Yorkshire’s dramatic coastline, widely known as the Dinosaur Coast, is world famous for its geology and fossil resources. The shoreline is continually changing due to the instability of the sea cliffs and fossils are prolific in the exposed rocks. Discoveries of ammonites are commonplace, although the remains of more substantial land and marine reptiles do turn up occasionally. However, if you want to confront the dinosaurs more personally, visit the Rotunda Museum, the home of ‘Scarborough’s Lost Dinosaurs’. The exhibition comprises fossilised evidence of dinosaurs, which roamed around the neighbourhood during the Jurassic period.
The Yorkshire coast has an intriguing history, between 1700 and 1850 many of the picturesque fishing villages like Staithes and Robin Hood’s Bay were notorious as smuggling ports. Captain Cook, the British navigator and explorer, began his seafaring career at Whitby, and Whitby Abbey provided the setting for Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. During the Civil War, Scarborough Castle endured two sieges, and in the opening months of World War I, German battleships shelled the town and castle from the bay. And the Romans were the first to recognise the importance of Filey – long before Billy Butlin!