Anchored down in (The) Anchorage

There’s some dispute about whether this was our 5th or 6th trip to The Anchorage Cottage in Staithes – whichever it is, it’s clear we love the place. We’re deep in house hunting mode at the moment, so a break away for a week was just what we needed, even if it did involved three house viewings whilst we were in God’s Own Country.

The Anchorage is actually in Cowbar, across the beck from Staithes, which has the advantage of easier parking with the permit provided by the owners. It does mean regular walks up and down the very steep Cowbar Hill but it’s worth it for the views looking back.

On Sunday, we’d booked for lunch at the Ellerby Hotel, a short drive away, but it seemed like we’d passed through a portal into the 70s. Ironically, it’s around 45 years since I’d last been in and I’m not sure they’ve moved on much since then. The staff were perfectly pleasant, but there was an old fashioned feel to the place – I guess it suits the passing clientele, enjoying a day out to the countryside and a (very) traditional Sunday lunch.

On Monday we drove to look at a house in Nunthorpe, where I lived for a few years as a boy. We were meeting the Agent for an accompanied viewing and he was waiting when we arrived. Unfortunately, he was having trouble contacting the owner who insisted on handing the key over before each viewing, but it gave us a chance to chat to the neighbours, who were lovely. The Agent gave up eventually, but agreed that we could have a look in the garden. As we got through the gate, the owner appeared from within the house, claiming that he didn’t know a viewing had been booked. We waited outside as he tidied up and his puppy Dachsund ran around the garden. After a few minutes he re-appeared and said he was off out, leaving the Agent in charge of not only the viewing, but the puppy too! In the end, the house was great, but the garden was in permanent shade with large trees which had preservation orders on them, so we ruled it out.

We headed back through Great Ayton and up on to the Moors to Gribdale, to park up before walking up to Captain Cook’s Monument. It’s only a couple of miles and Ralf was in his element, particularly as the woodland was livestock free and he could snuffle to his heart’s content. The views from the top are spectacular and it filled me with joy to be back home.

On Tuesday we had a lazy morning before heading into Whitby, but not before stopping at Sandsend for a walk on the beach.

We were booked into the Magpie Cafe at 3.30pm which gave us time to pop into the Art Cafe Gallery to see David and Judith Reece for a catch up and a coffee.

Judith’s work is brilliant and a particular favourite of our daughter, Lindsay.

Golden Afternoon
Golden Afternoon – Judith Reece

Lunch in the Magpie was as good as ever, although I must stop ordering the biggest fish on the menu. The views from the top floor are great – you can even catch a glimpse of a Pirate Ship.

We drove down to Runswick Bay on the way back to Staithes, for a walk on another fantastic beach. It’s a top place and somewhere in my loft I’ve got a painting of the village which my Father did way back in the 80’s.

On Wednesday we had another viewing, this time further inland in a small village called Newby Wiske. The cottage was very nice but too small, so we again ruled it out and drove instead to Mount Grace Priory for some lunch and a potter around the site. It was Alison’s first visit and we both really enjoyed our time in the sunshine.

Thursday was a scorcher, so naturally we opted to walk up the Cleveland Way towards Boulby and Skinningrove. I’m not sure who struggled most – me with my hip and knee or Ralf with the heat. We love this walk though and it’s great for clearing our heads and giving us a better perspective on life – add in a picnic and a cliff top view and what more do you need?

We even managed to grab a pint outside the Royal George in the village before heading back to the cottage.

Friday was our last full day and we had yet another viewing, this time in a house at the top of the village in Staithes. We’re still mulling this one over, so watch this space. Before we went I took the 360 degree camera for a walk around the village in the sunshine. You can see the video below with all the noises of a popular seaside village.

After the viewing, we headed to May Beck to walk to Falling Foss for a snack and to tire Ralf out before we went to Sandsend for our last supper. It’s a super place and lovely walk beside the Beck to get there.

Our evening meal was at The Fish Cottage in Sandsend and very good it was too. We both had oysters and Lobster – a great way to end a fantastic week. I’ve already booked the cottage for next year although who knows where we’ll be living by then.

I’ll finish with a few random photos from the week, including a spectacular sunset on Friday night which we mainly missed, but fortunately I’ve been able to liberate someone else’s photo.




  1. wheatypetesworld

    As usual, some stunningly beautiful photography. Methinks God’s Own is calling you back home. Love the reference to Michele Shoked. I saw her a few times in London when she was all youthful and unselfconfident. Used to do this song when I was busking.


    1. Martin Bellamy

      I’m so pleased that you got that reference, Pete. I thought it had escaped everyone. And yes, Yorkshire is calling me…


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