Once the home of James Cook, who was an apprentice in a grocer's shop here before finding fame at sea; Staithes is worth visiting and not just because of its links to one of Britain's most famous sailors. It was also one of Britain's largest fishing ports as well as having huge amounts of mineral deposits. Jet, Potash, Iron and Alum have all been found nearby. These mineral deposits have also made it popular with geologists, both professional and amateur.
With its sheltered natural harbour lying between two cliffs and its tiny cottages, shops and inns jostling for space at the bottom of the cliffs, the village of Staithes is beautiful. It was this quaintness that led to the Staithes group of artists settling in the area around 1900.
To find out more about Staithes and its most famous son, a visit to the Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre will allow you to discover all you need to know. Sited in a Methodist Chapel, the heritage centre focuses in on all aspects of Staithes' history including its fishing and smuggling past. The story of James Cook can be found on the top floor of the museum, complete with a recreation of the grocer's shop he started his working life in.