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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 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.
Experienced bike riders will love the challenge of Mount Misery at Wykeham Forest.
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 place of two halves and two bays - rocky South Bay and award-winning, sandy North Bay - Britain’s ‘original’ seaside resort is where traditional meets contemporary and where seaside kitsch meets Victorian genteel spa.
There’s so much to do in Scarborough. Take a speed boat trip along the harbour, treat the family to a lakeside picnic and feed ducks in the tranquillity of Peasholm Park before watching a re-enacted sea battle in miniature – a charming way to spend an afternoon. Finally, don’t miss the underwater aquatic delights of the Sea Life and Marine Centre – perfect if the weather’s not on your side!
Delve below the blissful sandy surface and you’ll find a courageous historical grit that provides Scarborough with a charming character. Scarborough Castle, which towers over the two sweeping bays, offers visitors the chance to explore 3,000 years of turbulent history.
On a sunny day, hike up to picturesque Scarborough Castle, overlooking the two sweeping bays, then reward yourself with fresh crab sandwiches. The spectacular ruins of the great rectangular stone tower stand over three storeys high and provide a stunning backdrop for staged battles to commemorate the invasions of the Danes, Saxons and later incursions of Napoleon’s troops. Families will also enjoy a visit to Peasholm Park to watch re-enactments of maritime battles in miniature and feeding the ducklings!
We recommend a visit to North Bay Beach – a quieter, award-winning beach with traditional beach huts, donkey rides and ice-cream. Younger children will enjoy paddling in the sea and licking ice creams, whilst more active people will love surfing, windsurfing and kite surfing on the beach. You could even take a speedboat trip along the coast. Alternatively, if the weather’s not on your side, spend an old-fashioned afternoon in traditional seaside heaven, playing in the amusement arcades and then scoffing a Knickerbocker Glory at Harbour Bar. A great British day out.
Anyone with a head for heights will enjoy taking a trip on the Victorian funicular lift, the first cliff tram in England, which slopes up and down Scarborough’s steep cliffs to the beach daily, from February till the end of October, offering a magnificent view of the South Bay. Alternatively, take a trip on the North Bay Minature Railway from the open air theatre in North Bay up to the rocky cliffs and Scarborough Sealife and Marine Sanctuary before either taking a stroll back or a return journey, enjoying all the features of a full-sized railway including a tunnel, bridges, signals and stations.
Scarborough restaurants cater for many different tastes, with everything from seafood to Thai cuisine on offer. If you’re looking to splash out, the Michelin-recommended ‘Peppers’ is superb, as are Italian restaurants Tricolos and Lanterna. For fine seafood dining with stunning harbour views, try the Golden Grid Fish Restaurant.
The Scarborough pub run starts at the budget Lord Roseberry and winds gradually down to St Thomas Street. If you prefer more classical music, then check out the Scarborough jazz festival held in September or take a stroll down to the Scarborough Spa, where orchestras play at this fantastic Victorian complex on the seafront in South Bay (an ideal venue to enjoy a dinner and dance).
Anyone with a sweet tooth will love The Harbour Bar – a diner and milk bar that is almost unaltered since its opening in 1945. Based on the seafront where you can sample such delights as a Knickerbocker Glory and a cola ice cream float. Jaconellis ice cream is also well-known in the area – Peter Jaconelli is sadly no longer around but he was a legendary figure who once trained as an opera singer.
Scarborough Sealife Centre, housed in the iconic three pyramids on the North Bay, features an underwater world of 1,000s of sea creatures including otters, seals and penguins and is a wonderful afternoon out. Alternatively, if birds and theme parks are more your thing, then discover Flamingo Land – the UK's only Theme Park, Zoo and Holiday Park all on one site, and plenty of pink flamingos flapping around the ponds! Finally, Staintondale Shire Horse Farm features pretty farm walks and live shows where you can get to know the friendly horses and ponies as well as the Shires.
The Hispaniola is a miniature pirate ship which is now taken out into the North Sea for pleasure trips. This is a memorable day out for all the family. Alternatively, if it’s a bit cold or rainy, visit Fantasy Forest: three floors of fun - bowling, the latest amusements, a sports bar, diner, dodgems, snooker, crazy golf and lots more.
Rotunda Museum is the country’s finest Georgian museum. Exhibits include a genuine ducking stool for witches, as well as numerous displays on the history of the area. Wood End Museum was once the home of the eccentric Sitwell family. The museum features permanent displays of the family books and photographs, alongside mutable exhibitions of local wildlife. Finally, Eden Camp – a modern history theme museum and one of the largest and most comprehensive museums covering British military and social history from 1914 onwards.
On Shrove Tuesday every year, look out for locals (and visitors!) exercising their right to skip along the highways, although today this is mostly confined to the area around Foreshore Road. An entertaining and memorable day out!
Another Easter custom! This time, the ringing of the pancake bell – a custom started by wives of the town to alert men in the fields that they were about to start cooking pancakes at the beginning of Lent – and still continued today!
This entertaining spectacle happens every Boxing Day. Also, a raft race in which companies and other groups build their own rafts and brave the North Sea on a freezing cold Boxing Day, whilst being pelted with flour and eggs – all in the name of charity!
The Market Vaults arcade was awarded funding from the Prince’s Trust and local people can set up small businesses there – making for some interesting and quirky shops.
Brunswick Shopping Centre hosts thirty one retail outlets in a prestigious all-weather shopping haven.
The centre is surrounded by individual shops, tempting cafés, delightful restaurants, and bars – great for a rainy day.
Take a ride
Donkey rides are still as popular as ever, thrill seekers could get their fix the old fasioned way.
Feed the ducks, hire a row boat, or watch a re-enactment of a sea battle in miniature on the pond.
There is always something showing at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
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