A very steep climb takes the trail up cliffs to the south of Hayburn Wyke, before starting a descent down to the old salt pans at Cloughton Wyke. What follows is a stroll along relatively low cliffs before the trail descends to cross Scalby Beck at Scalby Mills. The trail then follows a promenade and road that heads around Scarborough Castle to reach the harbour.
3 hours 24 minutes
Map of the leg
Maps courtesy of Google Maps. Route for indicative purposes only, and may have been plotted after the walk. Please let me have comments on what you think of this new format.
This leg starts at the footbridge over Hayburn Beck at TA009970, at the bottom of Hayburn Wyke.
Cross the footbridge and start climbing uphill. After a short distance turn left up another path; this soon hairpins past a viewpoint on the left and continues through the trees. Shortly afterwards it curves to the right and heads up more steps. At a junction with another path it curves to the left to continue uphill before emerging out onto the clifftop at TA009968. Turn left to follow the path as it runs along the cliff edge; it slowly climbs for half a mile to a summit before starting a long descent.
The path descends steeply down stone steps into Sycarham Wood and then climbs up stone steps on the other side of the valley. It levels off for a few hundred yards before descending down steps into another gully, crossing a stream and continuing on. At the end of the next field the path descends into a valley by Salt Pans at TA019952. Do not take the obvious path that curves away to the right inland, and instead climb uphill along a narrow path that follows the cliff edge before emerging out into a field.
At the end of this field go through a gap in a hedge to enter a second field. At the end of the next field the path descends steps into a gully and then ascends once more up steps. At the top the path curves to the left past Cloughton Wyke to head eastwards. Before long it descends a few steps to a footbridge over a stream in Hun Dale before climbing up the other side. After 150 yards steps lead down into another dry valley and out the other side.
The going is easier as the path and cliffs head in a rough southerly direction for 0.6 miles from Hundale Point to Long Nab at TA092940, where the path passes landward of a white hut that was once the Long Nab Coastguard Station and Mine Shelter. After a third of a mile at Crook Ness the path curves to the right to head inland towards the end of a road; before it reaches the road the path turns left through a gap in a hedge and descends down stone steps to reach a concrete track in the gully bottom. Turn right along the track for about three yards, then left up more steps that leads out onto the cliff edge once more.
Follow the cliff edge in a rough southerly direction as it continues to gently climb, with occasional diversions for a few yards inland past the end of gullies. It passes seaward of some buildings on the right - perhaps a sewage farm - and then continues on towards Scalby Lodge on the right. Near the farm the path curves to the right past a little inlet before curving left to rejoin the cliff edge. It passes a footpath heading inland at TA031913 and starts climbing uphill. It reaches a headland with Scalby Beck down to the right; when the path forks at the top take the right-hand branch that cuts across the headland's neck. This leads to another path; turn right along this path and follow it as it starts descending down steps. At the bottom turn right to cross a footbridge over Scalby Beck to reach a road beside the Old Scalby Mills pub at TA035908.
On the other side of the bridge turn left to join the promenade and start following it as it heads southwards. It curves to the right to pass the Sea Life Centre and then gently curves to the left. After 0.8 miles it reaches a little roundabout and bus stop on the right; after this the promenade continues past the North Sands with the road on the right at TA037897. Initially the road heads southeastwards, but it slowly curves to the left as it follows Marine Drive under Scarborough Castle. The promenade and road then curves to the right past Castle Cliff to reach Scarborough Harbour, 1.5 miles after the roundabout.
Places of interest
Scarborough is a big, brash and fun place, and quite a shock for those who have experienced the quaint coastal villages and towns further north. The town was allegedly founded in 996 by a Viking, who might find the excesses of the modern tourists slightly outrageous. If it existed, then that early settlement was soon destroyed by a rival tourist, I mean, Viking – perhaps they were angry at a temporary lack of kiss-me-quick hats.
King Henry II seemed to think these Viking excesses dangerous, so he built a castle and granted it town charters. The castle did not deter the Scots who, following the Viking example, burnt the town in 1318. Not wanting to feel left out, the Cavaliers and Roundheads left the town in ruins after the Civil War.
Its fortunes changed with the publication in 1660 of a book by an Elizabeth Farrow that mentioned a spring in the cliffs to the south of the town – perhaps this was what the Vikings, Scots, Roundheads and Cavaliers had really been fighting over. A spa was formed, and Scarborough became Britain’s first seaside resort. Its popularity increased with the arrival of a railway line from York in 1845.
In 1867 the seafront Grand Hotel was opened as the largest hotel and largest brick structure in Europe. When it opened it had four towers to represent the seasons, 12 floors for months of the year, 52 chimneys and 365 rooms (I have no idea if they added a temporary room every Leap Year).
As the town’s popularity grew, it spread inland away from the seafront. Five cliff lifts were built to service the trade down to the seafront, although only two remain (there was also a cable car at one stage).
Scarborough may be a disappointment if you want quiescent seaside strolls, but it can be great fun if you like kiss-me-quick hats, football shirts and amusement arcades. But if you need a break from these, then there is still some semblance of old Scarborough around the port.
location UID #359
Scarborough Castle was first built in wood by the Earl of York in the 1130s on a high promontory protected on three sides by the North Sea. A few years later King Henry spent the massive sum of £650 rebuilding the castle in stone, including a great tower. King John then extended the castle, and it entered a rather slow decline.
The castle moved to the Royalist side during the Civil War, and Sir Hugh Cholmley was besieged inside for five months along with 500 men – the bombardment was so heavy that half the great tower collapsed. The ruin we see today is not a result of slighting, but of battle! Later on in the war, the Parliamentarians failure to pay their garrison led to the men declaring for the imprisoned king, leading to a second, less bloody siege.
Immediately after the Civil war the castle was used as a prison, and later barracks, many of whose buildings survive. A final indignity was a bombardment by two German warships in 1914 that caused significant damage.
It is now in the care of English Heritage.
location UID #360
Scarborough cliff lifts
Scarborough’s long, sandy beaches and status as a spa meant that tourism grew massively during Victorian times. This increased the need to move people down the cliffs to the seafront, and five cliff lifts were built:
Spa Cliff Lift (1875 - )
Queen's Parade (1878 to 1887)
Central Tramway (1881 - )
St Nicholas Cliff Lift (1929 to 2007)
North Bay Cliff Lift (1930 to 1996)
The short lifetime of the Queen’s Parade lift was caused by a landslide that damaged an already accident-prone lift. In addition, between 1972 and 2002 a chairlift operated in the North Bay.
location UID #361
Hayburn Wyke has no public transport connections.
Scarborough is much better served by public transport. It has a railway station at the northern end of the Yorkshire Coast Line from Hull and Bridlington. See the National railway enquiries website for more information.
Scarborough also has excellent bus links to Bridlington, Pickering, Leeds, Whitby and Middlesborough, amongst other destinations.