Beautiful gardens on South Bay
The Italian Gardens are a tranquil delight and nestle in trees high up on the south bay. Not widely known and a little way from the main attractions they are definitely worth finding. The entrance is the ornate archway on the South Esplanade opposite Holbeck Road. There are steps down from here - pass a shelter on your left and then take more steps down. Here there is a great viewpoint over the town but pass here to your left and then be amazed at your first sight of the Italian Gardens.
Planting out does take place in the spring but the gardens are at their best in July and August.
The Rotunda museum can be sen as you enter Scarborough (just before the valley footbridge). It was described as the finest surviving purpose-built museum of its age. It was built in 1828 to a design as suggested by William Smith, ‘Father of English Geology’.
On display are geological exhibits -from the Mesolithic site at Star Carr, and 'Gristhorpe Man', a Bronze Age tree trunk burial. Displays also explore the more recent history of the town.
Temporary exhibitions, hands-on activities and holiday activities are a feature, and we also have a gift shop selling cards, prints, books and souvenirs.
- Museum Visits
Scarborough lighthouse was destroyed by German naval bombardment on 16th December 1914 but has since been rebuilt and opened again on 23rd September 1931.
Its located on the central pier - there are actually 3 piers here the one between the fishing port and the yacht marina.
On the edge of a cliff along the North Yorkshire coast, a perfect look out spot, is Scarborough Castle which dominates the town and harbour some 300 ft below. There is evidence of a roman fort being here but the first medieval castle was built by William le Gros, Count of Aumale, in the 1130's. The castle was reconstructed as a barracks in the 18th century and bombarded by German battle cruisers in 1914.
Gun on the Pier
On the jetty by the lighthouse there ia this 1914 Vickers Pattern 13 Pdr Gun. It was raised by Scarborough Sub-Aqua Club and local fishermen in 1982 from the wreck of SS Hornsund, sunk by torpedo on 23rd September 1917, 2.5 miles south-east of its present location
Climbing up to the Valley Footbridge (see general tips) and turning to the rightg you reach the Spa Complex. I guess in Victorian times this was where they came to "take the waters" now its a theatre/concert area and delightfull tea room area with lovely views acros the bay behind a glass shelter.
Olivers Mount is the hill standing high above the town to the south - it is so called because Oliver Cromwell had cannons mounted here pointing at the castle in the town.
It is a good vantage point for looking over the town and also famous as a race circuit for motorcycles.
A good walk to make is - with your back to the cafe turn left and begin your descent passing Deepdale Golf course on your right. After 1.5 miles cross the Scarborough to Bridling ton road and bear right down Sea Cliff Road. At the car park cross and descend to the seashore towards the Spa. Beyond the Spa take the incline before turning sharp left and descending to the road. Veer left and walk to the junction of the Scarbro' to Bridlington road before turning left following the signs for Olivers Mount. Cross the road and at Deepdale Avenue make your return up the hill to where you started. This is very strenuous going up and the whole walk will take 3 hours and is 6 miles long.
- Family Travel
Trips out to sea
The harbour provides opportunities for trips out in to the North Sea.
The Corona is an old fashioned Yorkshire pleasure steamer that takes visitors up the coast towards Scalby and beyond - the views of Scarborough are very good from the sea and you get a wonderful vista of the town as you sail in and out.
There are two speed boats that give very fast rides out in to the bay and a replica of an old sailing ship in minature that carries passengers.
I have not been on the replica sailing ship but can fully recomend the Corona and the speed boats.
- Family Travel
The old town
The old town nestles beneath the Castle and is an interesting place to walk but beware some streets are very steep and some streets are linked by steps. There are some interesting houses and interesting pubs in these streets which I guess stood the homes of the fishing community at one time.
A good walk is to walk up from the harbour and through the old town and then into North Bay from up near the castle.
- Family Travel
South Bay Promenade
Past the Spa Complex is a promenade leading to some beach huts (pastel coloured huts) which can be hired out for the day or week and just above this is tea house. Perfect place for a cuppa and a cake whilst taking in the views of the bay from this elevated position.
Scarborough harbour area has a deep water harbour where the cargo boats and trawlers dock and various other privately owned water craft - and the shallower harbour where privately owned yachts are moored. It was quite a colourful site on this warm sunny day.
TV series exterior
The popular TV programme The Royal is filmed in Scarborough and viewers will recognise many of the towns famous locations in this far too infrequent programme.
The Royal is actually a block of flats on the corner of Holbeck Road and the Esplanade on the south bay. Interior scenes are filmed 80 miles away in Bradford.
On August 17, 2007 we came across Yorkshire TV filming scenes for a new series - I have put some photos in a separate gallery on my Scarborough pages.
The castle stands high above the town and the headland between the two bays with sheer drops to the sea with only a narrow approach from the town near St Marys. Specially constructed viewing platforms on the battlements offer panoramic views.
Before the castle was built prehistoric settlers settled here and later the Romans built a signal station here.
Henry II's towering 12th-century keep, dominating the approach, is the centrepiece of fortifications developed over later centuries in response to repeated sieges - notably by rebel barons in 1312, by Tudor rebels, and twice during the English Civil War. Though again strengthened with barracks and gun-batteries against Jacobite threats in 1745, the castle failed to defend the harbour against the American sea-raider John Paul Jones in 1779, and was itself damaged by German naval bombardment in 1914.
Entry fees are on the website and allow at least 90 minutes for a visit. The views from the castle are stunning.
- Family Travel
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
The harbour is full of activity even though the fishing fleet is not so large these days. There are pleasure boats and often a coastal cargo boat will be seen in the harbour.
Through 2007 a small marina style yacht area has been built in the harbour.
- Family Travel
Cafe, Lift, Fleamarket...
Around the corner from The Grand (past it and then right) you come to another cliff lift. This one has its terminus in a fine victorian wooden hut that also serves as a cafe. In front of this is a small area that acts as a fleamarket from time to time.
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