January 26, 2015

Scarborough Castle

Our charming hotel, The Wharncliffe.
We decided to spend an entire week in Scarborough, which I have visited briefly before, in 2009, and really wanted to spend some more days exploring. The Vikings called it Skardaborg, and on the castle promontory there has been found artefacts dating back as early as the Bronze Age. No wonder people thought this a good place for a fort, it is surrounded by water on three sides and on a clear day you can see, I´m sure, as far as Norfolk and Norway. (Ok, maybe not.)

I booked a hotel just a few paces away from the place where I stayed with friends last time, with views over the beach to the north. It all still feels very Victorian spa town, oddly modern, perhaps because of the remnants of the medieval castle and Roman lighthouse, which was demolished in the mid-17th century, during the Civil War.

Anne Brontë, who wrote "The Tenant of Wildfell Hall"  died here, come for the fresh, healing air but too far gone with tuberculosis.

A bird has marked out the entrance for us... As you can see, it´s a large parklike area to wander about in.

The view to the north. 

A field orchide of some sort.

Scarborough harbour and south side. The Grand Hotel to the right, on the beach.

I didn´t realize George Fox, the founder of The Religious Society of Friends (the Quakers), had been imprisoned here in the 17th century. I am very sympathetic towards them and have attended one of their retreats a few years ago. 

The Master Gunner´s house, where you also find the tearoom. When we passed the kitchen window we overheard a girl´s voice: "... multitasking! I´m the amazing Rachel! And modest, too!" We laughed so hard! 

It is strictly forbidden to climb on the walls, and one of the staff told off a couple of kids who didn´t respect the signs: "No climbing on the wall, please!" and then added "Sorry!". So typically English - you´d have thought the kids should have been sorry. 

A class of schoolchildren being lectured on Anne Brontë and how people used to die from coughs. Some clearly wanted to be elsewhere...


  1. I'm sure the staff person was sympathetic to the climbers. It looks so _tempting_ , such a good surface for climbing. I'd be sorry to have to shoo off the kids, too ;)

    I do dearly love how old all these sites are :)

    1. It really is mindblowing to think of all those historically important people who walked around there, and how many people it took to keep one of those places running. And I wonder how long places like these are going to be there - so many parts of the English east coast is falling into the sea. Lovely place to spend a few hours, that´s for sure!