Thursday, 18 October 2012


Staithes really does fit into the classic image of a quaint fishing village. Pretty, steeped in history and something that is becoming increasingly under threat, is still actually involved in fishing, albeit in a small way with only one full time boat as well as a few part-time ones. Today in the sunshine the village was bustling with visitors of all ages. Some were sitting enjoying the view or wandering around the harbour, others were looking at the quaint houses, or simply sitting chatting in the warmth of the autumn sun. Some brave kids were even swimming in the sea.

05D-5550 The Small Fishing Village of Staithes and its Harbour at Low Tide North Yorkshire UK.
Staithes. Copyright David Forster

Being on the Cleveland way footpath the village also quite popular with walkers as well and there were plenty folk with rucksacs wandering around, or puffing their way up the steep hill leading out of town towards Runswick Bay.

Our plan was to walk over to Runswick bay and back but we started off by having a gentle wander around town and to have a look at what photo opportunities there might be for later on in the evening. As soon as I stood on the bridge over Staithes beck I knew I had found the first.

05D-5575 The Small Fishing Village of Staithes and its Harbour at Low Tide North Yorkshire UK.
Staithes beck at low tide. Copyright David Forster

A wander over to the rocks below Cow Bar Nab and I spotted this large anchor chain. The light was getting a bit too harsh but it did help with the detail. I decided not to correct the barrel distortion created by the wide-angle lens as I felt it added to the overall effect of space.

Rusting Anchor Chain on the Rocky Beach Below Cow Bar Nab Staithes North Yorkshire UK
Copyright David Forster

We then headed off for our walk over to Runswick Bay but by now the light was really too harsh for anything particularly creative so I stuck to record shots.

Returning from Runswick Bay later in the day we had a pint at the pub while waiting for sun drop to give us some more dramatic lighting. We then headed back to the bridge but noted that the light was still quite harsh. Unfortunately waiting for more diffused light was not an option as the hill behind would soon begin to cast its shadow over the scene and it was a case of trying to get the best from what light is available.

05D-5859 The Fishing Village of Staithes and its Harbour at High Tide Viewed from the Bridge Over Staithes Beck North Yorkshire UK
Staithes beck at high tide. Copyright David Forster

All in all I was fairly happy with the images but I think on a return visit I will have a look at producing some images from higher up the hill and will try for some night shots of the harbour itself.

All images and text copyright David Forster


  1. Excellent stuff, David. I walked the Cleveland Way about ten years ago – just because I can see the hills from my attic window and thought I was obliged to do it. It turned out to be one of the finest LDPs I have ever walked and I'd recommend it to anyone. I also recall stopping for a couple of pints in a pub in Staithes. Looking at your pictures, I think I'm long overdue a return to that neck of the woods.
    Cheers, Alen

    1. I am very envious as I have only ever walked bits of the Cleveland Way as day walks and it would be great to link it all together into a single trip. It would definitely be worth another visit even if it was just for the walk over to Runswick Bay and back with a pint at either end.
      Cheers, David