Welcome to a month-long celebration of history, culture and enchanting landscapes as we delve into the captivating heritage of our stunning coastline. September is a time when the air turns crisp, the sea breeze carries whispers of tales past, and the Yorkshire Coast comes alive with the echoes of centuries gone by. Join us as we embark on a journey to celebrate the essence of North Yorkshire's coastal heritage.
Exploring legacy: Captain James Cook's bicentenary Antarctic crossing celebration
One of the most legendary figures in maritime exploration, Captain James Cook set sail from England's shores aboard the HMS Resolution in the summer of 1772, braving treacherous conditions and unknown territories. On 17 January, 1773, Cook and his crew successfully crossed the Antarctic Circle, an extraordinary milestone that expanded humanity's understanding of the world.
To mark his 250th anniversary, the Captain Cook Museum has unveiled a special exhibition dedicated to his pioneering Antarctic voyage. The exhibition vividly captures the challenges faced by Cook and his crew, from navigating icebergs to documenting the breath-taking landscapes and wildlife encountered during their expedition. Through interactive displays, historical artefacts, and engaging narratives, experience a unique opportunity to step into Cook's shoes and relive his awe-inspiring journey.
ICE! Exploring the Far South - 250th anniversary of the first crossing of the Antarctic Circle runs until 31 October 2023.
Glimpse into the past: naval warfare at Peasholm Park, Scarborough
An enchanting oasis in the heart of Scarborough, Peasholm Park has long been cherished as a serene escape. However, beneath its tranquil surface lies a captivating history dating back to the early 20th century. It was during the summer of 1927 that the first echoes of naval conflict reverberated through the park's peaceful waters. Inspired by the grandeur of naval battles, Commander George Royle envisioned an attraction that would bring history to life and entertain generations to come.
Fast forward to the present, and Peasholm's Naval Warfare stands as a living testament to Commander Royle's vision. Model boats, meticulously crafted and armed with pyrotechnics, engage in battle on the park's ornamental lake, complete with intricate details that transport spectators back in time.
The event runs every Saturday, Monday and Thursday at 3pm throughout August, with the last show on 2 September.
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway's Steam Gala 50th Anniversary: A journey back in time
Nestled within the cultural heritage of the Yorkshire Coast is the iconic North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a historic gem that proudly marks its Steam Gala 50th Anniversary this year.
For five decades, the North Yorkshire Moors Railway has chugged its way through 18 miles of picturesque landscape, connecting the heart of Pickering to Whitby via the charming villages of Grosmont and Goathland. This year's Steam Gala, held between Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 September 2023.
Witness a stunning display of meticulously restored steam locomotives, including some rare and unusual examples, plus a captivating array of vintage trains, transporting you back to the golden age of rail travel.
Access for all: Inclusivity at the heart of the celebration
The North Yorkshire Moors Railway believes that heritage should be enjoyed by everyone and has therefore made significant strides to ensure that the Steam Gala 50th Anniversary is accessible for all.
Accessible carriages have been thoughtfully integrated into the train schedule, allowing those with mobility challenges to savour the beauty of the North York Moors National Park. The railway stations have been adapted to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility aids, ensuring that everyone can partake in the festivities.
Celebrating 111 years of musical excellence with the Scarborough Spa Orchestra
Founded in 1912 by Alick Maclean and performing regularly ever since, the Scarborough Spa Orchestra has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike, offering memorable performances that span genres and generations for decades.
Whether you're a connoisseur of classical compositions or simply looking to be swept away by the music, the Scarborough Spa Orchestra promises an unforgettable experience that will linger in your heart long after the final note has been played.
At the heart of this musical heritage lies the Scarborough Spa, a historic ensemble of Grade II listed buildings that serve as the orchestra's home - the Scarborough Spa Theatre, Concert Hall and the open-air Musical Sun Court. These architectural treasures have played host to generations of music aficionados and culture enthusiasts, providing a stage for both local talents and world-renowned artists.
Scarborough Sea Wall Heritage Trail: A walk through history
Stretching along the iconic sea wall that has protected Scarborough's shores for generations, the heritage trail offers a captivating journey through time, where the past and present seamlessly intertwine. 31 engraved granite storyboards are installed on the mile-long Marine Drive, with each of these 'portholes in time’ unveiling a unique facet of Scarborough's rich history. Open all year round, the trail is wheelchair accessible and there are benches along the trail where you can rest and take in the views.
As you wander along the trail, you'll uncover ancient legends, local folklore and fascinating facts that unearth the heart and soul of our coastal town. Step into the shoes of ancient settlers as you delve into the intriguing history of the Romans in Scarborough, and trace the evolution of Scarborough's harbour as it transformed from a modest port into a bustling hub of maritime activity.
To enhance your exploration of the Scarborough Sea Wall Heritage Trail, we've partnered with the Love Exploring app. Available for free on the App Store and Google Play, it provides a map of the trail and audio guides for each of the storyboards.
The app features a variety of other trails and games and is the perfect companion to discover the Yorkshire Coast.
Unveiling the beauty of history: St. Martin-on-the-Hill church
Celebrating 160 years since its consecration, St Martin-on-the Hill is a stunning example of High Victorian Gothic architecture, and its interior is decorated with stained glass and paintings by some of the leading artists of the Pre-Raphaelite movement, including William Morris, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Edward Burne-Jones.
The church was designed in 1863 by George Frederick Bodley, a leading architect of the Gothic revival inspired by mediaeval architecture. The stained-glass windows in St. Martin-on-the-Hill were designed by Morris, Burne-Jones, and other members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. The windows depict scenes from the Bible, as well as from mediaeval legends and literature. The paintings on the east wall of the church are also by Pre-Raphaelite artists, and they depict the life of Jesus Christ.
St. Martin-on-the-Hill is a unique and important part of Scarborough's heritage. The church is open to visitors all year round, and it offers a variety of guided tours and events, and a cafe that is open daily (except Sundays).
Eden Camp Modern History Museum: A must-visit for World War II history buffs
Step into the past at Eden Camp, a unique and immersive museum that transports visitors back in time to the tumultuous eras of World War II and beyond. Housed within the original buildings of a former Prisoner of War camp, the museum stands as a testament to resilience, sacrifice, and the human spirit.
In addition to the permanent exhibits on all aspects of the war, from the Home Front to the Front Line, Eden Camp also hosts a variety of workshops and events throughout the year.
Living history weekend
Taking place on 26-27 August, Eden Camp's living history weekend is a great opportunity to learn about life in Britain during World War II through interactive exhibits and demonstrations. You can meet historians who will bring the era to life, see authentic military vehicles and equipment and learn about the challenges faced by ordinary people during the war.
All Services Parade and Service of Remembrance
Taking place on 11 September 2023 to coincide with Remembrance Sunday, the event provides a special opportunity to commemorate the unwavering courage and sacrifice of those who have fought for our freedom. Led by veterans representing all branches of the armed services and from across generations, the parade will be followed by Service of Remembrance.
Exploring two centuries of treasures: Whitby Museum's '200 Years of Collecting' exhibition
Celebrating their 200th anniversary this year, Whitby Museum has amassed a remarkable collection that includes over 50,000 objects from the natural world, local history and maritime heritage.
This year's celebratory exhibition is divided into 20 sections, each representing a decade of collecting. Visitors can see everything from intricate fossils and dinosaur bones that provide a glimpse into prehistoric eras to whale skeletons and shipwreck artefacts. There are also items of local interest, such as Whitby jet jewellery and Captain Cook's navigational instruments. Each piece is a testament to the museum's commitment to celebrating the past and inspiring future generations.
In addition to the exhibition, the museum is also hosting a variety of events throughout the year, including lectures, workshops, and family days out.
The "200 Years of Collecting" exhibition is open until 3 December 2023.
Heritage Open Days
Way back in the 1600s, the enterprising Mrs Thomasin Farrer drank some water that was flowing from a spring in Scarborough’s South Bay and decided that it had put a spring in her step, too. The rest, as they say, is history – nearly 400 years later, people still flock to Scarborough all year round, drawn by its stunning location and plentiful attractions, but there’s more to Scarborough than meets the eye.
Celebrate the town’s history as part of National Heritage Open Days where each September, thousands of volunteers across the country invite you to experience local history, architecture and culture – for free! Taking place this year between 8-17 September 2023, a number of local venues are throwing open their doors to visitors including:
Rotunda Museum, Scarborough
Opened in 1829, the Rotunda Museum is among the world’s first purpose-built museums and features a fascinating Georgian gallery. While it's currently being restored, it's still open to the public, with a special open day on 8 September as part of National Heritage Open Days.
The Old Parcels Office
This Grade II listed building on Scarborough’s railway station platform now serves as an arts venue for the town. Visit the exhibition ‘When The Entertainers Came To Town’ and take part in the self-guided walking trail to some of the remaining and lost entertainment sites across the town.
Visit https://www.heritageopendays.org.uk/visiting to find open days in your area.
You'll find plenty more inspiration for activities, attractions and places to visit on our website at www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com.
Wherever you choose to explore on the Yorkshire Coast, we'd love to see your photos – just tag #DiscoverYorkshireCoast