There are loads of things to see and do in the small historic fishing village of Staithes on the North York Moors coast. It is well worth a visit! Reasonably able-bodied young and old explorers will find plenty to do and see. We chose three fun things to do whilst we were there...
The village nestles in a bay between two cliffs, (called "nabs" in that part of the world.) You can easily walk up the cliffs along the Cleveland Way in either direction. We walked up to Old Nab and along the Cleveland Way past Port Mulgrave to Runswick Bay. It is 4.8 miles of glorious views and on arrival in Runswick Bay we were rewarded with a pint of local brew! Needless to say we got the bus back!
You can walk to Boulby Cliff which is also about five miles heading north along the Cleveland Way. It stands at 666 feet and when you get there you will be higher than anyone else on the east coast of England. We plan to do that next time we go.
The views are fantastic from all over Staithes and you just have to photograph them. The light in early evening was fantastic. Everywhere you look there are insta worthy pictures to take! Staithes boasts a great art gallery, so we were able to enjoy other people’s photographs and paintings of the village as well as our own.
There is also an illusion trail around the village created by local artist Paul Czainski and we couldn’t help but take a photo of each one we found! With our favourite being the one we saw before we knew there was an illusion trail!
All along the coast there are fossil hunting opportunities and we were lucky that the tides were out during the day whilst we were there. I don’t have the patience to look for very long! My husband does though and found some interesting rocks and pebbles. I was happy to sit in the sunshine and gaze into the water which was wonderfully clear and trash free.
Staithes does have a Treasure Trail which we thoroughly enjoyed and we saw parts of the village we would not have seen if we hadn’t been following the Trail. Do let us know if you've been to Staithes.
Summer has arrived and we have a top tip to make your next Treasure Trail a tasty treat for the whole family to enjoy.
If it is a nice day break up your exploring with a picnic. Included in the training that we give to all our Trail Writers is the instruction to make sure that if at all possible the route they choose passes at least one really nice place to have picnic.
Did you know that picnicking has its origins in Britain? The earliest picnics were medieval hunting feasts in England which were generally held before the hunts began and hams, baked meats and pastries were the standard fare! If you do go on a Treasure Trail, then you may still be carrying on the tradition of eating before hunting – treasure hunting that is!
Perfect picnic spots in our view have these elements:
Picnic benches – We have a Murder Mystery Trail around Hay on Wye, a small town on the borders of Powys and Herefordshire and world famous for being the book town. The picnic spot is half way round the Trail where a set of picnic benches are set up on the banks of the River Wye.
A brilliant view – Filey is a good old fashioned seaside resort with great views. There are a range of picnic spots to choose, from the many benches along the promenade and in the parks and gardens, to the wide sandy beach or up to Filey Brigg and the start of the Cleveland Way. It is a fab one for sandcastles too!
No traffic – Cheltenham Pittville is all parks, gardens and lakes. Pittville, originally built as the ‘new’ spa town to rival Cheltenham itself, is a delightful blend of wide open spaces, elegantly laid out residential squares and long, straight walking paths. Starting at the birthplace of the composer Holst this Trail leads you along traffic-free pathways through Pittville Park along ‘The Lawns’ with its convenient year-round cafe, before you cross the water via the footbridge. Pause to let the children have fun at the designated play area, discover the aviary close to the famous Pittville Pump Rooms and you might even be entertained at the band stand – what better place to have a picnic! One happy customer recently remarked “It was truly enjoyable. We went as a family with our dog and loved it!!”
Shelter from wind – Ilkley is an historic spa town (famously visited by Charles Darwin), though this Trail takes you along the edge of the Moor and up to White Wells House. You do go past a specific picnic spot on the Moor – a fantastic place to stop with views of the town below, but also slightly more sheltered from the wind that you often get up there. The name of the Trail is Ilkley – on the Wild Side! You’ve been warned.
A cafe nearby for the things you forgot to bring with you – The Aberdour Trail is only 30 minutes from Edinburgh but feels a million miles away. This award winning village has a castle, a Victorian train station, award winning gardens, independent gift shops, hotels and restaurants, a picturesque harbour and award winning beaches including one of Scotland’s three Blue Flag beaches. The Trail ends at the Silver Sands car park, where you can access the beach, playing fields, picnic benches and cafe and enjoy views over the Firth of Forth towards Edinburgh and the Pentland Hills. This area is also one of Special Scientific Interest with an assortment of flora and fauna to be enjoyed. A grand day out for all the family!
Activities close by for those that can’t sit still – Try Lymm Ducks and Drakes based around the town centre. There are a couple of excellent picnic spots and lots of opportunities for duck feeding (currently, lots of babies – very cute!) and photography. Or what about Elford Treasure Trail. The lovely little village of Elford is packed with history and has a bright, modern playground in its midst where there are undercover picnic tables for adults to relax whilst the little ones play. Alternatively, there is a restored walled garden to enjoy. If you see three cars in total, it’s rush hour!
As long as you are relaxing, enjoying the scenery and affable company with scrumptious foods….you are practising the art of picnicking! You can be confident that most of the time if you carry your picnic with you on a Trail, there will be a nice spot to stop and enjoy.
We’d love to hear recommendations from you of great picnic spots on our Trails. Feel free to comment here or head over to our Facebook page or Twitter site and comment there! Cheers and Happy Holidays!