The Staithes School was an influential art group of the early 1900’s and Dame Laura Knight one of its leading lights; the heart of it was here on the Yorkshire coast. The village hasn’t changed much in the intervening years, you still get a real sense of the importance of its fishing and painting history; fast forward to the now, and the stunning Georgian gallery exhibits mainly local artists, most of whom are inspired by the sea, and is well worth a visit even if you’re not staying.
If you are, owners Al and Dave have a unique, quirky studio apartment tucked behind the gallery, which is often occupied by visiting artists (and sometimes writers seeking sanctuary). Laura and her husband Harold used it as their studio, walking the six miles there and back from their house in Roxby to paint by the shoreline. And for a small payment, Laura Knights Studio can be yours too!
Just a hop down the ginnel leading from the main cobbled street, the studio (based in one of the oldest buildings in the village) is a bit of a tardis; walk in and it opens up, high cruck beams made from ship’s timbers soaring to the roof – it’s spacious, light and airy. Open plan on the ground floor, there’s a big wood stove chucking out heat for the entire room. Despite the loftiness, it’s cosy, with a quarry tiled floor and vintage rugs. A kitchen at the back of the room is simple but has everything you need.
Up some wooden stairs is a mezzanine level with a double bed; apart from an original bathroom with enamel roll top bath off the living room, that’s it! There’s great art on the walls of course, and French windows leading to a private yard at the back overlooking the beck, painted a thousand times by the Staithes Group.
The Laura Knight Studio is comfortable, warm, arty, quiet and bohemian and best of all, you’re a heartbeat from the harbour. Release your inner artist – have a go, why not, you don’t know til you’ve tried!
How much? From £40 per night
Kids? There’s a sofa bed in front of the fire, so you can sleep four here comfortably.
Well placed? No parking in the old village. Park at the top and walk down. Beach and cliff top walks, fishing, two pubs and of course art courses at the Staithes Gallery. Pretty Runswick Bay is three miles away and the pleasures of Whitby just 8 miles.
Good grub? The Seadrift café by the harbour is fab – good coffee & home made cakes. The Magpie Café in Whitby is unmissable, but for the best dinner you’ll have all year, save up and head for The Fox and Hounds in nearby Goldsborough.
The Staithes Gallery, High Street, Staithes TS13 5BHTel 01947 841840
Part of Stay North Yorkshire
Review by Mandy, 25 March 2015blog comments powered by Disqus