Wednesday, 22 April 2015

The Bus to Staithes and Saltburn

There is a half-hourly bus from Whitby to Middlesborough which stops just below The Porthole and rather than drive, we have decided to take the bus first to Staithes and then on to Saltburn, this is scheduled to take about 90 mins in each direction.


Staithes is a famous picturesque fishing village on the east coast of Yorkshire.

Staithes Sign

The one disadvantage for the visitor is that the village is down the bottom of a steep narrow street and there is no parking anywhere for visitors to the village other than a carpark at the top of the hill.

Staithes Street 1

So getting down to the harbour

Staithes Street 2

is easy

Staithes Street 3

and you pass numerous houses dating back to Victorian times before you get to the harbour.

Staithes Street 4

When we went, the tide was out

Staithes Harbour 1

and hence although the harbour looked rather muddy,

Staithes Harbour 2 001

had we been of a mind (and probably either considerably younger or with our grandchildren),

Staithes Rocks

we could have looked for crabs in the rock pools.

Staithes Bench

At least there is a seat at the harbour (with some rather nice art on it) to rest upon before walking back up the hill to catch the bus again.


Saltburn Map

Saltburn (a rather good website is here) by the Sea is a Victorian seaside resort which has worked hard to retain much of the original Victorian charm that attracted thousands of visitors in its heyday. We went there for lunch, to ride the Saltburn Cliff Tramway, to walk the pier and to do anything else if we had the energy (which turned out to be not much).

Saltburn Railway Station

The railway station has been lovingly restored


although the Mortuary (1881) which is down on the seaside could do with some attention. This was built to cope with the large number of bodies being washed up on the shore. Originally they were taken to the nearby pub (The Ship Inn) but so many needed storing with that they decided to build a Mortuary nearby.

Saltburn Houses

The original seaside hotels are still standing long the top of the cliffs although most are now B&Bs or flats.

Saltburn Tramway 1

Originally there was a lift which took people up and down the cliff but this was replaced by a “water balanced tramway” in the 1880’s because the lift had a habit of sticking halfway on its journey up or down.

Saltburn Tramway 2

The tramway is a superb example of Victorian engineering and has been very well restored. There is a water tank beneath the floor of each of the two tramway cabs. The tank is the cab at the top of the cliff is filled with water, when full it weighs more than the cab at the bottom (to which it is attached by a rope and pulley) and hence slides down the rail pulling the other cab up to the top. It discharges its water, the tank in the cab at the top fills and the trip is then repeated.

Saltburn Tramway 4

There is some lovely stained glass inside the cab

Saltburn Tramway 3 

and the journey is well worth the £1 each (50p for old people like us) to go up and less so to go down!

Having got down to the beach where

Beach Donkeys 001

traditional Donkey Rides were offered

Beach Donkeys

but not at Victorian prices, we walked along the pier

Cold Sea

View of town from pier

to the end from which there was a nice view of the town.

Large Fish and Chips

Lunch was an enormous plate of Fish and Chips 

Bus Home

and then the bus back to Sandsend.

We enjoyed our few days at the seaside and would happily go back again (out of season !)

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