Written by Maureen Robinson
Smugglers have landed on Merchant’s Row! Go and view their illicit contraband of brandy near the start of this superb walk. From shoreline to cliff top gardens linked by footpaths and countless steps, this route encompasses a wide range of scenery.
Start in Scarborough’s shopping precinct near the statue of a Bathing Belle in Westborough. Continue via Newborough, straight down Eastborough until the Golden Last features to your left. Almost opposite is a cafe, Sipping Happily. Turn right here along Leading Post Street towards the Duke of York Guest House. Bear left in front of The Smugglers to find a grand terrace with seating and floral containers. In the far corner stands the Smuggler and His Apprentice. These were designed and sculpted in Cor-ten steel by Ray Lonsdale, who created Freddie Gilroy on Royal Albert Drive. The rusty-orange deposit is part of the weathering process, and will fade.
Having admired stunning views from this point, take the steep steps immediately beyond. A flight of 66 steps descend to Gilly’s Leisure Centre and are named Gilly’s Steps! Reaching Foreshore Road turn right and follow the seashore southwards. You’ll see the Town Hall high above St Nicholas Gardens and the Grand Hotel towering above the Olympia Leisure. Keep straight ahead to pass shops and the Spa complex. You’ll see a tram lift to the cliff top if required. Otherwise walk ahead in front of gayly-coloured chalets, and mid-way ascend 50 steps to the highly-recommended Clock Cafe painted yellow and white.
Take a path which leads behind a single chalet and the rear end of the Clock Cafe. Continue up this path, and short flight of steps to seats. Turn left in front of the banked seats to a ‘green’ with three urns. Go left uphill and straight forward up 32 steps to turn left along a wheelchair-user route. The gently-rising path is accompanied by the rhythmic music of the tide far below.
Reaching the Italian Gardens with covered seating to the left, descend steps into the sunken garden, with exquisite floral beds of astounding colours. Relax in this haven of beauty. Then passing the pool, leave at the far end and turn right onto the main footpath, and go left rising quite steeply to seats and a view point over the star disk. Read the information board here please.
Continue by left rustic fencing and in front of seating below a raised embankment. The putting green is to your right. Walk round the perimeter to meet the Esplanade, and Alfred Shuttleworth’s Clock Tower. This handsome feature was presented to the Borough of Scarborough in the year of the Coronation of King George V AD 1911.
Go through the arch, and follow the Esplanade gardens and seating, now returning northwards. You’ll observe Oliver’s Mount to your left where gaps between properties permit. Descending the Esplanade, you should seek midst a lawned area on your right, a boat named Vallota in a bed of flowers. Glorious views to the harbour and castle!
Beyond Avenue Victoria and Esplanade Road you’ll pass the tramway to the beach and the Spa. The Prince of Wales Terrace apartments gleam white in the sunlight. Next is St Martin’s Avenue, with Villa Esplanade dominating the corner. Beyond is Albion Road, and the striking Crown Hotel in white, black and gold. Wessex Court in cream and blue follows, with Jimmy Savile’s old apartment on the corner. Across the road is the Esplanade Hotel.
Cut across to the seaward side and access a railed walkway down towards the Grand Hotel. Descending 50 steps at the far end, you’ll see the much-admired Spa Chalet to your right. It’s now a holiday home to let! Turn left and cross the turquoise-coloured Cliff Bridge. Look down at the fabulous geological museum to your left – he Rotunda Museum, well-worth a visit!
Reaching 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 seldom-trodden footbridge spanning Vernon Road. Follow the garden footpath to bear right up the path, steps, and across a lawn into the The Crescent. Turn right by the Crescent’s garden perimeter to reach the Crescent Hotel, and Debenhams in the Brunswick Pavilion beyond.
Meeting Vernon Road, turn left up this road to pass the public library and re-enter Westborough’s shopping precinct.
Distance: 3 miles approximately plus many steps. Easy walking.
Refreshment: Plenty of options along the way, especially the Clock Tower Cafe - open when the flag is flying!