Scarborough

Scarborough is the original seaside resort and with its stunning scenery, glorious beaches and an abundance of things to see and do, it is clear to see why people have been flocking to the town for nearly 400 years.  

The history of the area is rich and visitors can immerse themselves in the story of Scarborough, whether that be by visiting the magnificent 12th century Scarborough castle or the Rotunda William Smith Museum of Geology, which is the second oldest purpose-built museum in Britain.  

Scarborough may be historic, but it is far from stuck in the past. The town offers a traditional seaside feel with a chance to enjoy the amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and shellfish stands but it is also constantly innovating to keep itself as one of the most popular holiday destinations in the UK. 

TDY HISTORY 

Every famous bike race has stunning, iconic stages and breathtaking backdrops. The Tour de France has the Champs-Élysées, Paris-Roubaix, the 'Queen of the Classics', always produces a thrilling battle on the cobbles and the Tour de Yorkshire has Scarborough.  

This seaside stage has been a part of the Tour de Yorkshire in each edition since the race's inception and has produced some spectacular finishes.  

2015 saw the Tour begin in Bridlington and travel to Scarborough. The stage, and subsequently, the overall race was won by the then Team Sky rider, Lars Petter Nordhaug.

Thomas Voeckler finished second in Scarborough and third overall.  

The following year saw the race's final stage start off in Middlesbrough and head down to Scarborough, as in 2015 the winner in Scarborough would be crowned the overall race winner and after his second in the South Bay the year before, Thomas Voeckler would win it all.  

Last year, the race saw a repeat of the inaugural edition as a Bridlington start on the opening day finished in a sprint in Scarborough; with Dylan Groenewegen winning. 

Scarborough is going to be a host town again in 2018 and one thing is for certain, whether it starts or finishes a stage, it's sure to be spectacular. 

FAMOUS FACES 

Sir Ben Kingsley 

The Academy Award-winning actor Ben Kingsley was born on December 31st, 1943, in the nearby village of Snainton.

Kingsley first made a name for himself with his role as Ron Jenkins in Coronation Street from 1966 to 1967 however it wasn’t until 15 years later down the line where he was cast as Mahātmā Gandhi in the 1982 production of Gandhi, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.

Dame Penelope Alice Wilton

The leading in lady in the much-loved BBC sitcom Ever Decreasing Circles, Penelope Wilton also went on to have recurring roles in two other popular British shows in the form of Downton Abbey and Doctor Who.

Witton has also had an extremely successful career on stage too, receiving six Olivier Award nominations; winning the award for Best Actress in 2015 for her portrayal of Irmgard Litten in Taken At Midnight.

Charles Laughton 

Charles Laughton was an English stage and film actor active between the 1920 right through to the early 60s. Born in Scarborough, he was the son on hotel keepers while attending Scarborough College. As a young man Laughton began working with his parents in the family hotel alongside performing in amateur theatricals in Scarborough.

He became a drama student at RADA before taking to America where he made a name for himself on Broadway and then Hollywood. Laughton now has a blue plaque in Scarborough marking his birthplace. 

ICONIC LANDMARKS OF PAST AND PRESENT 

Scarborough Castle

Standing 300 metres above sea level, Scarborough Castle occupies a rocky promontory that projects into the North Sea, protected by the high cliffs on three sides.

Its 12th-century great tower is the centrepiece of the royal castle, that became one of the greatest royal fortresses in England during the Middle Ages. However, the castle dates back much further than this with almost 3,000 years of history.

Peasholm Park 

Peasholm Park, an oriental themed municipal park that opened in 1912, is one of the towns more popular tourist attractions. The Japanese style park offers a beautiful system of streams, waterfalls, mini bridges and mystical gardens with a vast array of wildlife. The park also plays host to the world famous Naval Warfare – a unique miniature sea battle that has been beamed to tv screens across the globe. 

Open Air Theatre 

Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre is the largest open air theatre in Europe. The theatre was built on the site of ‘Hodgson’s Slack’ where the natural amphitheatre was created, taking advantage of the ground contours.

The stage is set on an island in the middle of a lake with fixed seating for 5,500 plus. In the 1960s, the much loved ‘It’s a Knockout’ was held here every Wednesday over a period of 11 years and set the audience record of the venue of 11,000. Famous acts to perform here include Elton John, Status Quo and Boyzone. 

Scarborough Spa 

Dating back to the 17th century, The Spa, Scarborough was originally built around the source of the seaside towns spa waters found bubbling out beneath the cliff to the south of the town. The waters were said to have medicinal value said to cure minor ailments.

A series of mishaps and disasters that befell the Spa in the 1800s were each time solved with the addition of new buildings; yet visitors today can still see the remnants of the great architecture of the building it was originally. Today, The Spa encompasses a theatre, the Grand Hall and much more.

NEARBY BIKE LIBRARIES 

The Yorkshire Bank Bike Libraries scheme was set up as a legacy of the grandest ever Grand Départ of the Tour de France back in 2014 and aims to give every child in Yorkshire access to a bike. Since its inception the scheme has seen 46 libraries set up, over 5,000 bikes donated and in excess of 40,000 opportunities for people in the county to cycle. 

Coast and Dale Bike Library: Launched on a sunny summer day last year, the Coast and Dale Bike Library has since helped dozens of families and children discover the joy of riding a bike. Coast & Dale Bike Library has recently secured new premises - Scarborough Victorian Prison, thanks to Scarborough Borough Council.  

Coast & Dale Bike Library offers guided rides, bike skills sessions and bike maintenance courses. Through the scheme, which is run in partnership with Scarborough and Ryedale Community Cycling, sees old and unwanted bikes donated at donation stations at Basics Plus, Northstead Community Primary School, Malton Primary School, Yorkshire Coast Sight Support, the Alzheimer's Society, Bike About Filey, and Big Bear Bikes, in Pickering. They are then repaired and restored by mechanics before being loaned out to children and families for free. 

CYCLING HERITAGE 

The star in the above ITV advert for the 2017 edition of the Tour de Yorkshire is 85-year-old Brian Musson. Brian is chairman of the long established Scarborough Paragon cycling club which formed in 1953. This was not Brian’s only involvement with the race as he, alongside the president of the cycling club, Stan Chadwick, cycled to the finish of Stage One in Scarborough. You might think that’s a good effort from Brian, but this achievement becomes even greater when you find out that Stan, at 101, makes Brian a relative spring chicken at 85!

To get to the finish, several riders from the club helped to sneak Stan out of his nursing home, which included lifting him downstairs in his chair, before Brian rode the two of them round Marine Drive and across the finish line using a specially adapted wheelchair bike from Scarborough & Ryedale Community Cycling (of which Coast and Dale Bike Library, mentioned earlier, is a part). This infectious love of cycling from Brian and Stan is surely one of the most heart-warming stories you’ll read & both are proud ambassadors of cycling in Yorkshire.

Scarborough Paragon Cycling Club’s relationship with the Tour doesn’t just stop there though, as at their annual dinner in 2017, they awarded former TDY champion Thomas Voeckler, with an honorary lifetime membership of the club due to his remarkable victory in 2016 – something which he was happy to accept!

FASCINATING FACTS 

The South Cliff Lift in Scarborough was the first of its kind in the UK. Beginning its working life in 1875, the lift is still in operation and the £8,000 cost to build the lift seems like a good investment for a method of transport that is still transporting passengers over 140 years later.  

In 2010, archaeologists discovered Britain's oldest house dating back 11,500 years, a house so old that when built the country was still part of the continent of Europe. It has been dated back to 8500BC and the team also found a large wooden platform that is thought to be the earliest evidence of carpentry in Europe. 

The aforementioned Scarborough Castle has a rich 3,000-year history and during this time it was twice besieged by Parliamentarians in the Civil War and has seen attacks from Jacobites, Napoleon and a German Kaiser; when it was bombarded by warships during the First World War.

Scarborough has a blue flag beach in the form of North Bay. 

Wilfred Owen, the renowned war poet wrote several of his poems in a hotel in Scarborough between 1917 and 1918 before he went back to the western front. 

Famous author Anne Bronte died and was buried in the town in 1829.

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