England: 10 Historic Sites and Houses on the North Yorkshire Coast

Growing up close to the Yorkshire Coast, days out always included trips to some of the key attractions in the area. Now it’s my time to plan days out for my family, I always try to incorporate places that are not only educational but also fun. Historic sites and houses on the North Yorkshire Coast are plentiful with some dating back to the Mesolithic period. Therefore, by visiting them, I, as a lover of history, get my fix, and the kids learn about the history of our local area. If you live in the area and want to explore further or you plan to visit, here are some of the historic sites and houses on the North Yorkshire Coast you should visit.

Anne Brontë’s Grave

Anne Bronte's Grave, Scarborough
Immanuel Giel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: St Marys Church, 168 Castle Rd, Scarborough YO11 1HY

Anne Brontë, an English novelist and poet and the youngest member of the Brontë family, died in the seaside town of Scarborough on 28th May 1849 when she was just 29 years old. She is buried in St Mary’s Church graveyard in Scarborough which is a place where she loved to spend time. She portrayed it in both her novels – Agnes Grey and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and where she wished to open a school. Therefore, if you want to pay your respects or simply see her final resting place, head here.

Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre

captain cook and Staithes heritage centre
Andrew Curtis / Captain Cook and Staithes Heritage Centre

Address: High St, Staithes, Saltburn-by-the-Sea TS13 5BQ

Staithes is where Cook made his first contact with the sea at the start of his maritime career. He was employed in William Sanderson’s shop, the world’s only recreation that can be found here. The museum opened in 1993. Over two floors you will find a 1745 life-size street scene of Cook’s time in Staithes. Together with rooms on Staithes’ families, heritage, fishing and Cook prints amongst many other historic things. Therefore, allowing you to find out more about this famous mariner.

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Fortune’s Smokehouse

© Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
© Copyright Richard Croft and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Address: 22 Henrietta Street, Whitby YO22 4DW

William Fortune founded the famous Fortune’s smokehouse in Whitby in 1872. You can find the Smokehouse on Henrietta Street, on the pretty and historic east side of Whitby. It has been passed down through the generations and is owned by the fifth generation of the Fortune family. The shop is open from 9 am to 3 pm Monday to Saturday and 10 am to when they have sold out of kippers on Sunday. Therefore making it a great and famous spot to get your fishy fix.

Hairy Bob’s Cave

Hairy Bob's Cave, Scarborough

Address: Marine Drive, Scarborough YO11 1JA

Hairy Bob’s Cave is one of Scarborough’s most mysterious landmarks. At the foot of the cliffs below Scarborough Castle, you will find the cave which looks to have a door and windows. It has long been a source of legend and folklore in the town for over a century with its origins unknown. And who was Hairy Bob? No one knows. It is likely the cave is man-made but the legend is more fun than fact.

Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle, North Yorkshire - Historic Sites and Houses on the North Yorkshire Coast
Immanuel Giel, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: Castle Road, Scarborough YO11 1HY

Site of over 3000 years of history. Its stories date back to the bronze age and it is said that King Richard III still walks the battlements today. It is a former medieval Royal fortress overlooking the North Sea and is nowadays a popular tourist attraction in Scarborough. The site is open daily between 10 am – 5 pm. You can book your ticket in advance. If you are an English Heritage Member, tickets are free.

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Scarborough Holbeck Clock Tower

Oscar Johns / Shutterstock.com

Address: Esplanade, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 2AY

Located on the Esplanade, overlooking the South Bay, the famous grade II listed Scarborough Holbeck Clock Tower is a magnificent historic site to visit. The four-sided clock tower was built in 1911 to commemorate the crowning of George V. The Clock Tower was then gifted to the town of Scarborough by businessman Alfred Shuttleworth. If you visit you will see a commemorative plaque acknowledging Shuttleworth’s generosity to the town. You can find the Clock Tower is a quiet part of Scarborough, perfect for a relaxing yet historic visit.

Scarborough Fair Collection & Vintage Transport Museum

Address: Flower of May Holiday Park, Stone Pit Lane, Scarborough YO11 3NU

The Scarborough Fair Collection & Vintage Transport Museum attracts thousands of visitors each year. It is open Wednesday through to Saturday from 10 am-4 pm. Here you will find a unique collection of working vintage fairground rides and mechanical organs. There is also a fantastic collection of vintage vehicles (cars and motorbikes). It is one of the largest collections of its type in Europe.

Scarborough North Bay Miniature Railway

Scarborough Miniature Railway - Historic Sites and Houses on the North Yorkshire Coast
XPinger (Chris Sutton) from Rotorua, New Zealand, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: Burniston Road, Scarborough YO12 6PF

The Scarborough North Bay Miniature Railway was built and opened in 1931 and has all the features of a full-size railway. The miniature railway has a 20″ gauge and runs for approximately 7⁄8 mile between Peasholm Park and Scalby Mills in the North Bay area of Scarborough. Guaranteed to keep the kids happy, it runs on selected days during the summer season. Prices per person start from £3.50.

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Wheeldale Roman Road

Stephen Horncastle / Stile, Wheeldale Road

Address: Wheeldale Road, Goathland YO22 5AP

The Wheeldale Roman Road is a Roman road in North Yorkshire, England. It runs for 14 miles (23 km) from Malton to Maiden Way at Cawood. The road is thought to have been built in the 1st century AD and was in use until the 5th century. It is one of the best-preserved Roman roads in Britain and is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument. It is open to the public with a small car park at the Brough-upon-Hill end of the road and a larger one at the Aldborough end.

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey - Historic Sites and Houses on the North Yorkshire Coast

Address: Abbey Lane, Whitby YO22 4JT

Whitby Abbey is a ruinous Benedictine abbey overlooking the North Sea on the East Cliff above Whitby in North Yorkshire, England. It was founded in 657 AD by King Oswiu of Northumbria and was rebuilt in the 10th century. In the 12th century, the abbey was ransacked by the Scots and later destroyed by Henry VIII during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. Today, Whitby Abbey is a Grade I listed building and also a scheduled monument.

We hope this list of historic sites and houses on the North Yorkshire Coast helps when planning an adventure in the area.

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