OS grid reference:- TA 040 880
Scarborough is reputed to have been founded around 966 as Skarđaborg by Thorgils Skarthi, a Viking raider, the town later became known as probably the world's first seaside resort in the 1600s, when the health-giving properties of the Spa waters were discovered. Today it is the largest seaside resort on the Yorkshire coast with much to offer the visitor.
North Bay Beach and the Sea Life Centre
The popular seaside resort is dominated by the high craggy headland that juts into to the North Sea and separates the Scarborough into two bays, North Bay and South Bay. High on the headland stands the dramatic eleventh century ruins of Scarborough Castle.
South Bay and North Bay
The South Bay was the site of the original early settlement and the harbour, which today form what is known locally as Old Town. This is main tourist area of the town, with a fine sandy beach, cafés, amusement arcades and theatres. The historic working harbour houses a fish market where an abundance of fresh, locally-caught seafood can be sourced.
South Cliff Italian Gardens boast wonderful views over the the town of Scarborough and its bay. The gardens were laid out in the early twentieth Century by Harry W Smith the noted landscape designer. The sheltered Italian gardens feature formal planting seating and a fishpond watched over by a statue of the Roman God Mercury.
Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre is situated further up the main road from the historic harbour, the centre has many interesting exhibits and information about Scarborough's colourful past.
North Bay Railway and colourful beach huts
The North Bay is home to Peasholm Park, (pictured above left) which in 2007 was restored to its Japanese-themed glory, complete with reconstructed pagoda. A stream in Peasholm Glen flows down numerous little waterfalls into lush pools surrounded by some of the largest variety of trees found anywhere in Britain A large waterfall cascades from the top of the island on the boating lake. The park features a mock maritime battle re-enacted on the boating lake with large model boats and fireworks throughout the summer season. The North Bay Railway is a miniature railway which runs from Northstead Manor Gardens to the Sea Life Centre at Scalby Mills. North Bay and South Bay are linked by Marine Drive, an extensive Victorian promenade, built around the base of the headland.
South Bay Harbour and Peasholm Park
The Rotunda Museum is one of the oldest purpose-built museums still in use in Britain and houses one of the foremost collections of Jurassic geology on the Yorkshire Coast. The museum was built in 1829 to a design suggested by William Smith, 'Father of English Geology'. Smith's pioneering work established that geological strata could be identified and correlated using the fossils they contain. The interior boasts a stunning trompe I'oeil ceiling and a gallery, featuring a frieze showing the geology of the local coastline designed by Smith's nephew,John Phillips. With over 5,500 fossils and 3,000 minerals, the museum is full of fascinating objects, the Rotunda Museum is also home to Gristhorpe Man, a unique Bronze Age skeleton.
North Bay Harbour and Anne Bronte's Grave
The Parish church dates from 1150. The author Anne Bronte is buried at the Northern end of the churchyard, beneath the walls of Scarborough Castle. Suffering from tuberculosis, she travelled to Scarborough with her sister Charlotte in the hope that the change of location and fresh sea air might initiate a recovery, but died four days after arriving there on 28 May 1849, aged 29 years.
Scarborough Castle was built in the early twelfth century by William le Gros; Earl of Albemarle and Holderness during the reign of King Stephen. It stands high on a prominent rocky headland above the town , with sheer drops to the sea and dominates the town and harbour some 300 feet below.
The castle served as the Northern base of Kings of England for almost five centuries. On succeeding to the English throne, King Henry II ordered that all castles built in the reign of his predecessor, Stephen, be returned to the Crown. From around 1157, he rebuilt the timber castle in stone, the three-storey keep was constructed and a stone wall replaced the wooden palisade around the inner bailey.
The top of the keep has been lost, but the remaining walls provide a indication of the scale of the medieval structure. Fireplaces at the first and second storeys are still visible. The twelfth century keep rises to a height of 86 feet(26 metres), while the castle's well is 150 feet deep (46 metres.
The castle site is now in the care of English Heritage