Britain's first seaside resort
carborough has been welcoming holiday-goers to its ‘medicinal’ waters since the 1620s so it’s safe to say that this historic Yorkshire seaside town ticks all the boxes for the perfect seaside getaway. It mixes handsome Victorian and Georgian architecture with donkey rides and kitsch promenade shops selling as much beach paraphernalia, ice cream and batter-smothered cod anyone could wish for.
Must see attractions
As the locals will tell you, North Bay is Scarborough’s life blood, bustling with sun bathers, paddling toddlers and generously sprinkled with candy-striped deck chairs and sandcastle empires. It’s a pristine sandy spot where we just love to while away a few hours. Perched above South Bay – another must see – is Scarborough Spa , home to the UK’s only seaside orchestra.
During the summer months you can soak up beach views and the majestic music at the Sun Court Enclosure. The adorable seals and playful penguins and otters of Scarborough Sealife and Marine Sanctuary are also a must see. The best way to reach them is by hopping on the North Bay miniature steam train.
History and heritage
Head to Scarborough Castle and capture views once seen by Romans and Vikings. Sat high on a cliff, the castle keeps watch over the town and gives you panoramic views of the town’s curved sandy bays, terracotta-coloured rooftops and patchwork countryside in the distance. Less than five minutes from North Bay rests the Japanese-themed Peasholm Park where you can witness the world’s smallest manned Navy.
Take your place by the usually tranquil lake to see 20ft-long replica boats battle for victory in the summer months. When the naval conflicts subside, the 100-year-old park is an exotic haven with its decorative bridges, a pagoda sat atop a mini waterfall and primary-coloured rowing boats. Picnic anyone? If you’re one for heights take a ride on the Victorian funicular lift, the first ever cliff tram to appear in England.
Arts and culture
Along with its Spa Orchestra, Scarborough is also home to the world-class Stephen Joseph Theatre where the majority of Alan Ayckbourn’s hit plays have premiered. For fine art in stylish surroundings, check out the Scarborough Art Gallery . Set among a leafy Georgian crescent, the gallery is housed in an Italianate villa and features landscapes of Scarborough from the likes of Frank Mason, HB Carter, Atkinson Grimshaw and Ernest Dade.
Elsewhere take your seat with 6,499 others to experience drama under the stars at the Scarborough Open Air Theatre – the largest of its kind in Europe.
Food and drink
The Golden Grid and Alonzi’s Harbour Bar are Scarborough institutions. The Golden Grid has been satisfying holidaying stomachs with freshly-caught crab, chip buttys and golden-battered fish – come rain or shine – for more than half a century.
And Alonzi’s is a great big dollop of retro goodness with great big ice creams to match. Their creamy coke float is one of the best we’ve had this century! For exquisite locally sourced cuisine in an art deco setting book a table at the award-winning Jeremy’s and dig into the likes of Haunch of Holme Farm Venison Steak or Sticky Toffee Pudding with Orange Marmalade Ice-cream. Drool!
Nothing beats some good ol’ rock pooling at South Bay . Kids will love hunting for crabs and other creepy crustaceans and then screaming and squirming when landing a Mr Claws in their bucket. Adventurous teens can get a hit of adrenalin speeding along on a mountain bike at Mount Misery at Wykeham or the red route at Dalby Forest . And adults and kids alike will be in awe as they join a pack of huskies on an unforgettable trek at the Pesky Husky Centre in Staintondale.
Jazz hands at the ready for the two-day Scarborough Jazz Festival . Held every September, it’s one of the best festivals for catching Britain’s top jazz artists. Coastival is another music-based shindig providing an eclectic soundtrack to blow away the winter blues.
One of the biggest annual seaside festivals in the UK, it features a whole host of up-and-coming acts with plenty of comedy, theatre, film and kids activities thrown in too. For a bit of cricket action check out the Cricket Festival held at the Scarborough Cricket Club in early September.
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More about... Scarborough
Discover Yorkshire Coast - the official visitor site for Scarborough.
Things to do
From events and attractions to fine dining and nights out; discover things to do in Scarborough.
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