The History of Scarborough

Scarborough has played a monumental part in the history books. From the Castle which was built in the 1100s to becoming one of the first seaside resorts in the world, there is so much to discover that would delight any budding historian. Additionally, let’s not forget the town’s long maritime heritage and also the development of modern geology which can be discovered further at the iconic Rotunda Museum.

Scarborough Castle

Visiting the medieval ruins of Scarborough Castle is an unmissable attraction for anyone staying on the Yorkshire Coast. Discover the fascinating and unique 3,000 year history of the former Roman Signal Station. The castle is poised high up on the headland overlooking both bays and offering incredible panoramic views of Scarborough. This iconic part of history offers fun for all the family whilst enveloping guests into medieval times with their re-enactments and jousting tournaments. 

Scarborough Traditions & Unique Events

The unique history of Scarborough has certainly shaped the seaside town into the place that it is today. Throughout the years, traditions have formed and you’ll find Scarborough hosts some very unique and special events…

Skipping Day

Shrove Tuesday is also known as Skipping Day in Scarborough. On this day, locals of all ages will gather on the foreshore for one of our most popular traditions; Skipping Day. The road is closed to traffic whilst everyone comes together with their skipping ropes. No one's entirely clear why it happens, but one thing's for certain - you won't see anything like it anywhere else.

The Pancake Bell

The ringing of the Pancake Bell is another Shrove Tuesday custom. A tradition upheld through the years once practised by the wives of the town to alert men in the fields that they were about to start cooking pancakes. The signal now alerts the start of skipping day and the famous pancake race throughout the town centre.

Boxing Day Festivities

Once the Christmas Day excitement is over, many Scarborians will flock to the seafront for the annual Boxing Day festivities. Another unique series of events, which have become a tradition for many locals to attend, is the annual raft race and the Fisherman vs Fireman Football match. Firemen (as in those who stoked the fires aboard the boats, not firefighters) and fishermen don fancy dress and battle on the beach for local charities in a game of football. The charity was originally started to help the widows and orphans of five Scarborough fishermen drowned at sea aboard the Evelyn and Maud in 1893.

Discover more: Scarborough & Yorkshire Coast.