We’ve long championed Staithes, one of our favourite places along the coast and now we want to tell you about a terrific day out.
Real Staithes is a two hour low tide walk along the Staithes foreshore led by a local fisherman and ending in a lobster picnic at his wonderfully ramshackled hut at Port Mulgrave.
Sean and Tricia Baxter have lived in Staithes most of their lives. Tricia was born in the village, Sean has lived there since a child. These days he runs fishing trips, beach casting days and night fishing courses but what we like best, are his discovery walks and picnics along the foreshore.
The walk starts in the morning – timing depends on the tides – and Sean leads the way along the rocky foreshore recounting the areas industrial history – alum, ironstone and jet and its natural history – birds, fossils, seashore finds and shellfish. Visitors help to haul in lobster pots, bait longlines, forage for winkles and edible seaweeds.
After a couple of hours or so dawdling along the shoreline, followed by a bit of a scramble, the bay of Port Mulgrave comes into view. Once a harbour for the ironstone ships that worked this coast, it is now no more than a collection of fishing cobles landing crab and lobster and a community of fisherman’s huts, built ad-lib with bits of old timber, discarded corrugated iron, driftwood, the odd B & Q door.
It’s not beautiful but it has an anarchic, tumble-down charm with fishermen’s huts that pay no heed to building and planning regs., the theory being that if you can get the materials down the precipitous cliff, then good luck to you.
Meanwhile Tricia has a campfire is going with a pot of soup in a big black pot simmering over it. She serves it up in enamel mugs with hunks of bread while a table is set up outdoors for lunch. Bread, two or three salads, crab claws, winkles, seaweed crisps and lobster – one each – freshly boiled to be dipped in mayo. eaten with fingers and sucked clean. Then its cake – fruit or lemon drizzle, mugs of coffee and chocolate.
After that there’s nothing left to do but make the stiff climb to the cliff top for the stunning three mile clifftop walk back to Staithes. Days out don’t get better than that.
Real Staithes Walks of Discovery are priced £75 per person for a full days walk including lunch. Read more about Real Staithes here.