The prominent castle on the Scarborough Rock is a permanent reminder of the town's strategic importance. It started as a Roman signal station before becoming a stronghold base for Viking invaders. The first castle was built 1140, and over the middle ages it underwent five sieges. During the Civil War it was the only Royalist port along the East Coast where it finally to surrendered to Parliament forces in 1645. More recently, in 1914, during the Great War, the German fleet bombarded the town and the Castle. The keep was damaged and the 17th century barracks almost entirely destroyed. At the beginning of the 19th century, Scarborough was one of the principal ship building centres on the East Coast. Today, Scarborough is a popular holiday destination, where visitors are able to enjoy both the natural beauty and the rich historical significance of the area.
The initial contact for visiting yachts is the Port Control on VHF Ch 12 who then pass you over to the Lighthouse attendants who will allocate you either one of the 10 visitors berths in the Inner Harbour, or a pontoon berth under the Lighthouse in the East Harbour, or up against the wall in the East Harbour just north of the draw bridge. The outer hammerhead berths on the new pontoons just about take yachts of 2m draft, however all berths in the East Harbour dry out and vessels must be capable of taking the soft sandy ground.
The Lighthouse is also the base of the Scarborough YC, which allows visitors to use their toilet, shower, and laundry facilities by obtaining the keys from the Lighthouse attendants. During the Summer season the Lighthouse opens from 8am to 9pm, Winter 8am to 5pm.
The town of Scarborough and its water front seems so close from the end of the pontoons, but unfortunately you have to walk three times the distance as the crow flies in order to get into town - its worse if you're berthed in the East Harbour.
Shops, pubs and restaurants are plentiful and if you're stuck over what to do in the area there's a tourist information office at the water front.