Harbour Information

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Courtesy Flag

Flag, Red Ensign


54° 33.9N 000° 46.8W


UKHO 0134, Imray C27

Rules & Regulations

Speed Limit 5 knots Maximum leisure boat length 8 metres


Rock shelf projecting out from the cliffs to quarter of a mile off shore and bordering the approach

Tidal Data Times & Range

HW Staithes is approx. Dover + 5.00 or R.Tees + 20min Range about 4 metres

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General Description

Harbour Master  01947840110  [email protected]

Staithes is a small, tidal fishing harbour seven miles up the coast from Whitby. It is basically a small north facing cove around the entrance to a small “beck” which has carved a notch in the cliffs which guard it on both the East and West sides.  When looking out to sea from the small beach inside the harbour one is essentially looking North, not East.

In common with most of the harbours on this coast this was a busy little harbour in the heyday of the herring fishing although Whitby to the South was by far one of the biggest. These days there are a few boats and cobbles serving the crustacean potting industry and a few resident leisure boats.

The village’s main source of income are tourists and so the beach and narrow streets are busy at the weekend. In the last couple of years the harbour has improved the facilities for tying up a yacht on the East pier but you need to be able to take the ground if you intend stopping.

It is not a harbour much used by the cruising community and is probably better known to the locals in Whitby and Hartlepool as a weekend cruise destination.  You would need to consult the HM about the possibility of leaning a fin-keeler against their wall.


Staithes is a tidal harbour; the CD line is approximately at the harbour entrance and rises to about CD +4.6m at the beach...

On the average bilge keeler with a draft of about 1.5 metres you should be able to get in and on to the East wall head HW + 2.5 hours. As usual on this coast it is not safe or sensible to approach it in onshore conditions (but be careful, here "onshore" means Northerlies, not Easterlies) The harbour can be difficult to pick out from the sea, especially from the North West. There are no detailed charts so we have included a screen capture from Google Earth in the Navigation Gallery.   Coming from the North West the mine working buildings and chimneys to the West on the chart are fairly prominent and the harbour will come into sight at the next headland; but don’t be tempted to cut the corner because the rock shelf that was the old cliffs goes out quite a way.  Stay a good three cables off the shore until you can identify both the pierheads bearing 225°T before running in on that bearing. We have included an image taken from the cliffs to the East of the harbour entrance looking NNW which picks out the rocks along the approach to the harbour. Coming up from Whitby you should be able to pick up the village running down to the beach  fairly easily but... the “White building” shown by the Admiralty on the cliffs above Runswick Bay is not the only white building in that village of white buildings and be careful not to warm the bell and make an approach to the ruins of Port Mulgrave by mistake!!

Berthing, Mooring & Anchoring

They have put in rings and ladders for the use of visiting boats at the head of the East Pier....

.........but we are sceptical because in the nature of things the local fishermen or the pleasure boats will, within a few summers, have taken these over to enhance the length of time they can spend making a living. Along the East Wall the bottom is fitm sand with a silt covering which slopes gently from the beach to the harbour entrance.  There is a rocky reef in the centre of the harbour and the West side is a bit uneven around the entrance to the beck. We would advise you to contact the HM by email in advance of any intention of dropping in for a couple of days here.
There are instructions for how to pay the £10 mooring fee on the door of the HM’s hut.


There are public toilets but they are daytime only and do not have showers. There’s no shore power and, as far as we can tell, no water supply (though the inventive of you may be able to do something with that bit of hose in the lazarette and a water breaker in the toilets.) The nearest diesel/petrol is Whitby.

There is a butcher’s shop along from the Pub on the shore. That is open until 1200 in the morning, including Saturdays and he stocks milk and bread as well as meat.

At the top of the town there is a Co-Op on the road out towards Whitby and there are also buses South and Northbound every half an hour until about 1900.

Eating, Drinking & Entertainment

There is a pub on the harbour and another in the square. The Lifeboat station is on the West side of the beck and there is a museum up the road from the footbridge over the beck.

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