Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England, was Britain's first Seaside Resort
Scarborough is in the county of North Yorkshire, in the North of England. If I visit from where I live it is a 3 hour journey by the bus and around 11/2 hours by train.
Of course many tourists choose to visit by car but parking can be difficult in Scarborough.
There are many Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels and camp sites nearby so it is a great place to visit for a weekend, a week, or longer even as a base for touring the county.
Scarborough holds lots of fond memories for me of my childhood. As one of the furthest destinations that we visited as kids for just a day out it was always a little special. It was less commercial when I was a child but still had plenty of attractions.
Like so many resorts these days it has become more commercialised however it is still easy to explore Scarborough and avoid the one armed-bandit machines and bingo halls. Visit slightly out of season, and the school holidays, in order to see Scarborough at its best.
Scarborough was the first official seaside resort in the UK and has retained many traditional features
With two splendid bays, that are situated either side of a headland, it is a resort of many faces.
The headland holds the remains of an old Castle which can be reached by foot, either a long, tiring, uphill but pretty walk or a shorter cut via the road. However half the fun of a visit to the Castle is the walk to the top.
On a sunny day it is a perfect place for a picnic but it can be cold and windy at the top even when the sun is out. The Castle allows access to either the North or South Bays of Scarborough, it just depends which way you choose to make your descent.
If you walk down into the North Bay you will find a more old world Scarborough. You can however take a bus back along the seafront. These are double decker buses and the top deck is open to the elements, for those daring to brave the often cold sea breezes.
South Bay Scarborough
The train and bus station are situated in the South bay. There is an old funicular railway which takes you down to the sea front, at a cost of next to nothing. Valley Bridge is close by and will lead you toward the old Spa building. Unfortunately this bridge has seen too many suicide jumpers over the years and now has some protection.
If you choose to walk down to the sea front you will pass a myriad of shops, cafes and bars. Scarborough is hilly and the walk to the sea front is downhill. Remember that the walk back will be more tiring. It is a better option to take the funicular on the return journey.
Not far from the train station there is a fairly new theatre, which is much acclaimed and has a good programme throughout the year.
The Seafront of the South Bay has a long sandy beach. It is fairly commercial though. There are plenty of tacky tourist shops and amusement arcades. Venture a little away from the centre to enjoy a better selection. Further to the South is the traditional Spa building where you may find a craft show or an afternoon tea dance.
Toward the Castle there is a working harbour with freshly caught crabs and fish on sale. Treat yourself to a Fish and Chips lunch near here. Scarborough has more of a traditional feel around this harbour.
Across from Scarborough Castle is Oliver's Mount. I have never actually visited Oliver's Mount. It is often the venue for motorcycle races and as children we were told that it was named after Oliver Cromwell, and a battle that took place in Scarborough.
The seafront of the South Bay is also the home of the Grand Hotel a fine old building that is used now by Butlins Holidays.
Heading to the North there is Scarborough Castle, with funfair rides on the headland near to the lighthouse.
North Bay Scarborough
As you leave the South Bay behind you will see a totally different coastline. The bay here is initially rugged and there are rugged cliffs above which can be dangerous. This is where Scarborough Castle sits above the mayhem of 21st Century seaside life.
There is a small cafe on the seafront for those walking to the North Bay and then, as the paths down from the Castle peter out, there is a small sandy beach. Near here there used to be a large open air swimming pool. It may still be open.
There is a quaint park called Peasholm Park that was always fun when we were kids. Recreations of naval battles were held every afternoon. The ships were small craft which were just big enough to hold a man who, hidden away, operated the controls.
The park has a central section, like an Island, which these days is set out as a Japanese Garden. A small, miniature train runs from here and will take you to the nearby Sea Life Centre. This centre is interesting and has plenty of sea creatures to amaze you. The train, although a children's ride, is suitable for adults and will. save your poor old tired feet.
North Bay has only a few shops and has retained a more refined stance. In the past the wealthier holidaymakers tended to stay in North Bay. There are still some lovely old guest house buildings dotted around Scarborough Castle's slopes.
When I was a child, in the late 1950's and early 1960's my Mum always visited Scarborough's open air theatre in the South Bay, for a Summer performance of a production of Carousel or the like. Now it hosts very different productions.
Scarborough is a great place to use as a base for your holiday.
Once you have explored Scarborough, head out to the North Yorkshire Moors or explore other coastal resorts such as Whitby, Robin Hood's Bay, Flamborough, Filey and Bridlington.
Scarborough Tourist Information
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