Italianate Gardens, Scarborough.

Recently took the train to Scarborough in order to join a tour of the restored Italianate Gardens, South Bay, Scarborough, organised by Scarborough Civic Society. Having walked down the pedestrianised shopping street turned right past Grand Hotel, over the Valley footbridge and past the Spa on the way to Clock Cafe on the hillside (cliffside) for light lunch (see above, image scanned from a promotional leaflet), this a favourite spot of mine when you can sit outside and enjoy the panoramic view across South Bay to the Castle and St. Mary’s church.
The Italianate (or Italian) Gardens are just one part of the linear gardens created in the 19th and early 20th centuries along the cliff-face between the Esplanade and the Promenade, these together known as South Cliff Gardens. This development provided the residents of the Esplanade area, and the general public, with a managed green environment with, in places, views out to sea, south to Flamborough Head and north to the Castle promontory. I don’t know of any early prohibitions to access (local residents only) so in effect the South Cliff Gardens form a municipal park.
With it being sited on a cliff-face with a 40 degree gradient in places the pathways often snake up the Cliff-face or follow a contour along the Cliff-face. These pathways access various local environments: pockets of woodland benefiting from mature trees planted a century ago, lawns, shrubberies and formal flower beds – the last a rarity in modern parks. One aspect of the restoration programme has been to restore a number of buildings scattered along the site which provided seating and shelter for visitors, the funding being from the National Lottery which required these buildings be restored to their original specifications. Also many paths have been re-edged with local stone and formal gardens (in particular the Rose Garden) brought back to a high standard.
(to be continued)