Staithes remains on of the UK’s best kept secrets despite it frequently featuring in the media – not least the fact that “Old Jack’s Boat” with Bernard Cribbins is filmed here –  they call it “Staithes” in the program unlike “Balamory” aka. Tobermory!

Some top things to do on your Staithes Old Chapel holiday

Climb the 199 steps to Whitby Abbey (watch out for vampires – Bram Stoker wrote and set part of his gothic hour masterpiece “Dracula” in Whitby. Published in 1897, the steps and churchyard at their top feature in the plot). There’s an ice cream van there now, maybe don’t have the red sauce.

Travel on the North Yorkshire Moors Steam Railway. It’s a grand day out and there’s even a posh dining car if you book in advance. It’s a great way to see the moors at a holiday pace. Pick it up at Whitby and you can even travel to Goathland the moors village of wandering sheep and set of TV’s “Heartbeat”. Walk from Goathland to the Mallyan spout waterfall if you have time.


Go to Sandsend and paddle in the stream – great for small children as the older ones go on the main beach. Plenty of ice cream available here too as well as coffees or something stronger in the Hart Inn. Fabulous beach for kites.

Bathe all year round – the outside water temperature is always mid-30’s centigrade –  in the infinity pool with your gin and tonic in hand at the world class waterpark, Alpamare in Scarborough or instead go down the brilliant slides (put the drink down first!). 

In the summer see what is on at the fabulously scenic and very professional  Esk Valley Theatre. Dine first at the outstanding Board Inn up the road which does great food and outstanding Sunday lunch but be sure to book.

More upscale theatre, visit Alan Ayckbourn’s Stephen Joseph theatre in Scarborough for world-class entertainment at bargain prices. It is a theatre in the round which really makes things intimate. Over the summer they also run workshops and performances for children. On occasion I have sat in front of Alan Ayckbourn taking notes.

Walk around the Hole of Horcum (wear boots and watch out for hangliders). Be prepared for grand landscapes and big views on this North York Moors classic 5-mile scenic walk, following a prominent track over Levisham Moor, past important archaeological remains. 

Go to dinner at the Ellerby Hotel in Ellerby. They have an excellent reputation for food and drink and provide light bites alongside hearty main meals or fine if you just fancy a coffee. The steak pie is a thing of legend and wholesome beauty.


                                                                   Visit the Magpie Cafe in Whitby – best fish and chips on earth (and play on the amusements afterwards). The fish travels feet rather than miles from sea to kitchen. You can then walk it off along the pier or stroll through the cobbled streets looking at Whitby jet jewellery.

Stroll through the Victorian splendour of Saltburn with its 150 yer old pier,  the colourful Italian Gardens and the oldest water balanced cliff tramway in Britain that is still in operation, linking the town with the pier 120 feet below. A funicular railway in Saltburn (who knew?).

Or simply get your shoes on and go for a walk around he village and track back via the Cod & Lobster pub for a cheeky one (and fab food). Washed away a couple of times and was regular hideaway of actor Peter O” Toole – he told me so. So much history and quiz night on a Wednesday.