BEAUTIFUL SECRET I don’t really want to write this article. If you already know Staithes, you will understand why writing in public about the most beautiful secret on the Yorkshire coast feels like something of a betrayal. When it comes to Staithes, those of us in the know are happy to let the tourists visiting Yorkshire go elsewhere. To the adventurous travellers, we give you Robin Hood’s Bay with a smile and a wave or there’s Whitby with its bustling streets and majestic abbey. And a fine time people will have; both wonderful places to while away a day or several. For those familiar with the best kept secret of the Yorkshire coast though, there is always a sense that we would rather keep Staithes to ourselves, but it might be time to share the secret. I’m not sure how one finds out about Staithes. It’s highly unlikely that you stumble across the village, sitting as it does in a harbour, well disguised at the end of a street off the main coastal road. However it happens, once you do discover Staithes, it feels as though you haven’t found it so much as it has found you. And once Staithes has found you, it has you forever.
Clockwise from top left: Created by Whitby sculptor Emma Stothard, the Staithes polar bear is made from stripped and woven white willow. Lobster traps on Staithes beach. A small fishing boat in water. Fishing buoys and brightly coloured boats. Staithes at twilight. Rob Shaw in front of Staithes Art Gallery. The footbridge over Staithes Beck, connecting the North Yorkshire villages of Cowbar and Staithes.