Known as the Queen of the Yorkshire Coast, on the East of England, south of Whitby and north of Filey, Scarborough has been a seaside resort for over three hundred years.
Two Beaches, One Resort
Scarborough has a headland, on which the Castle is situated. There are bays on either side of the headland which are connected by the seafront. You can walk or drive along the length of the seafront and the harbour sits between the two bays. Boat trips run out of the harbour, so you can visit the colonies of seals that inhabit part of the coastline between Scarborough and Filey. (There are two species of seal that live here, the Gray Seal and the Common Seal, but take the trip to find out more about them.) There are a number of places to eat near to the harbour area, including a very popular ice cream parlour.
South Bay is the most popular beach in Scarborough with beautiful golden sands that seem to go on for miles. As it’s the most popular, it’s generally the most crowded, but nevertheless it’s a fantastic place for children. There are regular sandcastle competitions – and I don’t just mean the sandcastles of my youth, made with a bucket and space. Some of the entries are built by adults in the most wonderful shapes and sizes. Not just castles.
There are also donkey rides along the beach – for those of you concerned for animal welfare, the donkeys here are well-cared for and some of the owners have won awards for the care bestowed upon their charges.
This is the place to go if you want to have a more peaceful holiday, away from crowds. Again, the beaches are beautiful and stretch up as far as the Sealife Centre. There are fewer shops and places to eat here than in the South Bay, largely because the beach backs onto cliff-side gardens, so there is less available space. Dogs are allowed on this beach, too, which is probably why it is not so popular with families.
Built back in twelfth century when King Stephen reigned, the castle has been involved in a number of battles and skirmishes. In ruins now, the castle did (and the remains still do) stand out above the cliffs and town, giving an excellent view (and vantage point for those inhabiting the working castle). It would not have been a good place to try to lay under siege. Nowadays, it’s managed by English Heritage and is open to the public (but check first if the weather is very bad).
There are the usual range of shops and restaurants in the town – The Brunswick Shopping Centre is effectively a shopping mall, which houses a department store and a number of other shops and boutiques. There is also the Scarborough Spa Complex. This is not what I usually think of as a Spa, it houses a theatre, the Grand Hall (home to the Scarborough Spa Orchestra), and is also used as a conference centre and available for hire as a wedding venue.
With so many things to do in the area, you definitely won’t get bored on a holiday to Scarborough!
Scarborough Castle photo by Stephen Montgomery