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From the rugged rocky headland and colourful seaside traditions of the South Bay, to the bright beach huts of the award-winning sandy North Bay, Scarborough has all the ingredients you need for a classic beachside break.
Scarborough Bay Nothing beats a walk on the beach
Scarborough Spa Located on the South Bay.
Sea Life and Marine Centre Housed in the iconic three pyramids on the North Bay and features an underwater world of 1,000s of sea creatures.
Don’t leave Scarborough without trying a lemon top ice from Pacittos. The original and the best!
Look out for Freddie the donkey on Scarborough beach. He’s a local celebrity, having won the coveted Best Individual Beach Donkey prize!
A perfect seafront ice cream parlour, serving award-winning ices in deliciously colourful surroundings.
Stunning scenery, two glorious beaches, loads to do and see - is it any wonder that people have been flocking to Scarborough, believed to be the world's first seaside resort, for nearly 400 years now?
Scarborough is the perfect place for a family holiday, whatever your budget. A day on the beach - building sandcastles, paddling, feeling the sand between your toes, ice cream and candy floss, donkey rides - it's good old-fashioned fun for all the family.
And Scarborough offers twice as much beach as most holiday resorts, with its two bays, each with its own very different character - the South Bay glitters with amusement arcades, ice cream parlours and shellfish stalls, while the quieter North Bay, just a 20-minute walk around the glorious Marine and Albert Drives, or ten-minute ride on one of the regular open-topped buses away, offers a more relaxing and nostalgic day out.
Scarborough has so much to offer the heritage buff or culture vulture. There's been a settlement of some sort on the natural vantage point of the Castle Headland since Roman times - and you can still explore the magnificent 12th century Scarborough Castle. The town played a key part in the development of modern geology - visit the circular Rotunda Museum to find out why. And don't miss a visit to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, described by no less than the New York Times as ‘a mecca for admirers of first-rate, frill-free acting'.
The magnificent Scarborough Castle towers over the town, overlooking the two sweeping bays. The spectacular ruins are in the care of English Heritage, and provide a stunning backdrop for re-enactments.
Scarborough has the beach for you, whether you prefer the glitz and glitter of amusement arcades in the South Bay, or the quieter, more nostalgic, North Bay with its glorious rainbow of beach huts and fascinating Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary.
Scarborough boasts Europe's largest open air theatre. Set in glorious gardens in the North Bay, the theatre has hosted acts including Elton John, Kiri te Kanawa, Boyzone, Status Quo, McBusted and Jessie J. Keep an eye on their website for regular additions to the programme.
Scarborough has two much-loved Victorian funicular lifts, one of which was the first cliff tram in England. A ride in one is a must for visitors to the town - and a boon for getting up and down those steep cliffs. Lovers of vintage transport will also want to ride on the North Bay Minature Railway, one of the oldest in the country, which transports visitors in style from Peasholm Park to Scalby Mills.
From the Good Food Guide's best UK café for 2014 to a high-end restaurant awarded a coveted nine out of ten stars by the Daily Telegraph, Scarborough has it all. Whether you're looking for a gourmet dinner, or just good old fish and chips, you'll find the best here.
As you might expect, Scarborough has some of the best ice cream around, including the award-winning Harbour Bar, with its authentic vintage décor and mouth-watering ice cream sundaes, including the famous knickerbocker glory.
Scarborough has many pubs and wine bars galore, from cosy country inns on the outskirts to busy town centre venues hosting a lively and vibrant music scene.
There's a good reason why Scarborough was probably the world's first seaside resort, and has attracted thousands of families over the past 400 years - it's just perfect for them. Two gorgeous golden beaches - one sparkling with attractions, the other quieter and more nostalgic, with vividly-coloured beach huts - and so much to do and see.
Small seafarers will enjoy a trip round the bay on the Hispaniola, Scarborough's very own pirate ship. Alternatively, you can climb aboard one of our two pleasure cruisers, the Coronia or the Regal Lady, both ‘little boats of Dunkirk', take a fascinating boat ride from the harbour to see seals at play, or a high-octane speedboat trip along the coast.
Scarborough has many attractions on a rainy day. There's all those tempting amusement arcades along the seafront - who doesn't love the tuppeny waterfalls? - or, if you prefer your entertainment a little more educational, pay a visit to the Rotunda Museum with its stunning interior and fascinating displays on local geology (including resident dinosaur). One of the world's oldest purpose-built museums, the Rotunda is dedicated to the man who helped design it - William Smith, known as the ‘father of English geology'.
Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, housed in the iconic three pyramids on the North Bay, features an underwater world of thousands of sea creatures including turtles, sharks, otters, seals and penguins: a wonderful and educational afternoon out.
Scarborough bristles with history, from the Castle, built in the 1100s on the site of a Roman signal station, to the unique circular Rotunda Museum, one on the world's oldest purpose-built museums. The town also plays host to a series of unique events throughout the year...
On Shrove Tuesday each year, look out for locals young and old skipping on the foreshore, which is closed to traffic for the afternoon. No one's entirely clear why it happens, but one thing's for certain - you won't see anything like it anywhere else.
Another Shrove Tuesday custom - the ringing of the pancake bell, once practised by the wives of the town to alert men in the fields that they were about to start cooking pancakes at the beginning of Lent signals the start of skipping and pancake races in the town.
Boxing Day is the best day of the Christmas holidays for many Scarborians - another event unique to the town. The seafront is packed as the annual raft race across the harbor gets under way, a charity mile of pennies is laid, bands play, and everyone gets ready for the big match. Firemen (as in those who stoked the fires aboard the boats, not firefighters) and fishermen don fancy dress and battle on the beach for local charities. The charity was originally started to help the widows and orphans of five Scarborough fishermen drowned at sea aboard the Evelyn and Maud in 1893.
Scarborough's town centre has all the usual high street favourites plus, down its picturesque side streets, such as Huntriss Row and Bar Street, a cornucopia of small independents selling everything from vintage clothing to food.
The Market Vaults arcade, under the town's historic Market Hall, is home of all sorts of fascinating shops and cafes.
Joke shops, candy floss stalls, crab kiosks, ice cream parlours, and shops bristling with traditional seaside souvenirs - find them all on Scarborough's busy seafront.
Take a ride
No trip to the seaside is complete without a donkey ride! Follow it up with fish and chips, ice cream or candy floss for a complete treat.
A Japanese-style gem just out of the town centre, where you can still watch the unique miniature re-enactment of a World War I naval battle each summer
Scarborough has a particularly vibrant arts community: galleries, music and world-class shows at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
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