Discover Scarborough’s heritage on scenic walk

Scarborough Harbour and piers.
Scarborough Harbour and piers.

From shoreline to cliff top gardens linked by footpaths and steps, and punctuated by sculptures depicting Scarborough’s heritage, this route is ideal for holiday-makers, and encompasses a variety of scenery.

Start in Scarborough’s shopping precinct in Westborough. Walk straight down Westborough into Newborough and Eastborough until the Golden Last is seen to the left. Almost opposite is Leading Post Street, turn right along this street towards the Duke of York Guest House. Then bear left along Merchants Row to a terrace with seating, floral containers, and fine sculptures. ‘The Smuggler and His Apprentice’ was designed and sculpted by Ray Lonsdale. It was commissioned by myself to symbolise smuggling in the area, and dedicated to the Scarborough Evening News team as it was so named then. Admire the harbour view. Next, re-join Eastborough just beyond, and discover number 45. Here you’ll enjoy Scarborough’s Maritime Heritage Centre, open Wednesday to Sunday, 11am-4pm, and it’s free. Continue your descent down Eastborough to meet Foreshore Road. Take a short deviation left towards the harbour, using the road crossing to access West Pier. Keep beside the harbour towards Luna Park, and turn right onto Vincent’s Pier which leads to the lighthouse. Tunny fish up to 852lbs used to be landed here, and you’ll see later, the tunny sculpture I commissioned, skilfully detailed by Ray Lonsdale in stainless steel. An information plaque on the sea wall above The Tea Pot Cafe and Shell Shack provide details.

But first, continue to the lighthouse, started in 1806-1850. Look up to the Diving Belle sculpture by Craig Knowles - wonderful against the skyline!

Next, return to the big wheel at Luna Park, and ascend steps beside the Shell Shack to see the tunny sculpture. Then, cross Sandside and turn off along Quay Street. Just a few paces to your left is The Three Mariners’ Inn - one of the oldest buildings in the town, with parts possibly dating back to 1300! It’s a private house and once had four entrances, including a tunnel that led away from the cellars. [Used by smugglers.] The far end of Quay Street returns you to Sandside, heading south. The Town Hall features high above St Nicholas Gardens, and the Grand Hotel towers above the Olympia Leisure. Keep straight on past shops and the Spa complex to pass the site of gaily-painted chalets, recently subjected to cliff erosion. Ascend about 50 steps to the Clock Cafe painted yellow and white, or keep rising and turn left to view the Italian Gardens with sheltered seating to the left. Enter the sunken garden with floral beds and pool, before leaving at the far end.

Take the main footpath and go left, rising quite steeply towards a putting green to your right. Join the Esplanade and Alfred Shuttleworth’s Clock Tower. This was presented to the Borough of Scarborough in the year of King George V’s Coronation in 1911. Go through the arch and head northwards to return along the Esplanade.

Descending the Esplanade, glorious views reveal the castle and harbour. Beyond Avenue Victoria and Esplanade Road, the Prince of Wales Terrace apartments gleam white. Beyond is St Martin’s Avenue, with Villa Esplanade on the corner. Next is Albion Road, and the Crown Hotel. Wessex Court follows. Across the road is the Esplanade Hotel.

Cut over to the seaward side and access a railed walkway down towards the Grand Hotel - designed by Cuthbert Brodrick and opened in 1867.

Descend 50 steps at the far end to see the Spa Chalet to your right. Turn left and cross the turquoise-coloured Cliff Bridge. Look down to the geological Rotunda Museum to your left. A rare walrus skull dating back to the last Ice Age has been discovered at the site of Haven’s Reighton Sands holiday park. It has been donated by Haven to the Rotunda Museum. It will form the centre piece of its new exhibition, ‘Ancient Seas of the Yorkshire Coast.’ Do go and see it.

At the far end of the bridge you’ll see Museum Terrace off left. Ignore this, but take Cliff Bridge Terrace in front of white apartments. At the far end, cut across the bend onto a footbridge spanning Vernon Road. Follow it onto a garden footpath, to bear right up the path, steps, and across a lawn into The Crescent. Turn right by The Crescent’s garden perimeter to reach the Crescent Hotel and Debenham’s in the Brunswick Pavilion beyond. Meeting Vernon Road, turn left to pass the library, and re-enter Westborough’s shopping precinct. Distance: 3 to 3.5 miles plus many steps. Easy walking. Refreshment: Plenty of choice along this route.