An image of Scarborough Harbour with street lights lit up

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The Harbour - Early History
1225 Henry III made a grant of 40 oaks from his woods to the men of Scarborough to use in the harbour.

1251 Henry III granted Charter to 'His Bailiffs and Burgesses and other good men of Scardeburgh: it is for the benefit of the Town of Scardeburgh to make a certain new port with timber and stone towards the sea whereby all ships arriving thither may enter and sail out without danger as well at the beginning of Flood as at High water'.
Authority given to Scarborough fishermen to land fish in Normandy free of toll.

1564 Elizabeth I granted £500 in money, 100 tons of timber, 6 tons of iron in aid of rebuilding the harbour.

1732 George II. Act passed to enlarge harbour by building Vincent's Pier and the present East Pier at cost of £12,000. At this time there were upwards of 300 sailing ships belonging to Scarborough.

The Piers:
1752 Completion of Vincent's Pier which was a continuation seaward from the old Locker House on the early pier and named after its engineer William Vincent. Revenue produced by a levy of ½d per cauldron of coals landed from Newcastle and other duties.

1750s Work on construction of the East Pier began. Mr. Smeaton, who built Eddystone Lighthouse, was consulting engineer. Blocks for this pier were taken from the foreshore at White Nab (Cornelian Bay) and conveyed in flat-bottomed vessels called 'floats'. Some of the stone blocks weighted 20 to 30 tons. It took over half a century before the pier, measuring 1380 feet, was finally completed, some time after 1811.
During the early years of the 19th century, the isolated inner Island Pier was demolished and the shore reused to build the West Pier from West Sandgate. It was completed shortly after 1325.

1901 Sandside and approach road constructed in conjunction with Marine Drive. Originally Quay Street was part of the Old Harbour. Mooring posts found in cellars of houses.

The Lighthouse:
The first reference to a lighthouse at the end of Vincent's Pier occurs in 1804. A signal flag was displayed by day and a light by night when depth of water was not less than 12 feet. Storry's Guide 1844 records that a cupola and additional storey were recently added.
In 1914, the lighthouse was seriously damaged during the bombardment of Scarborough by German cruisers and the tower had to be dismantled. It was rebuilt in 1931.

Ship Building:
Shipyards extended along the Foreshore from the Pier to King Richard III House. Launching was done in cradles on an inclined plane at low tide.
At the beginning of the 19th century, Scarborough was one of the principal ship building centres on the East Coast. From 1785 to 1810, 209 ships were built with a tonnage of 35,683 tons. As many as 15 ships were launched in one year.
In 1849, a company was formed to provide means for repairing ships at Scarborough. A floating dock was built capable of taking ships up to 300 tons.

1301 Edward I summoned Scarborough to send two armed ships to Berwick to fight against the Scots.

1346 Siege of Calais. Scarborough furnished one ship and 19 men.

1645 In the siege of Scarborough during the Civil War besiegers took 120 vessels from Scarborough Harbour.

1787 There were 1,500 seamen belonging to the port, 500 of whom sailed in the East India Service.

1796 Number of ships registered at Scarborough was 165 with a tonnage of 25,600.
Exports included corn, butter, hams, bacon and salt fish.
Imports: coal, timber, hemp, flax, iron, brandy and wines.

Sea Fishing

Scarborough Sea Fishing includes angling from the piers, Marine Drive and beaches, (commonly called rock angling, in the area) and boat fishing.

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COVID-19 Response

  • 1m distancing in place
  • Clear signage
  • Contactless payment possible
  • COVID-19 measures in place
  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Food available during COVID-19 restrictions
  • Hand sanitizer available to visitors & staff
  • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms


  • Parking with charge

Property Facilities

  • Public toilets

Target Markets

  • Accepts groups

Map & Directions

Road Directions

By Road:
On approach to Scarborough head for railway station. From station turn left onto Northway. At traffic light turn ight onto Victoria Road. Continue down here through 2 sets of traffic lights and straight across roundabout. After roundabout take the 1st turning right down Queen Street. At bottom of Queen Street turn left. Follow road down hill to traffic lights and turn left.
Harbour is on the right.

Accessible by Public Transport: Scarborough station is 1 mile away.

Scarborough Harbour


Sandside, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, YO11 1PD
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Tel01723 373530


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Opening Times

Scarborough Harbour (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)

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