Simply because the photos are staring at me, here’s a report from rainy Staithes, one of my favourites places on earth (even if it is in Yorkshire).
I always assume that everyone knows where Staithes is, so stunning is it on first sight, but it turns out more folk in my Cambridge village can locate the Cinque Terre, with which Staithes shares a few similarities.
I’m not sure some of my villagers could pinpoint Yorkshire on the map, to be honest. Tell them that Yorkshire is less than two hours drive away and they look perplexed.
Staithes seems very keen to hide it’s treasures. You won’t find a sign for it, all the way from Middlesbrough to Boulby Mine.
And then it appears.
When I was twelve (before Elvis died, folks), a trip to the Suffolk coast concluded with a chorus of “I can see the seaside !!!”, always seen first by my sister. Even with the Sizewell Power Station, we never had sights as compelling as this at the end of our trips.
No cars in the centre, which sorts the fit from the fat on the walk back up the hill. A hill to rival Porlock.
The views across the Beck alone are worth the four hour journey.
I tipped up on what was supposed to be a day of downpours, but it was merely damp, and of course you can avoid a downpour by walking faster.
The smell of proper coals fires on the way down is quite intoxicating, If Staithes was flat and full of overpriced (as opposed to underpriced) tat shops it could be one of those overpriced tourist villages on the North Norfolk coast. Luckily, it’s not.
With its colour and cobbles, the village itself is a work of art. Which is just as well as street art is somewhat lacking, unless you count this;
Despite the impression it made in 2006, we’d only been to Staithes the once, when the Captain Cook wove some sort of beer magic on me and the boys were taken with the rock pools.
It’s quite possible we popped in the Cod & Lobster back then; you’ll struggle to find a seafront pub that looks more inviting (Low Newton’s Ship apart).
I’m guessing few visitors can make a visit from Whitby without stopping in the Cod & Lobster, if only for a 11am coffee and/or to escape the rain.
What’s noticeable in North Yorkshire’s tourist pubs is how many people are pretending to have walked vast distances to get there, when a little detective work reveals they’ve walked/rolled the five minutes from the car park.
I would have paid the £1.50 price of admission (a half of Black Sheep) just to hear the local pronunciation of “Diet Co-ak“, but Masham’s finest was in spectacular cool form (NBSS 4), just as it was off the A66 recently.
You can’t really ask much more from a foody pub like this than to have good beer, cheap prices, and a lack of pretension.
An elderly gentleman came and in asked for Landlord, which some misguided individuals have recently decided is our greatest Best Bitter in Mudge’s poll.
Sometimes, I despair.
They had Boltmaker on, which I assured him was a fine bitter. Not that I’ve had any recent evidence of that in the Prosecco-focused gastropubs where it keeps popping up.
He looked at me, suspiciously, agreed to the cheaper substitution, and asked where the advertised newspapers were. Only to find it wasn’t the “Scarborough Shouter“, or whatever.
At 11.40 families were already pouring in, about to start perusing an unfussy lunch menu that would still have children and mums undecided at 12.27.
I contemplated an hour on the beach reading the Scarborough Shouter, but it decided to rain at that moment, so I then proceeded to climb up steep steps. For the fun of it.
Foolishly, tried to squeeze through Dog Loup, but it was too small. Can even dogs get through ?
I took the wrong path up the hill, but at least when you get lost you get views like this.