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Welcome let's continue down the coastline of Yorkshire. 


Bluff headlands protect Staithes like a hand cupped around a flame, bringing a backwater stillness to the creek where brightly painted cobbles lie at rest and, beyond the bridge, the greystone lifeboat station stands at the head of its ramp. Between the jumble of tall houses and snug cottages runs a web of alleys, some little more than 18 inches wide.


It was whilst working at Staithes that Captain Cook first felt the urge to go to sea. But it is with Whitby that he is most closely associated.

Runswick Bay

A beautiful village of red pantiled roofs built in to the steep cliffs, the picturesque traffic free paths between the houses are abundant with flowers, not only in the gardens, but in every nook and cranny were there is soil to grow them. Runswick Bay whose inhabitants used to rely of fishing for their livelihood, is now mostly populated by holiday-makers.

Entrance to Whitby harbour

Whitby, viewed from the Abbey

To further enhance to all of the above we have Yorkshire's Premier coastline, glorious beaches, rocky coves, towering cliffs and tiny fishing ports. Whitby, one of the most picturesque ports in England is set in a ravine at the mouth of the River Esk. 

Whitby is a working fishing port in which lobster pots and fishing boats abound, and all kinds of sea food (cooked and raw) are sold near the harbour. 

View towards the Inner Harbour

Photograph courtesy of Don Burlaux


The settlement here probably began as a Roman signal station, but it is certain that St Hilda founded an Abbey in Whitby in 657.

The two lighthouses at the harbour entrance date back to 1855 and 1835.


Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey

High above the the harbour the ruined Abbey looks down upon the narrow alleys and quaint streets, the busy quayside, with its harbourside houses and small shops filled with crafts and antiques. The statue of Englands most famous navigator Captain James Cook looks down on the port from where he learned the skills that were to quickly herald his arrival in to the Royal Navy, the rank of Captain, and to change the history of the World. The Captain Cook Memorial Museum, his former home in Grape Lane, Whitby is furnished in the style of his times. when Whitby was the seventh-largest port in England. Whitby has retained its character and charm, and long may it be so, for it is the most friendliest and interesting port in the United Kingdom.

Captain Cook

Captain James Cook R.N.

Captain Cooks signature

Photograph reproduced by kind permission of Nate Kerl:


Captain James Cook was born on the 27th October 1728 in a thatched cottage in Marton, Middlesbrough, his mother Grace Pace, was born in the village of Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees. Grace married James Cook, a day farm labourer, on the 10th October 1725, James had come south from the banks of the River Tweed in Roxburghshire, Scotland, following the Jacobite rebellion of 1715.

Yorkshire Traveller continued

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Date Last Modified: 31/08/00