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Staithes

A couple of weeks ago we headed off on a little adventure to the coast and one of my favourite places in Yorkshire, Staithes. Some of you may already know it if you have kids that love CBeebies as it is the place where 'Old Jacks Boat' is filmed (I even got to witness the legend that is Bernard Cribbens filming the show once when we were visiting and you can see that in an old post here). I've photographed Staithes many times and I never get bored of capturing it's beauty. As a family we try to visit this pretty little village on the North Yorkshire Coast at least once a year, making the almost two hour road trip to spend a day beside the seaside. It's totally worth every minute of the journey as in return it offers simply stunning views. The one bad thing about living in Leeds is it is so far away from the big blue sea. 

We set off relatively early in the morning and got to Staithes around 11am just in time for a much needed cuppa and cake at Dotty's Vintage Tearoom. I've been meaning to visit here for a while as I've heard such good things about the cafe and the vintage shop. Dotty's didn't disappoint at all - huge home baked scones filled with butter, cream and jam kept us sustained for hours and there wasn't any need for lunch. The cafe is small yet perfectly formed, the staff chirpy and eager to please and it's stuffed full of quirky, chintzy vintage details. There is also a Boutique Bed and Breakfast upstairs if you fancy getting away from it all for a weekend. (Here's the listing on  Airbnb if you want to see more).  It was super busy when we visited the cafe and I would have loved to have sat outside in the sunshine but sadly there were no free tables. I like that they offer vintage blankets if you are sitting outside to wrap yourself up in if it gets a bit chilly and bowls of water for your four legged chums too. 

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After stuffing our faces with scones we wandered down to the harbour to explore the beach and watch the little fishing boats bobbing on the waves. Jackets and jumpers came off as we basked in the sun's rays. It had a glorious last day of Summer feel and one to be savoured. Staithes is super hilly and it takes a lot of effort to walk up and down its cobbled lanes and rickety staircases. It's always worth the hike to the viewing platform at the top for some spectacular views of the harbour,  the lifeboat station and those cottage rooftops.  We meandered down the clifftop path for a while, heading nowhere in particular, simply enjoying the moment, before heading back to the village. Staithes has a long and celebrated history of art from the 19th Century Staithes Group of Artists and is home to it's own annual Arts Festival. The bunting was threaded across the rooftops on the main street to celebrate the festival which was on the following weekend. Over one hundred cottages become temporary art galleriesand I must remember to pop it in my diary for next year as it always looks like a fantastic festival and I'd love to poke my nose through the door of some of those beautiful houses. 

We popped into the very lovely Staithes Studios and I lusted after some very lovely ceramics as well as a visit to the always inspiring Staithes Gallery which celebrates work inspired by the beautiful surroundings. Finally we headed to Betsy & Bo - a lovely new addition to Staithes. A traditional sweet shop with a modern twist and a little bit like stumbling into the pages of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Shelves laden with jars of bonbons, sherbet lemons, fudge and liquorice rope. A glass counter with a selection of handmade chocolates and truffles. Plates piled with chocolate mice. Old cabinets filled with chocolate bars of tantalising flavours  from York based maker Choc Affair - rhubarb, lime & lavender, raspberry & rose and my own personal favourite, orange & geranium. I've been thinking about that chocolate bar for weeks since eating it. 

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Chocolates and licquorice ropes bought we headed homewards to Leeds. The sky turned black as we approached the city, the rain was torrential and the first thing we did when we got in was pop the jumpers back on, get the blankets out and pour a big glass of red wine. From a beautiful few hours spent in glorious Summer sunshine to the definite nip of Autumn in the air, we certainly had a lovely September day.