Yorkshire Coast Guide
Scarborough was ‘the first seaside resort in England’. It is still a popular destination but is also a traditional fishing port. The most striking feature of Scarborough’s geography is a high rocky promontory pointing eastward into the North Sea. The promontory supports the 11th-century ruins of Scarborough Castle and separates the sea front into a North Bay and a South Bay. The South Bay was the site of the original early medieval settlement and the harbour, which form the current Old Town district. This remains the main focus for tourism, with a sandy beach, cafes, amusements, arcades, theatres and entertainment facilities. The modern commercial town centre has migrated a quarter mile north-west of the harbour area and a hundred feet above it, and contains the transport hubs, main services, shopping and nightlife. The harbour has undergone major regeneration including the new Albert Strange Pontoons, a more pedestrian-friendly promenade, street lighting and seating. The North Bay has traditionally been the more peaceful end of the resort and is home to Peasholm Park which has recently (June 2007) been restored to its Japanese-themed glory, complete with reconstructed pagoda. The park still features a mock maritime battle (based on the Battle of the River Plate) re-enacted on the boating lake with large model boats and fireworks throughout the summer holiday season. The North Bay Railway is a miniature railway which runs from the park to the Sea Life Centre at Scalby Mills.
The North Bay is linked to the South Bay by the Marine Drive, an extensive Victorian promenade, built around the base of the headland. Overlooking both bays is Scarborough Castle, which was bombarded by the German warships SMS Derfflinger and SMS Von der Tann in the First World War. Both bays have popular sandy beaches and numerous rock-pools at low tide. Slightly less well known is the South Cliff Promenade situated above the Spa and South Cliff Gardens, commanding excellent views of the South Bay and old town and from which many iconic postcard views are taken. Its splendid Regency and Victorian terraces are still intact and the mix of quality hotels and desirable apartments form a backdrop to the South Bay. The ITV television drama The Royal and its recent spin-off series, The Royal Today, are filmed in the area. The South Bay has the largest illuminated “Star Disk” anywhere in the UK. It is 85 feet across and is fitted with subterranean lights representing the 42 brightest stars and major constellations that can be seen from Scarborough in the northern skies.
To the south-west of the town, beside the York to Scarborough railway line, is an ornamental lake known as Scarborough Mere. During the 20th century, the Mere was a popular park, with rowing boats, canoes and a miniature pirate ship – the Hispaniola – on which passengers were taken to “Treasure Island” to dig for doubloons. Since the late 1990s the emphasis has been on nature, with “Treasure Island” being paved over to form a new pier area. The lake is now part of the Oliver’s Mount Country Park and the Hispaniola now sails out of the South Bay.
Whitby is a great place for fossil hunters as many interesting fossils have been found in the area including entire skeletons of pterodactyls. Whitby is known for its well preserved ammonite fossils, which can be found on the seashore or purchased from stalls or shops in the town.
Over the centuries, the town spread both inland and onto the West Cliff, whilst the East Cliff remains dominated by the ruins of Whitby Abbey and St Mary’s Church. The way into the interesting ruined Abbey is through the historic Banqueting House alongside. The Abbey is owned by English Heritage, which restored the Banqueting House to contain exhibitions and museum displays about the Abbey and Whitby and opened it in 2002. The East Cliff is quite a distance by road, the alternative being to climb the famed 199 steps. Many who make the climb can be heard counting on the way up. 2005 saw the completion of the first major restoration of the 199 steps since the 19th century.
Whitby has a fish market on the quayside which operates as need and opportunity arise. The ready supply of fresh fish has resulted in an abundance of “chippies” in the town, including the Magpie Cafe which Rick Stein has described as the best fish and chip shop in Britain. The town was awarded “Best Seaside Resort 2006”, by Which? Holiday magazine.
Filey is a small seaside town forming part of the borough of Scarborough and is located between Scarborough and Bridlington on the North Sea coast. Although it started out as a fishing village, it has a large beach and is a popular tourist resort. The town is at the eastern end of the Cleveland Way, a long-distance footpath, starting at Helmsley and skirting the North Yorkshire Moors. It was the second National Trail to be opened (1969). It is also the northern end of the Yorkshire Wolds Way which starts at Hessle and crosses the Yorkshire Wolds.
Pickering is an ancient market town in the Ryedale district of the county of North Yorkshire, England, on the border of the North York Moors National Park. It sits at the foot of the Moors, overlooking the Vale of Pickering to the south. According to legend the town was founded by a certain king Peredurus around 270BC, however the town as it exists today is of medieval origin. The tourist venues of Pickering Castle, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and Beck Isle Museum have made Pickering popular with visitors in recent years.
The North York Moors is a National Park rising from 50 metres above sea level at its southern edge to over 430 metres on Urra Moor. It is one of the largest expanses of heather moorland in the United Kingdom. It covers an area of 554 square miles and it has a population of about 25,000. The North York Moors became a National Park in 1952, through the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act of 1949. It is dissected by a series of south flowing streams which include Pickering Beck.
Most of the moorland consists of Jurassic sandstone with occasional cappings of gritstone on the highest hills. Many visitors to the moors are engaged in outdoor pursuits, particularly walking. The parks has a network of rights-of-way almost 1400 miles in length, and most of the areas of open moorland will be open access under the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000. Popular named walks include the Cleveland Way, which circles the moors, and has a section along the coast and the Lyke Wake Walk, which leads directly across the heart of the moors. The area also offers opportunities for cycling, mountain biking, and horse-riding. The steep escarpments that define the edges of the park on three sides are used by several gliding clubs.
The moors have not changed much in the past 50 years, and are often used as a backdrop to British television programmes and films.The series Heartbeat and the scenes of The Hogsmeade Station in the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Goathland. Dalby Forest is also host to many forms of entertainment throughout the year including outdoor concerts.
All in all a fantastic area to visit or to live, you will never be bored as there is always something happening on the Yorkshire Coast!
I have lived in, loved and now advertise the Yorkshire Coast as it is such a fantastic place to live or visit. My children were born here and are now settled as adults. The attractions of bright lights and big cities shine now and again, but there’s no place like home!
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