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Captain Cook's Early Years

Staithes. Credit  rjbphotographicStaithes. Credit  rjbphotographic

Trace the footsteps of Cook's childhood

Remnants of Cook's early life can be found throughout the North York Moors in museums, monuments and attractions. Take yourself on a journey into the past as you learn about the history of one of Britain's most successful explorers.

  • Captain Cook Birthplace Museum, Marton: This Museum celebrates the life and achievements of Cook and tells his story through displays, exhibitions, activities, events and an educational programme.
  • Captain Cook Schoolroom Museum, Great Ayton: Here, you can learn about Cook’s early life and education in the Charity School, the village he grew up in and his adventures. A sculpture of young Cook sits on High Green, looking towards Staithes where he felt the first lure of the sea. The Museum also has an audio trail that guides visitors through Great Ayton and looks for signs of Cook’s Cottage and his Quaker roots.
  • All Saints Church, Great Ayton: The Cook family regularly attended All Saints Church and this is the site where Cook’s mother and five of his sisters and brothers are buried.
  • Captain Cook's Monument Credit Mike NicholasCaptain Cook's Monument, Easby Moor: This iconic monument is a huge obelisk standing 51 feet high and was erected in 1827 to commemorate Cook. It offers beautiful views of the heather moorland and can be found in our Walks & Tours for Captain Cook, and is also part of the Cleveland Way.
  • The Staithes Heritage Museum, Staithes: Exhibits and displays line the walls of the upper floor in this museum displaying the life and voyages of Cook. If you're interested in the history of Staithes, the ground floor has an extensive display on the lives of past Staithes’ residents, focusing particularly on the fishing industry.
  • Cook’s Cottage, Staithes: Located on Church Street, the cottage is believed to be made from parts of salvaged material that was once William Sanderson's grocery store, before it was washed away to sea.
  • Captain Cook Memorial Museum, Whitby: Visit the house where Cook lived during his apprenticeship years with Captain Walker. The collections celebrate Cook’s incredible achievements and the work of those who sailed with him.  
  • Whitby Museum, Whitby: The story of Cook and seamen associated with Whitby is told in this Museum. It houses displays relating to Cook’s life in Whitby and his Pacific voyages.
  • Cook’s Statue, Whitby: The memorial celebrates Cook’s life and endeavours. It’s located on Whitby’s West Cliff and boasts wonderful views of the harbour, Whitby Abbey and the old town.
  • HM Bark Endeavour, a life-size replica of the Cook's famous vessel has returned to Whitby. The Endeavour Experience is berthed where the original ship was built in 1764 and is now open to the public as a visitor attraction offering an unparalleled experience of what life was like for Cook at sea.