The area around Staithes and Whitby contains many other fascinating and beautiful places to visit. The North York Moors National Park covers 550 square miles of varied and unspoilt countryside, including the largest extent of heather in England and Wales. The Moors Centre at the inland village of Danby contains a host of information about the Park.
Between Staithes and Whitby there are two pretty coastal villages, Runswick Bay and Sandsend, which both have wide sandy beaches, cafes and pubs. Just South of Whitby there is the picturesque former fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay. Inland from Staithes there is the beautiful Esk Valley with many lovely walks and charming villages.
Runswick Bay – is a picturesque coastal village which is 2 miles South of Staithes along the cliff tops (3 miles by the main road). There is public parking at the bottom of the steep hill that leads to the lower part of the village. Runswick Bay has a large sandy beach, a pub which serves food, a sailing club and an old lifeboat station.
Sandsend – lies at the bottom of a steep hill (Lythe Bank) 7 miles South of Staithes on the road to Whitby. It used to be associated with alum mining and remains of the quarrying can still be seen on the cliff face at the North of the village. Now it is a picturesque village with an excellent sandy beach which attracts surfers and kite flyers from miles around. There is a pub, two hotels, a cafe and a newly opened art gallery.
Robin Hood’s Bay – is a charming former fishing village 5 miles South of Whitby. There are only one or two active fishing boats but tourism is the main activity and this has produced a wide range of interesting shops including several secondhand bookshops, an art gallery, a cinema, and interesting curio shops. There are three pubs, two of which serve food, and a bistro which is currently open at the weekends. When the tide is in it washes right up the launchway to wash the bottom of the main street, but when it is out there is a lovely rocky beach spread out over a magnificent wave cut platform.
North Yorks Moors Railway – this is only 20 miles South of Staithes and is well worth the journey. There are 18 miles of preserved railway track running from Grosmont to Pickering, through the unspoilt countryside of Newton Dale which isn’t accessible by any other means. A number of different steam trains pull coaches up and down the lines, including the famous Sir Nigel Gresley. There are trains running almost every day of the year, although they are more frequent in Summer and at weekends. 01751 472508 or see timetable.
Esk valley and railway – the Esk valley contains a string of pretty villages which includes Grosmont, Egton Bridge, Glaisdale and Castleton. The railway runs from Whitby through this with a regular frequent timetable, the local people use it to go shopping and to travel to work or school. There are 11 stations in the Esk valley making it an ideal way to explore this beautiful countryside.