The village is quite reminiscent of some of the picturesque Cornish fishing villages, such as Mevagissey and Polperro.
There is a modern estate on the main road, but the old fishing quarter, which is heavily restricted to traffic, is below the cliff in a small bay between headlands.
Staithes is a favourite with many painters.
Around the harbour is a jumble of small shops and cottages, and it was here that Captain Cook was apprenticed to a local grocer.
The nearby Boulby Cliff rises to 700 feet above the sea, and is believed to be the highest sea cliff in England.