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Hotels in Staithes

The seaside village of Staithes is in the Scarborough Borough of North Yorkshire, England. It was formerly a major fishing port and one of the largest on the north-east coast of England. Today it is a popular tourist destination and a mecca for geologists too, as it sits on what is known as the Dinosaur Coast, which is rich in fossils from the Middle and Lower Lias period.


For a small coastal village, Staithes has a huge amount of history attached to it. Best known as a fishing port in the past, in its heyday there were almost 300 men engaged in the industry here, with trains travelling out across Britain to deliver the huge daily catches. Local boats known as Cobles, or the larger Five-Man were of tough construction because they were landed straight onto the beach. Staithes is also traditionally known as a centre of mineral production, with, Jet, Iron Stone and Alum Shale all occurring naturally in the rich local strata.

Away from industry, the natural beauty of the area also attracted numerous artists who became known collectively as the Staithes Group at the beginning of the 20th century.

Captain Cook

The great British explorer, navigator, cartographer and Royal Navy captain James Cook, who mapped lands from New Zealand to Hawaii in unprecedented detail was born near Staithes, in Marton. As a teenager he worked in the town, before moving to Whitby and ultimately into a seafaring life that took him far from his humble North Yorkshire roots.

The Dinosaur Coast

Staithes is situated within the North York Moors National Park and is incredibly rich in geological finds. Often called the Dinosaur Coast, the area was once a shallow tropical delta in which endless layers or sediment settled, preserving fascinating species of ancient marine life in fossilized form. The Ammonites in particular seem to have thrived in this environment for millennia and their various evolving forms make it easier to determine the age of the Lias sediments. The spectacular exposure of Jurassic Lias at Staithes is highly important for both amateur and professional geologists.

The Town

From Staithes Hotels you can explore this attractive town and its dramatic setting. Most of the oldest buildings are at the base of the cliff, and as you climb up the cobbled High Street the developments get gradually more modern. On Church Street you will pass the little white cottage that belonged to Captain James Cook and if you continue beyond the metalled road, you will arrive at the Cleveland Way National Trail and a superb view back down over the town and coast. One of the town's most distinctive features is Staines Beck, which winds down to the sea in very picturesque fashion. It is certainly the most painted and photographed part of Staithes with good reason.

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