Chez WW in England

Chez WW in England

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Scarborough, England

30 April 2011

Our last stop on the last day of our crazy whirlwind Easter vacation was Scarborough. I had planned for us to drive along the coast. Time was not our friend and we have to stick to the dual carriageways. The drive went a lot faster but was not as pretty. Scarborough Castle is an English Heritage property. Despite all of our efforts, we arrived at the castle in time to see the gates close for the day. Many of these historic properties close at 6pm even in the summer and are often closed a few days out of the week. We have learned the hard way to check the opening times before we drive to a place.

Although we could not enter the castle grounds,  we were able to walk around the perimeter of the castle walls. Perched on top of a hill overlooking the ocean, parts of the castle date back to the 12th-century.

Despite being located on a head land between two bays and just a small land approach on one side, the castle has was not able to defend the harbour against a sea-raider in 1779. The castle German naval ships damaged the castle in 1914. The castle became a listening post in the Second World War. I love that a place that had once defended the area from physical attack in the 12th-century still played a role in the protection of England in modern times.

Scarborough began as a spa town in the early 1600′s. The 18th-century saw Scarborough emerge as a major seaside resort town. That tradition continues to this day with hotels lining the streets, especially those with an ocean view. A haze hung in the air as the ocean breezes swept onshore. I can understand why the place has been so popular. The town is built on the side of a hill and offers incredible views of the ocean.

As we walked back to the car, I noticed a sign which discussed all of the famous people associated with Scarborough. I could not believe my eyes. Anne Bronte was laid to rest in Scarborough at the graveyard we had parked in front of. To be so close to the resting site of one of the Bronte sisters made my heart skip a beat. Yes, I admit to being a book nerd. I went one way and Andrew and the poodle went the other. I was able to find the grave quite quickly (by following the signs). I was moved to see fresh flowers on her grave. I think we all want to be remembered and loved after we have left this life. To have left a legacy that will live on. After all of this time, the author of The Tenant of Wildfell Hall and Agnes Grey is still remembered and loved. Miss Anne Bronte should be proud of her legacy. Andrew explored the graveyard closest to Chapel of St Mary’s and was able to explore the church. Scarborough held many fond memories for Anne of family holidays spent in the resort town and it was her desire to have Scarborough as her final resting place.

Again, I am discovering that unexpected delights are waiting to be discovered along the journey. Who can ask for anything more out of a journey or life?

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