Visiting Scarborough Castle
In summer more and more people are looking toward taking day excursions to places and attractions. Scarborough on the North East Coast of Yorkshire, England, and its many attractions, has always been a firm favourite. With a train journey of about 11/2 hours from Kingston-Upon-Hull Scarborough is easily accessible. A favourite for visitors to Scarborough is the ruins of the Castle. A visit to Scarborough almost demands a visit to this headland Castle but a visit to the Castle does involve a steep and tiring walk which is great for using up children's energy but not for those less mobile.
Scarborough is essentially a traditional, well almost, sea-side resort on the East Coast of Yorkshire, England. Although it has obviously had some changes over the years it still remains very much as it was, when I visited as a child, some 50 odd years ago.
There is a North Beach and a South Beach which are both a little different.
Along the middle runs the main strip, which has all too many amusement arcades these days, but there is a lovely clean, sandy beach. However, as Scarborough is on the coast of the North Sea the water can be cold, even on a summer's day.
The last time we visited Scarborough Castle I thought 'I know I am getting old' as the walk felt as tiring as when I was a child but you can reach the Castle by a few different routes.
There is a drive at the end of a road which leads you to the impressive, stone, large Gatehouse of the Castle and cuts down on most of the uphill walking.
However, hard as the walking is, that is part of the fun of the place. You can either start at the bottom of the winding path, which leads you up-hill to the castle, or climb the stone steps, between some of the red roofed houses, arriving half-way up the other path. As you walk up the slope you have the deep, now grassy, moat on one side and beautiful views over the red rooftops at the other side looking towards Scarborough and its harbour. The moat used to have some children's swings in it, at one point, and I presume it still has.
Ideally you want to visit Scarborough Castle when it is a really sunny day but not too warm. Too hot and the walk can be sticky, plus there is little shade when you reach the Castle at the top. Too cold and you can feel very windblown in the open areas of the Castle.
You can do the walk without paying to enter the Castle. However, if you have not visited before this would be a shame. You pass through an entrance, the Gatehouse, to the Castle and its Ruins. As I have already said, it can either be very hot up here or more than likely a little cold. The views are spectacular and the historical site has lots of information scattered throughout.
Looking through the narrow window slits, that the Archers would have used in years gone by, the views and scenery are magnificent. The battlements are still impressive and help to give a good feel for the place. You can almost imagine what it must have been like all those years ago when this Castle was a hub of activity.
This Castle was used 2,500 years ago to defend the headland on which it is built. It is situated 300 foot above the sea and offers views to the North and the South.
This headland now separates what is the North Beach from the South Beach and, as such, it is easy to locate for a visit, once in Scarborough. It is visible from the sea front and from most parts of the town. However, back in the middle ages, of course, it would just be a Castle on the headland looking over and protecting the two bays.
Having been attacked over many years, by peoples such as the Roman armies, the Vikings, the Kings of the middle ages, being besieged in the English Civil War and even more recently being bombarded by the German Navy in World War One, it is little wonder that most of Scarborough Castle is in ruins. However, much of the wall is intact, there is a Well, Henry the Second's 13th century Keep, a Gunner's house and the impressive Gatehouse. Near to the Gunner's house there are a few picnic tables free to use, weather permitting. Throughout the grassy area there are information boards and remnants of a bygone age. Evidence of the Iron Age was discovered on this site but a Castle, as such, was not built until the 1130s. This building was added to over the years that followed.
Usually when we visit we leave the Castle through the other entrance which leads down to the North Bay. This Bay has Peasholm Park and nearby is the Sea Life Centre. The North Beach area is less commercialised than the South.
It is odd to think that the North Bay is where Scarborough's resort status began. This side always had, and still does, the slightly classier hotels and the like. Of course you could always visit the opposite way around, starting from the North Bay. Either way, though, Scarborough Castle is an uphill walk.
Admission fee to the Castle is usually quite reasonable, although obviously it depends how many are visiting. It is an interesting sight with much for children to see and read about.
Simply as a pleasant area, with spectacular views over Scarborough, it's two bays and over to Oliver's Mount, with a great area for the children to let off steam, it is a good day out.
Recommended, but only when the weather is clement.
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