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.
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.
So getting down to the harbour
and you pass numerous houses dating back to Victorian times before you get to the harbour.
When we went, the tide was out
and hence although the harbour looked rather muddy,
had we been of a mind (and probably either considerably younger or with our grandchildren),
we could have looked for crabs in the rock pools.
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 (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).
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.
The original seaside hotels are still standing long the top of the cliffs although most are now B&Bs or flats.
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.
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.
There is some lovely stained glass inside the cab
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
traditional Donkey Rides were offered
but not at Victorian prices, we walked along the pier
to the end from which there was a nice view of the town.
Lunch was an enormous plate of Fish and Chips
and then the bus back to Sandsend.
We enjoyed our few days at the seaside and would happily go back again (out of season !)