Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Exploring North Yorkshire Through a Lens


Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Today I’m going to be exploring the Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough route and discovering the Yorkshire’s largest seaside resort, Scarborough. On my return journey, I will also be visiting somewhere I’ve had on my bucket list for some time, Scampston Hall close to Rillington, with its rich walled garden and its amazing idyllic park and lake.

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Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

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Malton the Food Capital

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Before I venture out on my journey to Scarborough, I’m going to live up to the reputation of Yorkshire’s Food Capital and take in a hearty breakfast. Malton holds the attention when it comes to enjoying food and drink, so this has to be my first stop. This will accompany me as much needed sustenance throughout today’s exploration. Or at least this is my excuse!

Fully fuelled like the bus, I’m now ready to begin my journey from Malton Bus Station and Depot. Coastliner began it’s journey back in January 1990, and the following year was purchased by Blazefield Travel. In 2006, Blazefield Travel was purchased by Transdev and remains as one of their commercial interests today.

The buses have free wifi as well as USB charging, some wireless charging, so its a good idea to bring a cable in your backpack for your phone. At time of filming, face-coverings are essential and its good to bring some hand sanitiser even if you are fully vaccinated.

Coastliner Journey from Malton to Scarborough in Brief

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

So we depart Malton Bus Station and we follow the road sandwiched between the York to Scarborough Line and the calm, slow moving waters of the Derwent on the left. The road route we take is intertwined with the railway which follow each other all the way to Scarborough, and in fact, like Malton, one of the main bus stops is opposite Scarborough Station. We cross over the line several times en-route and you will see the iconic signal box. The line opened in the mid 1800’s and Malton station looked a lot different at this time as it had a roof.

The journey takes us through the neighbouring town of Norton On Derwent and Commercial Street can be viewed from the windows. The town hall is featured on the right and not unlike Malton it contains many local food retailers and other specialist shops. The route continues over a disused railway line and follows the B1248 out of the town and the bus rejoins the A64.

Granted, this is not Britain’s most scenic bus route like our previous episode to Whitby, but that’s not to say this route has little scenery at all. On the right hand side of travel, you will encounter the Yorkshire Wolds, and on the left you can see the Tabular Hills ranging across the foot of the moors. The route also takes you through some pretty villages such as Scagglethorpe, Rillington, West and East Heslerton, just to name a few. These villages as well as the entire route features calling off points for refreshments with its pubs, cafe’s and fish and chips shops too. As the buses are running every 30 minutes at the time of filming, its no hardship to alight the bus at any of these and then board another service to continue your journey.

Today, I’m going to spend the morning in Scarborough, and during the afternoon, I will be alighting at Scampston Hall, and both of these calling points have a wow factor in their individual ways. In fact, I’m not sure which I’m looking forward to the most. However, you might encounter a momentary glance of Scampston Hall through the trees just outside Rillington. Scampston Hall and Scarborough albeit totally opposites of each other, have some surprising things in common owing to its eye-catching gardens and fascinating structures.

The Yorkshire Wolds are some low hills that reside in North Yorkshire and the East Riding of Yorkshire which then drop sharply into the Vale of York, a large expanse of flat land. On the opposite side of travel are the Tabular Hills that span from Scarborough through to Black Hambleton which is a plateau, or a large expanse of high flat land, on the western side of the North York Moors. Travelling between the Yorkshire Wolds and the Tabular Hills is almost like being in a very wide valley as the ground in between is very flat.

As we venture further upon the A64, we call at further villages such as Sherburn, Potter Brompton, Ganton and Staxton before the busy A road right angles left towards Seamer, Crossgates and Scarborough. The A64 links Leeds with York, Malton and Scarborough and much of its route is a single carriageway, but there is a dual carriageway section east of York. A portion of the road follows an old Roman road that ran between Chester and Bridlington. The road opened in stages and the dual carriageway near York was opened in 1976 and the Malton bypass in 1978, the Seamer bypass in 1988. As I head along the A64 towards Seamer I receive front window views of the scenic hills as well as crop rich arable land ahead. I can also see where the York to Scarborough line meets and intertwines with the A64. At the Scarborough end of the A64 there are many places to stay over including self-contained holiday lodges. When you see things like this you know that the place you are visiting is a hit for most people. In pandemic days, many are feeling more confident to have a staycation whereas others show a little bravery and chance a foreign clime. In any case, Scarborough and the surrounding area in North Yorkshire isn’t just of interest to day trippers but also holiday makers too, and the plethora of places to stay stand testimony to this. And lets face it, what’s not to enjoy about North Yorkshire?

Seamer North Yorkshire

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Seamer has been a busy village since Norman times and it hasn’t changed much today. The bus stops outside the very aesthetic looking Norman church St Martin’s. There was also a Manor House from the the same period and the ruins can be visit today. After or even before your visit to Scarborough, you may desire to enjoy one of the public houses that serve food and drink in a quieter location, or alight to see the ruins of the Manor House behind the church.

I always see Seamer and Crossgates as entering Scarborough itself as they are all close together, featuring as suburbs. They are kind of the limbs belonging to the seaside resort, all part of the same body. However, the route follows the roads to Seamer’s next door neighbour Crossgates. The A64 and B1261 intersect in Crossgates and in fact Seamer railway station resides in Crossgates. Having said all this, the village is relatively modern being constructed after the Second World War.

Entering Scarborough’s fringes you will see the bus routes second encounter with a Dean’s Garden Centre, the first being in Stockton on Forest. Of course, the buses to Scarborough and Whitby don’t begin in Malton, but from Leeds bus station and call at Tadcaster and York too.

On the right hand side of travel, you will see Seamer Road Retail Park which consists of high street retailers including Dunelm, Next, B&M, Pets at Home just to name a few. So after your visit to Scarborough you can also take the opportunity to alight the bus to explore some retail therapy if its your thing. As I’m not the retail therapy type, I’m going to alight at the bus stop for the town centre. The bus stops just outside the Stephen Joseph Theatre with the railway station across the road and its also where the A64 ends its journey. This is not the only stop and the bus continues towards Peasholm Park as well as the Alpamare Water Park that includes pools, slides as well as Spa and Wellness. I’ll be picking up my return journey from Peasholm Park later.

Scarborough Town Centre and South Bay

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

The station dates back to 1845 and was designed by railway architect GT Andrews, but the Stephen Joseph Theatre began in the public library in 1955, eventually moving to this former Odeon cinema in 1996. The bus turns left towards the North Bay but I’m going to make my way to South Bay through the town centre.

The town centre, or at least the main shopping area, is kind of like a high street that gradually descends down to the shoreline at South Bay. There is a principle shopping mall known as Brunswick Shopping Centre which provides stores, a cinema and food and drink opportunities, kind of like a high street within a high street. The wide pedestrianised high street is makes a pleasant retail experience and its not just equipped with your everyday high street names either. Even if you are not much of a shopper like me, there are shop windows that pull you towards their wares as you head towards the beach. I was particular interested in the architecture of the town library which the Stephen Joseph Theatre first made an appearance as the first theatre in the round. Just next door is one of the many fish and chip restaurants in Scarborough, the first I’ve seen today.

Scarborough Town Centre and Brunswick Shopping Centre

It comes as no surprise for me to say that Scarborough is a bustling resort, but the town centre is also a racing heartbeat of Scarborough too just as much as the seafront. Like bees in a pollenated garden, people are drifting from store to store and some providing sustenance too with a taste of home Yorkshire cooking. Overhanging the streets above are colourful reminders of what Scarborough has to offer other than sea and sand. I was also fascinated by the architecture of the Time Centre, a watch and jewellers established in 1999.

On the right is a street dedicated to food and drink but not exclusively so, known as Bar Street.

Scarborough South Bay Attractions

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Opposite the old town hall is the statue of Queen Victoria which is fitting because it is in viewing distance of the Grand Hotel which was constructed in a V shape in relation to the queen. It is Grade II listed and one of seven bronze statues of her by Charles Bell around the world. In this vicinity there are some superb views of South Bay including the lighthouse and harbour. On the right of me however is the Central Tramways very famous to the town. There is also an eatery here too and just towering behind is one of the towers of the Grand Hotel. This Victorian Tramway is obviously historic and built in 1881. However, I am using the MacBean steps because I’m a glutton for punishment and I can also get a great view of the trams gliding up and down St Nicholas Cliff. Another landmark on Foreshore Road is the Spa Footbridge that was built to link the Grand Hotel with the Spa waters of Scarborough that were discovered by Thomasin Farrar. Just beside it is the Rotunda Museum which contains the so called Gristhorpe Man and is one of the oldest purpose built museums in the UK.

As much as I want to explore the seafront and harbour area that are so popular in Scarborough, I’m first going to take a look at the South Cliff Gardens but unfortunately the Clock Tower is currently smothered in scaffold. However, despite all the current works to improve the area, there is still a lot to enjoy including the sea views across Scarborough as well as the Italian Gardens and other goodies concealed here. This of course is where my full English breakfast comes in handy owing to the walking along ascents and descents in the cliff side.

You’ll notice that open top buses run along the seafront and shuttle from Scarborough Spa to The Sands luxury apartments in the North Bay. However, if the heat is getting too much you can enjoy the shade in this cliff side walk. And the views over the Scarborough Spa complex are just as stunning as the views on the way here. You can also appreciate the size of the complex when you take in that birds eye view of it.

If you are uncertain of where to go and what to do first, this vantage point can give you some inspiration as you can see much of South Bay in one go. Be that as it may, holiday makers in Scarborough will probably enjoy these stunning views from the plethora of places to stay upon the Esplanade. However, these views are not just the scenery over the North Sea, but also at the floral displays alongside the cliff side walk. I’m certainly looking forward to coming back next year to see the area after the works have been completed.

No doubt the discovery of the supposedly medicinal spa waters in the cliffs here prompted the construction of these grand hotels. However, it is not just the Victorian’s enjoying them as they are still fantastic places to stay in modern times and will be in the future.

The cliff side stroll through South Cliff Gardens is multi-levelled with paths interwoven into the descent. Also interwoven are the mature trees that are doing their best to provide shade for me on this hot summer’s day. The vista from here reveals the castle sat upon the headland as well as the towering lighthouse beneath. These are just two landmarks that makes Scarborough a scenic and magical place while at the same time having a working harbour in its heart.

The Scarborough Spa Complex is a grade II listed building but after spa waters were discovered in the 1700’s, a previous so-called Spaw House occupied the cliffs. Sadly, this was destroyed owing to a major cliff fall in the 1800’s. This prompted the creation of Scarborough Spa which is famous for its holding the Scarborough Jazz Festival. It opened shortly after the Cliff Bridge or Spa Bridge.

The Cliff Bridge or Spa Bridge opened in 1837 to improve access and remains a major South Bay landmark today. This is stunning enough but its next door neighbour the Grand Hotel was built in 1867 and designed by architect Cuthbert Brodick from Hull. It is in a V shape to commemorate Queen Victoria and has 4 towers representing the seasons, 52 chimneys representing weeks of the year, once had 365 bedrooms representing days of the year and 12 floors representing months of the year.

You may not realise it when Scarborough offers so much fun, but the South Bay Area really reflects the Victorian era, and so it should because it was the Victorians that turned Scarborough into a seaside resort as well as a Spa town.


One way to see a sea view in Scarborough is via the newly established Observation Wheel, but rather you than me as I prefer my feet terra-firma. Coney Island is found in the western side of New York where an electric tower was created, and this is Scarborough’s reflection with its own electric tower.

Buildings that keep a record of Scarborough’s history as a seaside resort and harbour are now the home of various amusements and seaside retailers as well as pubs and eateries. And some of these retailers are very historic too such as John Bull who began in Bridlington in 1911. And this is just the first of two sightings at South Bay.

Foreshore Road provides so many temptations as you venture along towards the harbour in the guise of gambling, eating and drinking, or enjoying other tantalising amusements. You might conclude that Scarborough is a place for young families, but really it offers something for everyone, especially when you include North Bay into the mix too.

The current lifeboat station was opened in 2016 in a new contemporary purpose built structure. However, Scarborough is one of the oldest lifeboat stations beginning with a wooden lifeboat in 1801.

Normally if I saw a pirate I would scarper, but on this occasion, this particular pirate offers themed excursions over the North Sea in a pirate ship known as the Hispaniola.

The Grade II listed police box dates back to 1920 and has been restored by volunteers in recent times and supported by the Lottery Heritage Fund.

Scarborough isn’t just about Fish and Chips and sticks of Rock with Scarborough embedded throughout, but it also has eateries of various cuisines so it’s not just about sugar and seafood. Of course, there are Sandside public houses that provide refreshing beverages for those hot Yorkshire days by the coast. Many of these eateries have outdoor tables for alfresco dining by the harbour. However, food isn’t just served by the sea in typical bricks and mortar but also from seaside cabins too.

Appearances can be deceptive because Scarborough was once a principle ship building area and 209 ships were constructed and launched between 1785 and 1810. In fact, around 15 ships per year were being launched. Today you see the cleverly designed floating walkways known as the Albert Strange Pontoons in the marina. Obviously these walkways rise up and down with the waterlevel.

Scarborough Vincent Pier

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

The way forward curves to the left with the ever popular Lunar Park fun fair on the right hand side. But it comes strongly recommended to take a walk along Vincent Pier and walk towards the lighthouse. In recent times, this has changed considerably. What hasn’t changed are the views across the harbour and marina and the panoramic view across the entire South Bay Area. It’s always interesting to see the many varieties of sea faring vessels at either side of Vincent Pier. However, there are some boats berthed that are of more appeal than others. The Seagrown vessel Southern Star has both a cafe with award winning coffee and a visitor centre. Seagrown is the largest off shore seaweed farm and you may also see their working boat berthed here too. Another boat of interest is the Regal Lady that once operated North Sea excursions but is now the Dunkirk Experience which is a museum reflecting the vessels history in Operation Dynamo. Not only does it contain interesting exhibits but a small cinema room too. There is currently a motorbike and sidecar dating back to World War II which is fantastic selfie material.

Two of South Bay’s landmarks sat side by side are Scarborough Lighthouse and Craig Knowles sculpture of a Victorian diving belle who you could say is the sister of the bathing belle in the North Bay Area we meet later. The lighthouse was constructed in 1804 whereas the Diving Belle was installed in May 2007. Although they are two completely opposite structures they do seem to work hand in hand at the tip of the pier. Another object is pertaining not to the Second World War but the Great War. The Vickers Naval gun was rescued out of the North Sea by the Scarborough Sub Aqua Club and local fisherman. However, if you are considering defending your fish and chips from passing seagulls, sadly this gun no longer fires!

Certainly, South Bay’s harbour reflects Scarborough’s fishing history which still operates today, and you can often see the fishing boats traversing the waves of the North Sea. These hard working vessels and their crew capture cod, halibut, ling, turbot, skate, lobster, crab, shrimp, mackerel, sole, dab, plaice, herring, gurnard Whiting, coalfish and haddock. However, I will say to you to keep your eyes out at sea because dolphin sightings are becoming increasingly more common in this area.

Scarborough North Bay Attractions

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

One thing that is hard to miss are the plethora of places to say above you on the left, similar to places to stay above Cliff Gardens. You also witness what is to come including the white pyramids of the Sealife Centre, Freddie Gilroy and the bustling beach at North Bay. The sea at this point is more dramatic as it hits the stones beneath you, and in rough weather it can get even more dramatic at Hollywood standards! Behind you however are the stunning scenes of Scarborough’s Norman castle sitting on the headland which was once the site of a Roman Signal Station of which you can still see the ruins today.

One of my favourite exhibits on the coast are one of the works of Ray Lonsdale, Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers. This is a giant sculpture of Freddie in his old age but was once a soldier who was instrumental in liberating the Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp in 1945. Ray Lonsdale has other works including the High Tide in Short Wellies in Filey for example. Of course, it’s everyone’s favourite place for a selfie!

Very close to The Sands luxury apartments, is the stop for the Open Top Bus you can take back to South Bay. These make a thrilling ride especially on the top deck. At the time of filming they are around £5 for an adult and £3 for youngsters with group tickets available.

Relocated from the town centre, the Bathing Belle, the Diving Belle’s sister, reflects a female victorian in the swimming cozzy of her time. Remember, Victorians revealed very little in the way of skin in those days, so imagine swimming in all this!

One of the things I love about North Bay are the vibrant colours from the rentable chalets that liven up the coast. They seem to shine on sunny days and yet brightly contrast against the grey skies too. Additionally, your eyes are never that far away from the view of Scarborough Castle which seems to dwarf the scenery beneath it. The Sealife Centre is one of Scarborough’s popular attractions providing up close experiences with some of the seas wildlife, presenting around 2,500 creatures.

Although the North Bay is often referred to as the quieter side of Scarborough, it still has much to offer everyone of all ages. Mini-golf is in supply as much as the sand on the beach and above you is Scalby Mills station that belongs to the 1931 miniature railway. What isn’t quite so quiet is the entertainment that the equally historic Scarborough Open Air Theatre has to offer. This venue has attracted many big names over its history. The North Bay Railway runs services between Scalby Mills near the Sealife Centre to Peasholm on the opposite side of the road to the famous park. They also own the sky trail and a very historic log flume that has wet the clothes of many frightened thrill seekers.

Equally as thrilling but in a different way are the calm waters of the stunning lake and gardens in Peasholm Park. This colourful respite from the busy seafront provides a musical bandstand in the lake and the trundling waters falling from the island in the middle. There are boat hire opportunities including the dragon peddle type! There are also opportunities for refreshment with its two cafes in amazing scenery. The bus drops off its passengers beside the park and you can catch the bus back on the opposite side of the road as well as Alpamare Water Park. As much as I don’t want to leave Scarborough, I’m going to take the bus to my next port of call, Scampston Hall.

From Scarborough North Bay to Scampston Hall

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

The bus gradually ascends uphill towards the town centre where I alight earlier. The bus may briefly pause outside the railway station until its time for departure. If you have been snap happy in North Yorkshire’s largest seaside resort, this is a great opportunity to plug your USB in to charge up. If you are like me and have a phone that charges wirelessly, the table seats tend to have wireless charging available and some buses have them on the seat backs. From the station, the bus follows the same route back via Seamer Road Shopping Park, Crossgates, Seamer and so forth. Although I’m wrestling with sadness over leaving Scarborough, I’ve got much to look forward to with my itinerary today. The plan was to visit coast this morning and enjoy the scenery at Scampston in the afternoon. If you have a day tripper plus ticket as I have, you might want to follow the same itinerary, or switch it around. One thing I do recommend is that on your return journey, sit on the opposite side so you get some different views. As the buses are regular on this route, you might want to stop off in Seamer or somewhere else for a pub lunch and there is a fish and chip restaurant just after the roundabout at Staxton which I can personally testify to. I remember treating my youngest brother to a large portion of fish and chips here on our way back from Bempton Cliffs and it was the first time I’d witnessed seeing Moby Dick in a polystyrene tray. As stuffed as we were we still highly recommend it today.

Sat on the opposite side has given me some views of Seamer’s church as previously mentioned, and somewhere beyond the tower are the ruins of the Manor House. Passing the half-hourly buses that run between Leeds and Scarborough, we again follow the railway via the A64 with the line on our right. Therefore you might see glimpses of the railway in the broad flat land between the Tabular Hills and the Yorkshire Wolds. If you want to visit the Harper’s Fish and Chip Restaurant and take away I mentioned, it is just after the roundabout beside the petrol station, and there are bus stops available.

Otherwise, we get to see the incredible arable scenery between here and Scampston and the haze has now cleared from this morning. On route has its fair share of farms and farmland and in poppy season, I’ve seen colonies of red poppies on the roadside. There are also eating and drinking opportunities throughout the journey with public houses en-route such as The Ganton Greyhound and Sally Middlewood Bakery and Tearoom further along. Rillington also has two public houses close to bus stops, the Coach and Horses and The Fleece Inn which are also in walking distance of Scampston Hall. These are just suggestions but there are many opportunities to fortify yourself en-route.

As the big blue bus calls from village to village using the A64 as its path, my anticipation is building up for Scamptson Hall. This has been on my bucket list ever seeing it featured on BBC’s Countryfile as the park was designed by the world famous Capability Brown who’s real name was Lancelot Brown. He was an English landscape architect and came to be dubbed as England’s greatest gardener. He was responsible for the design of over 170 gardens in England belonging to fine stately homes. So already you realise that Scampston Hall is not going to disappoint. There are two ways of alighting the bus here because you can alight at the lane end for Scamptson Hall or at Rillington and walk along Sands Lane instead which is equidistant. Just remember to walk on the right hand side when there are not footpaths. If you are heading east you should be ready to alight after Scagglethorpe, and after West Heslerton if you are travelling the Malton direction.

Scampston Hall

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

Which every route you take from the A64, its a reasonable walk on the limbs and a very scenic one through the small village of Scampston and the surrounding parkland. The hall itself may be out of view owing to the trees but it can be found on the right hand side of walking. The entrance is on the right hand side two and the admission for an adult at the time of filming was £8.50 for the gardens or £12.50 for the house tour as well. For what you receive in return, this is just pocket change because it really is quite something.

As soon as you enter you are greeted with the cafe and plants for sale, but following the path right takes you around the walled garden which is lined with toparised trees all the way along. There are also some vibrant planting that are interwoven within he trees and high wall. Walled Gardens or Kitchen Gardens were constructed to prevent paupers from steeling food within them with a high unclimbable wall. They are certainly not rare as you can find them around the country and Helmsley Walled Garden is another example of a walled garden open to the public. If you think that the walled garden is all about plants and flowers, well let me correct you. Granted there is a variety of different species of planting which is fascinating, but also there are a variety of insect life including blue tailed damselfly, bees and more. There are also some interactive elements to this walled garden too!

If you are in the process of planning your own garden, visiting places like this can really inspire you and give you some assistance. You can pick out your favourite species that you want to employ in your own garden and where you can plant them owing to their needed conditions. They can also help you to landscape your garden as well. However, for me, its simply enjoying the experience rather than taking away ideas, and this isn’t just for oldies as I witnessed many young families enjoying the gardens and park too. In fact, Scampston Hall is open to school visits too, so it caters for all ages. The park also includes an adventure playground we meet up with later, just too bad I’m 48 and too large for the apparatus.

Stunning Beds in Scampston Hall Walled Garden
Stunning Beds in Scampston Hall Walled Garden

One thing I enjoy about visiting parks and gardens is getting up close to nature and establishing an appreciation for it. Having a well planted garden at home is great, but visiting somewhere like Scampston Hall is really something else. There has been much discussion of late about mental health during the pandemic, especially during lockdown, and visiting Scampston Hall really emphasises a basic human need for outdoor space. If we live in a town or city, we may not be privy to parks and gardens which makes open spaces like this all the more enjoyable. However, not only do they attract human attention, but that of insect, bird and animal life too. In fact, I am sure that Scampston Hall’s walled garden and parkland encourages and thrives on it.

What I didn’t expect to find, although it was literally what a walled or kitchen garden was purposed for, was a vegetable plot. The Potager garden is another term for kitchen garden and I discovered various edibles dwelling and developing here into wholesome food, fresh as it comes. The walls of the walled garden date back to the 18th century, and the accompanying parkland I discover shortly is from the same the period designed by Capability Brown. However, the design of today’s walled garden is more modern as it was derelict for around 50 years before Sir Charles and Lady Legard employed dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf in 1999. Be that as it may, it has a very English country garden feel about it and you will find your regular favourites that you will find in your own garden. It’s interesting how different species attract different species of insects too, and I witnessed many large white butterflies, hover flies, damselfly and bees.

A Stunning Fountain

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

One of my favourite aspects to this walled garden is the large fountain centred within it. Not only does it provide a focal point in the garden but also generates a pleasant and soothing sound. This high jet of water seems to revolve around the ciruclar pond beneath and if you catch the light just right you may see a vibrant spectrum at the foot of it, kind of a mini-rainbow but the pot of gold is the walled garden you find yourself in. It’s my personal belief that you cannot have a great garden without some form or water feature, even if its just a simple bird bath, but that tranquil sound of trickling water just completes a perfect garden A garden of this scale and calibre has to have this water feature and it just wouldn’t be the same without it. However, little did I know that there are some more impressive water features to follow.

It’s also interesting how in our rooms at home we tend to choose a colour scheme so that everything blends in. In a garden such as this, there are a full spectrum of differing colours and yet the grand scheme still works. And because everything is so vibrant, you could if not careful, miss something of interest. However, it is not just about breathtaking planting, the walled garden also contains a huge variety shaped trees and bushes that form a thrilling maze as you walk through. You wouldn’t get lost here, but you would find yourself walking around them and its almost like a rabbit warren with green walls heading every direction. There is also a stepped mound you can walk up to receive an almost birds eye view of the gardens beneath.

You may imagine a walled garden to be quite small but this particular walled garden is quite large and it can take some time to explore, and its very enjoyable doing so. One thing I would recommend, although there are guides available, is install a plant identifier on your smartphone. This will tell you what you are looking at and if you want to acquire one for your own garden, you will know what to look for. I also recommend bringing your camera, smartphone or otherwise, to take a few snaps along the way.

Dynamic Fountain at Scampston Hall Walled Garden
Dynamic Fountain at Scampston Hall Walled Garden

A water feature of a totally different kind is this super reflective pond that sits quietly in a vast green lawned area, with carefully planted structured bushes throughout. They kind of stand to attention like pawns on a giant chess board and you’re walking around them.

I’m not unfamiliar with ornamental thistle in gardens as I’ve witnessed these many time, but it wasn’t something I would have expected in this particular walled garden. It is certainly a hit with certain insects even if they are not everyone’s cup of tea!

I’m going to make my way to the exit and take a look at the amazing parkland designed by Capability Brown, or Lancelot Brown. I am also excited to see discover the architecture of the hall itself as well as the enormous lake beside it. You can briefly see the parkland from the A64 as you pass, but this brief glimpse doesn’t do it justice. This is an area you have to stand within and witness with eyes wide opened.

Scampston Hall Parkland

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

As I make my way towards the entrance, there is a an exit out of the walled garden on the left and its another left to enter the parkland. You will also notice a seating area where you can enjoy a picnic but there is also a cafe here too known as the Garden Cafe that serves light lunches and cream teas.

It’s interesting how Capability Brown had a mind that could visualise how the park would look after the trees planted become mature. After designing 170 stately gardens, he would no doubt have had a great deal of experience. And having watched so many garden rescue TV programs and visiting many gardens too, nothing really prepared me for what I was about to see. The mature trees that shroud the view of the hall are kind of a precursor of what is to follow and there are dedicated walking trails around the parkland.

The first house to be built was in 1700, but it was later remodelled between 1795 and 1800 by Thomas Leverton, the house we see today. Herbert St Quintin who was one of William the Conqueror’s knights, was granted land in East Yorkshire. As time progressed they relocated to Scampston by the late 17th century. The majority of the picture collection was purchased by William St Quintin. Scampston Hall and estate was acquired by the Legard’s through marriage. The Legard’s were from Ganton but were originally from Anlaby near Hull. Tours inside the house are available if there are enough people to form a tour group, and its just £4 on top of your admission to the gardens and park at the time of filming.

Scampston Hall North Yorkshire
Scampston Hall North Yorkshire

The sculpted gardens continue in the grounds of the stately home and I also discovered something else I hadn’t expected, a rock garden which I first assumed was some kind of folly ruin. In any case, it caught my attention but not as much as one of the main features of the park not too far away!

I’ve seen this structure from the A64 and I initially thought it was a boathouse as it was at the top of the lake. I was surprised to learn today that it is kind of an arbour that peers over the lake known as the bridge building. So it is kind of an arbour and bridge combined but in any case its outstanding. The grass where the still lake resides is green and lush and the surrounding trees decorate the edge and reflect upon the waters. The Bridge Building also peers at its own reflection in the calm waters too like some kind of enormous mirror. This also attracts the pale blue coloured damselfly too and much of the water is clear you can see the bottom of the lake. In fact, the lake is a reflection of a folly river as it curves to the right looking down the park.

There are three trails, the Cascade Circuit, Old Aviaries Trail and Parkland Trail. The Cascade Circuit gives you a clue to something else that resides on this body of water, but also there is another unexpected feature I hadn’t anticipated. Far in the distance you can see the A64 but the parkland seems to drown out its presence owing to its vast dimensions.

A footbridge takes you over this vigorous cascade or waterfall if you prefer. It is the only feature that gives this parkland any substantial noise except for the tweeting birds and occasional chatter from visitors. Yet the force of the water is soon quietened by the still reedy lake beneath. It is scenes like this that help you to understand the architectural qualities of Capability Brown and his eye for creating breath drawing scenes. There is actually more length to this body of water when you look behind the cascade. Beyond the footbridge however is another huge expanse but this time made of a grassy yet well maintained parkland.

Bridge Building Scampston Hall North Yorkshire
Bridge Building Scampston Hall North Yorkshire

The Icehouse

Coastliner Country 843 Malton to Scarborough

The feature that I hadn’t expected to see what this amazing ice house. Icehouses where used to store ice throughout the year, in this case from the lake. The ice would be cut from the lake at wintertime and then stored deep inside the icehouse insulated with typically sawdust or straw which kept it in ice form in summer months. The ice would be used to store food or even added to cool drinks and even used for ice-cream and sorbets. A typical icehouse could hold around 2700 tonnes of ice.

The Parkland Trail is one of the longest walks around the parkland thought out by Capability Brown which draws a plethora of wildlife and even grazing livestock. However, I’m not going to reluctantly head into Rillington by walking down Sands Lane to catch my bus back to Malton.

Beyond Rillington and Rillington Fields, the bus turns left into Scagglethorpe just briefly and you will receive a quick glimpse of the black and white public house, the Ham and Cheese. The bus then departs the A64 and follows the B1248 into the town of Norton On Derwent which is more commonly named as simply Norton.

My tips for taking this bus route is to firstly, bring a face covering and a small portable bottle of hand sanitiser, even if you are fully jabbed. The buses are cleaned but it pays to be extra cautious. Also, sit at one side at on the way there, the opposite side on the way back so you get all the scenery during your journey and you won’t miss anything. The front upper deck is a great vista but there is more leg room to recover aching feet in the other seats. Don’t forget to bring your USB cable in case you need to charge your phone during your journey. On the 843 service, don’t be afraid to alight the bus for refreshments as at the time of filming, buses are every 30 minutes. However, be extra careful if you have to cross the A64.

Well, I have some happy memories to take away from my visit to Scarborough and Scampston Hall today, and I hope that you will too! Until next time!

Discover North Yorkshire with Phill James

Discover Places to Visit in North Yorkshire

Discover North Yorkshire Walking Trails