Created By: Scarborough Civic Society
After the building of Foreshore Road in the 1870s it was suggested that a road around the castle headland might be built to connect Scarborough's two bays by a route that would enable visitors and residents to walk or drive easily from one to the other. Up to this time the usual way was the steep route over the castle headland. That the two bays should be connected by a new route was not a new idea. Josiah Forster Fairbank, the engineer who had promoted
the Rock Gardens in North Bay, opened in 1860, advocated a bay to bay tunnel through Castle Hill to make access to North Bay easier from the hotels and lodging houses in the centre of the town and on South Cliff. First put forward in the 1860s, such a tunnel was still being proposed as late as 1894. Nothing came of such ideas however.
The need to stabilise the cliffs in the North Bay led to the construction of a sea wall and Royal Albert Drive, opened in 1890. Now all that was needed was a promenade and road around the castle headland in order to link the two foreshore roads. After a vote of the ratepayers in favour of the scheme, work on Marine Drive started in 1897. Intended to take less than three years, the project took more than a decade to complete, hindered by storms and problems with some of the construction methods employed. On 5 August 1908 the Duke and Duchess of Connaught officially opened Marine Drive, though it had been in use for some weeks previous to this date.
With the completion of Marine Drive and its approach road through Sandside, Scarborough had a lengthy promenade that was the envy of many other seaside resorts. Nowadays it would be difficult to imagine the town without Marine Drive.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Scarborough Marine Drive the history