a few tripods about but I was very respectful of ‘real’ photographers. The little craft shop is worth a visit if nothing else 🙂 Happy Monday from a damp and dreary north east coast!

  21. Glorious! My mum had a picture of this place on her wall, and I have always wanted to visit….another one for ‘one day’!! 😀

    1. Sorry to disillusion, Jill, but it’s a drizzly wet morning and our walk has been cancelled 😦 Hang on to your dreams! Me- I’ll be playing catch up 🙂 Happy Monday!

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