Written by Maureen Robinson
Life certainly has its ups and downs when you embark on this walk! Go on, admit you’ve never really explored Castle Hill. Now is the time to burn off any extra calories and feel in top form!
If you’re starting from town, make your way to the junction of St Thomas Street with Castle Road. Here, turn right up Castle Road to reach St Mary’s Church. Mulgrave Place is to your left, and Church Lane to the right. Beyond the small car park, walk up to the castle’s entrance gate – celebrating 3,000 years of history.
Take the path immediately to the right of the gateway as signed to Royal Albert Park and North Bay, alongside castle walling.
Descend steps to a sign, and stop to admire the North Bay view. Next, ascend those steps you see to the right of the post. Remember, what goes up must come down, and without such ascents we’d have no views. Admire unfolding scenes of the harbour, Scarborough’s old town and more distant views beyond the South Bay.
Your sandy footpath, complete with about five seats descends broad steps seawards. Reaching a viewing platform, identify places of interest and continue the downward trek to a sign.
Here, go left as signed: Old Town, Harbour and Sands. After about 20 paces to a seat, turn right along a hedged footpath.
Meeting a tarmac footpath, turn left to negotiate railed steps down to Luna Park, with all the fun of the fair!
To your left is the old Toll House, where tolls used to be collected for the Marine Drive. It’s now used as a coastguard station. To the right of the steps features the Sunrise Cafe.
Cross the road to the stalls just left of the big wheel.
Now ascend the steps near Shell Shack, and walk onto the sea wall ie East Pier. Look out over the North Sea which was once called the German Ocean. The East Pier was constructed about 260 years ago. Huge tunny fish used to be caught in these waters and landed on East Pier. See the new sculpture symbolising this. In the corner near the rails is a handsome painting: ‘Scarborough from the Sea’, 1867, presented by Scarborough and District Civic Society. It was painted by John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868). He was a landscape, architectural and marine artist. It’s said that Carmichael managed to make Scarborough look like Venice, and I would agree wholeheartedly!
Carmichael was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne - the son of a ship’s carpenter.
He was sent to sea aged about 11. Read all about his life, as he was one of the first nationally known artists to paint scenes of Scarborough, which he did throughout his career. He retired to the town in 1863 and died here on May 2, 1868. His grave is in Dean Road cemetery.
Return to Sandside by the harbour, and past an older pier named Vincent’s Pier, after the designer and engineer, William Vincent. At the far end is the lighthouse. At night it signals to boats when the tide is sufficiently high for them to enter the harbour. If you divert from your route you’ll also discover Scarborough Yacht Club, a Vickers cannon, and on a tall post, the ‘Diving Belle’ sculpture placed here by the Civic Society. It symbolises Scarborough’s claim to being the first seaside resort in Britain.
Continue your stroll along Sandside, but only as far as the Golden Ball pub. Immediately beyond, turn right alongside Bamford’s Cafe. Cross Quay Street, and take the ascending steps to the left of the grassed bank as signed: Castle, North Bay and Old Town. You’re now climbing the Long Greece Steps which would have been used to take provisions from ships straight up to the castle. At the top of the steps, cross Burr Bank and go straight forward to pass Princess Street (left) and Castle Gardens (right). All this area of Scarborough’s Old Town warrants in-depth exploration when time permits. For the present, continue your ascent up Castle Gate. Passing the end of Longwestgate, Castle Crescent, and Graham Close, round the steep bend you enter Paradise!
Passing HM Coastguard Rescue Station (right), you’ll see to your left Paradise House, ‘Home of Local Fishing Families from 1690, and Graham School Sea Training 1918-1973’. Ahead is Church Lane, between St Mary’s Parish Church and the church’s car park.
Turn right off Paradise up Church Lane to re-join Castle Road. Now go left towards the town, unless you wish to visit Scarborough Castle.
Continue along Castle Road, which returns you to the junction of St Thomas Street and North Marine Road from where your walk began. Close by is Cafe 82 selling, ‘Homemade cakes and scones’. Oh dear, should you treat yourself and replace all those calories you’ve just worked off? The choice is yours!
Distance: Approximately 3 miles plus many steps.