Great Ayton to Staithes

The Tour now passes through Guisborough, the site of an Augustinian Priory founded in 1119 and a colourful twice weekly market.

On towards Marske, Kirkleatham village has a number of 17th & 18th century buildings including almshouses from 1676 and the splendid Old Hall Museum and owl sanctuary. Nearby Redcar has connections with the Cook family - his sister married a fisherman from here - and also houses the 'Zetland', the oldest surviving lifeboat in the world built in 1800.

St Germains

Cook's father lived in Redcar in his late life and died six weeks after his son was killed in Hawaii in 1779, without ever hearing the news. Buried in this year in Marske's St Germain's Church his grave was for many years unmarked. A solitary tower now stands guard over the grave, marked with a white cross closeby.

Saltburn, the next town on the tour existed only as a few cottages in Cook's time. It gave up its smuggling trade and became a purpose-built Victorian resort in 1861 and has the oldest water-balance cliff tramway in the country.

Smuggling was a way of life along this coast and Staithes, some ten miles further was another centre for this activity. Cook was 16 when he came here to work in a general store, and must have had his introduction to the seafaring life as he listened to tales of the sea from fishermen in the village.

The original shop where he worked was taken down in 1812 and materials used again in a building which remains even now in Church Street. Many relics of his life here are displayed in the Captain Cook & Staithes Heritage Centre. Here are treasures from Cook's entire life - over 200 books on the subject, street scenes, documents and pictures rivalling any other museums in the world.

Boulby Cliffs

From the nearby Boulby Cliffs - the highest point on the east coast of England - Cook must have dreamed of a life at sea as he watched the collier ships passing by. Encouraged by his employer, William Sanderson, young James left the village in 1746 to journey to Whitby where he was apprenticed to John and Henry Walker owners of these coal vessels plying the east coast to London.

Staithes to Whitby >>>

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