5 Scenic Walks in Staithes

As you wind around Staithes’ cobbled streets and colourful cottages, you might think you’ve been transported back in time. How better to explore these historic delights than with a scenic stroll?

5 Scenic Walks in Staithes

Visiting Staithes is a history lesson, once home to Captain Cook, and was one of the northeast coast’s busiest fishing villages.  Nowadays, Staithes attracts visitors year-round. Many stay in the village to visit the many seafood restaurants – while others lace up their boots and head out for a hike.

There are many beautiful walks in Staithes waiting to be explored. Several Staithes walks follow the clifftop coastal paths that make up the legendary Cleveland Way national trail. Others head inland to explore the North York Moors national park.

So get some water, a picnic and your guidebook ready – here are our favourite walks in Staithes…

Staithes to Runswick Bay Walk

The first of our Staithes hikes takes you south down the Cleveland Way trail towards Runswick Bay. This walk is a great way to get some sea air while taking in the local history and atmosphere.

The route along the coast path is just over three miles long, taking between 60-90 minutes at a leisurely pace. Head out of Staithes, aiming south along the Cleveland Way trail. This is possibly the most challenging part of the route, so make sure you’re feeling energetic.

The first mile or so brings you up to the clifftops – while you might feel out of breath after, the stunning sea views are worth the effort. Reaching the flat cliff edge is a good chance to stop, have a drink, and soak in the North Sea views surrounding you.

An elevated view across the rooftops of Staithes with a view of the sea beyond

Once you’re ready, carry on south to Port Mulgrave. Some take the chance to walk into nearby Hinderwell for its restaurants and pubs, while others pause in Port Mulgrave to marvel at its quaint setting.

Heading out of Port Mulgrave, follow the path with the North Sea on your left-hand side. This stretch features a few climbs and can get quite close to the cliff edge – so keep dogs on a lead and children close. Once you’ve navigated the path around the Crocodile Head headland, you’ll see the stunning Runswick Bay.

Why not stay a while and relax? Runswick Bay is one of the Yorkshire coast’s most gorgeous seaside towns, with old red-roof houses, some cosy inns and a beach regularly voted among the best in Britain.

Once you’ve enjoyed all that Runswick Bay offers, you can hike back to Staithes along the same route or catch public transport.

Staithes to Port Mulgrave Circular Walk

Another of our fantastic walks around Staithes is the Staithes to Port Mulgrave circular walk – a route that takes you along the coast before bringing you inland and looping back. This route often ranks as one of the best walks in North Yorkshire for its natural beauty and varied landscapes.

A far reaching view across Port Mulgrave

This circular walk features a 4-mile-long route beginning at Staithes harbour. As with the Runswick Bay route above, start by heading out of Staithes on the Cleveland Way national trail running south. You’ll have a reasonably steep climb up to the cliff tops, then follow the path until you reach Port Mulgrave.

Once you’ve enjoyed the natural beauty of the bay, turn your back on the sea and walk up towards Hinderwell Lane. From here, you can pause to grab a bite to eat in the village of Hinderwell or carry on your route. You can follow the footpath along the road, or head into the fields and woods via the signposted walking routes towards Dalehouse.

Once you’ve passed Dalehouse, Staithes will quickly come into view. Why not head into one of Staithes’ pubs for well-earned refreshments?

Staithes to Saltburn-by-the-sea Walk

If you want to head north on your Yorkshire coastal walk, why not try the point-to-point route that takes you to Saltburn-by-the-sea? This is a longer route – with around nine miles of tracks along the way.

This itinerary is highly recommended for its stunning views. Start by taking the Cleveland Way north towards Boulby, climbing to the highest clifftop on the North Yorkshire coast.

Follow the winding clifftop paths and soak in the magical views over the North Sea. There’s often a strong breeze on this route that will keep you cool in summer.

The cliffs and beach in Saltburn

There are plenty of spots along the way to stop and enjoy a picnic, with many pausing in the village of Skinningrove for refreshments. After a few hours, you’ll see the Victorian seaside resort of Saltburn-by-the-sea in the distance.

Descend the cliffs into Saltburn. You can head straight to the promenade for fish and chips or a lemon top ice cream. Stay a while to enjoy the Saltburn cliff tramway, pier and classic British seaside attractions before catching local transport back to Staithes (you could also hike back along the same route if you’re feeling super energetic!)

Staithes to Sandsend Walk

Another option for a long walk is to take the Cleveland Way south towards Whitby. This 10-mile route begins with walking to Runswick Bay along the clifftop footpaths. Many stop in Runswick Bay to visit cafes and buy refreshments.

Sandsend beach and the cliffs beyond

Once you’re ready, follow the Cleveland Way south, climbing up to the clifftops for some stunning sea views. You’ll pass Kettleness beach on the way, before heading into a wooded descent towards Sandsend. There are a few cafes and pubs around Sandsend that provide walkers with a well-earned rest.

If you still have energy left, you could carry on for a couple of miles down Sandsend beach and into Whitby. Enjoy all the delights of this ever-popular seaside town before heading back to Staithes on local transport.

Scaling Dam Reservoir Walk

If you’re looking for inland walks near Staithes, why not try the Scaling Dam reservoir? You can take the 5-mile walk from Staithes to Scaling Dam, or drive yourself. From the car park, begin the circular walk around the reservoir. It’s three miles long and takes anywhere between 60-90 minutes to complete.

Scaling Dam is an excellent choice for families and dog walkers. There are also plenty of grassy areas and moorland to enjoy a picnic lunch. Some sections can often get quite muddy, so remember to bring your wellies.

Have our walks inspired you to take a break in Staithes? Don’t miss out. Explore our selection of Staithes holiday cottages and start planning your next holiday.  

For ideas on where to stop for a bite to eat, give our guide on 10 popular pubs in Staithes a read!