Scarborough is a seaside resort in England that has so much to offer, it has the sea, the beach, a fairground on the pier, numerous boats, cafes, pubs, a lighthouse, gardens and a castle.
Many people wouldn't think of going to a seaside resort in Britain - mainly due to the weather! But rain or shower Scarborough is an amazing place to visit and explore. We spent two days in Scarborough and what a wonderful time we had, much better than we thought we would actually.
We firstly wanted to explore the castle so off along the seafront we wandered, the walk from each end takes about 30-45 minutes (Yes, longer than it looks) but the walk is really nice. The sound of the waves crashing against the beach and little cafes and pubs along the way make it really enjoyable.
Scarborough is like a traditional English holiday from the 60s, you really feel like you have stepped back in time. It is so traditional and I think that makes this place stand out from most other British seaside resorts. After climbing up a mountain of stairs we reached the castle and the views from the top were amazing.
After exploring the castle and the lovely church situated behind we then found a little café on one of the cobbled side streets - a little bit of heaven if you ask me! We had Coffee and cakes and began heading back to the sea front and towards the Gardens. I had heard about these gardens before and was told they were lovely so off we headed to explore.
The gardens are a lovely walk and I can imagine look stunning in any weather, there are a large variety of flowers, a fountain, a stand and a walk down a pathway towards the sea which crashes against the cliffs. We walked through the gardens and towards the cliff where we sat on the rocks and just listened to the waves crashing.
We headed back to the hotel and after an amazing meal we then went for a midnight wander through Scarborough and it was just as beautiful at night. The lights look amazing against the sea and the town is so peaceful you can hear a pin drop.
On the second day we headed out towards Peasholme Park which I had been looking forward to for weeks, it is a Park that has a Chinese theme. It has lanterns hanging all around the park which are lit up at night and if you climb up the steps to the top of the park (Like a hill in the centre of the park) you will see a themed garden which is something really unique.
They have dragon peddle boats you can hire and ride around the pond avoiding the ducks may I add! Overall a wonderful park that is different that you usual everyday park The peddle boats can fit four people in or two adults and three children and cost £5 to hire - worth every penny, I mean how many times do you get to ride a Dragon around a pond?
To sum up Scarborough...A traditional English Holiday with a Twist!
As someone who has to shop in Scarborough 50 weeks of the year (the only time I don't is when I am thankfully away from this place!) I can honestly say that the shopping experience is appalling for a town of this size. Yes, we have the big high street names, but what we don't have is the range of goods that these big high street names have available in their stores elsewhere! We have high street names whose shops are a mere shadow of what is available in the same company's stores in York, for example. Scarborough is good at attracting, and keeping discount stores, everything £1 stores, pawn brokers, cash checking shops whilst nothing of any quality ever opens in this town.
Also, the bus services are a sick joke for a holiday town. There are very few buses on Bank Holidays (the busiest days of the year) or Sundays, there are very few buses in the evening, most services stopping around 7pm (meaning that if you want a night out you have to pay out for taxis both ways!) The buses that do run are short, cramped, infrequent and expensive, unless you are fortunate enough to use the Park and Ride, which has large buses running every 15 minutes including Sundays and Bank Holidays!
As far as attractions go, the Sea Life Centre is an expensive rip off, taking less than an hour to look round, Peasholm Park is a depressing place unless you like swan pedal boats, it is a drab, dreary place to spend any time.
As a Scarborough born and bred girl I thought I should give a review of Scarborough from a residents point of view.
Scarborough has a busy town center with a variety of shops - The shops are no different to any other high street really featuring Debenhams, New Look, Boots, Superdrug, Argos, Dorethy Perkins, HMV, Next (we have a lovely size next which has recently moved from a smaller location to the Brunswick shopping center - They took down a whole wing of the center to create our Next store converting several shops into one very large one)
A question I often get asked by tourists is where Primark is - Quite simply - 40 miles away. Unfortunatly we do not have a Primark as yet however residents have been asking for one for many years so maybe one day.
The Brunswick shopping center is the main shopping point in Scarborough and also the main place for town center parking. Access to the 2nd floor of the center can prove to be difficult for wheelchair and pushchair users during busy times as there is only 1 elevator on the ground floor which is often also used by people wanting to access the parking on the 3rd and 4th floors. There are 2 elevators on the 2nd floor however that also go upto the 3rd and 4th floors to the parking.
Many shops have closed down over the last year much a like to most towns - Since the begining of 2009 we have lost ELC, Woolworths, Baratts, Adams and various other shops and local businesses.
The Scarborough Market Vaults and Market Hall is a large indoor Market mainly consisting of fruit, vege, meat in the Hall and 2nd Hand goods and art/ craft goods in the Vaults.
Scarborough has an OK nightlife - not really amazing but OK. The towns 2 most popular nightclubs are The Mansion and Boleyns - I will warn that Mansion is usually full of under age drinkers and more the rough type of people than nice people. Boleyns is ok but drinks are generally expensive.
There are plenty of late opening bars and pubs infact there is probably too many.
It is generally not worth going out unless it is a Friday or Saturday night as it is so quiet however Wednesday is generally goth night if that is your kind of thing.
We have a newish Casino in Scarborough called Opera House Casino, It is a huge building on St Thomas Street which can not be missed (just across the road from Boleyns nightclub). It is a lovely looking place both internally and externally however I can not comment on the games as I am not into gambling.
Within Scarborough there are a few attractions which may be of interest - Firstly the Sea Life Center - If you plan to go to the sea life center make sure to keep an eye out for discount vouchers as it is an expensive job - adult tickets at the moment are £14.50 - I believe child tickets cost around £8 however my children have annual passes so I can not be certain of this. You can often find half price vouchers in the local Newspaper and I have seen bogof vouchers in superdrug stores all over the country. If you have no luck getting a discount voucher be sure to pre book online as you do get a small discount for this.
The center has all the usual creature you would expect to find from Starfish to Sharks and penguins however I honestly do not think it is worth the asking price - we go 2 times a year at most even with free passes.
A new Hammer head shark is coming to the center within the next couple of weeks which is getting talked about quite a lot at the moment.
There is a miniture railway running from the sea life center to Scarboroughs North Bay which is a great novelty experience for young children. It used to be used by people going from the sea life center to kinderland and atlantis (a childrens large outdoor playzone and a huge water park) sadly though kinderland has been closed for a couple of years and atlantis has been demolished.
The other main attractions in Scarborough would be the Castle and the beaches.
To be honest there isnt much to see at Scarborough Castle other than bricks, grass and a gift shop but it has a great history and isnt too expensive to visit (ah yes nothing is free in Scarborough)
The beaches are lovely but do become very crowded in the summer.
The South bay is the busy one which is probably the better of the 2 for children. There are plenty of activity's and things to do here
Lifeboat - This is where the lifeboat is situated
Amusement arcades - There are dozens of amusement arcades on the seafront which will keep you entertained for hours. These have various activitys including bowling, gambling machines, arcade video games and bingo.
Food - There are plenty of food shops on the South bay (which is lacking on North bay) including fish and chips and subway - there are plenty of ice cream parlours including Jaconellis which is probably the best ice cream in scarborough.
Boat rides - There are several boats that will take you out on minitours on the South Bay these usually last up to an hour and are reasonably priced but do et more expensive during the peak season.
Cinema - There is the futurist Theatre on the South bay which is primarily a cinema but also has live acts and productions as well - the chuckle brothers are a regular feature here but over the years has had some popular (at the time) acts such as Peter Andre, Steps and A1. There has been a lot of talk recently as to if the theatre will be around for much longer and has been many petition set up to save it. Time will only tell how long it will be here for.
Donkey Rides - Donkeys are nearly always on the beach ready and willing (well hey dont get much choice really) to take children on rides. They only cover a very small area and the rides are usually be over within a couple on minutes - however kids love it - at £2.50 a ride it is quite expensive though.
There is a large lift that can take you from the bay up into the town without having to walk up the tiring amount of steps. This last summer was 80p 1 way per person with no exceptions - even children and babies have to pay up. I went on it last year with my 22 month old and new born in a double buggy (phil and teds) where my newborn couldnt even be seen but I was still charged for both children which I thought was pretty bad.
The North bay has recently been fully redeveloped however there isnt really a lot going on there.
There is a Premier newsagents where you can gets snacks and newspapers and a large toilet/ shower block which you can either get a day pass for or pay as you go. On the beach there generally isnt any activities and it would be recommended that you take your own - such as a football or a bucket and spade. There is however a lifeguard that keeps watch during peak times (generally easter and summer holidays)
There is a bus service that you can use to go from the North to South Bay however I can not comment on the pricing of this as I havent used it in a good few years (it was £1.20 then for adults - undoubtedly will have gone up)
As well as the Futurist Theatre which has already been mentioned there are 2 other main entertainment venues.
The Hollywood Plaza - A small 1 screen Theatre with very uncomfortable seats. This is owned by the same people that own the Futurist and generally only has 1-2 different films per week (if nothing major is coming out these same films can run for weeks on end)
The Stephen Joseph Theatre
This is a lovely theatre which is the home of Alan Ayckbourne and his productions. There is nearly always a show on of some variety whether it be an Alan Ayckbourne original or a production from a travelling play. It is very popular with both Locals and Tourists.
There is a Restaurant withing the theatre that not only makes good tasting but also good looking food.
The theatre also shows films when they are having a break from shows but these are generally a little outdated and have already been shown at the main cinemas in the town.
There are Dozens of places to eat out in Scarborough - As there are so many I will tell you about a couple of my favorites.
For Italian food my favorite place to go is Gianni's on Victoria Road - It has a lovely family feel when you walk in with a great atmosphere - The food is complete luxury with huge portions. The recipes are just far superior to the others around the town including the chain restaurants. The food is fairly priced for the portion sizes and comes highly recommended. The staff are also very polite and work to please the customer not just to pass time.
Indian - My favorite Indian eat in is Scarborough Tandoori on St Thomas Street (next door to the previously mentioned casino)
The dining area is quite small and if it is busy you do feel a little cramped in however the food is lovely. Presented very well and cooked to perfection. My one annoyance for here however is that the drinks really do bump up the price and do seem very expensive.
Places Local To Scarborough
If you arnt affraid to travel a little there are some lovely places to visit outside of Scarborough nearby.
Filey - A quiet little fishing town - rubbish for shopping so dont go there for that but the beach is lovely. I have often found lots of shells and fossils and spotted crabs on filey beach as well which just doesnt happen in Scarborough. Visit the rock pools at the base of the brigg (just keep walking along the beach) and you are almost certain to see some sort of sea life.
I have on one occasion seen a seal just off the brigg and it is a lovely place to go fishing. Make sure you keep a close eye on he tides to avoid getting caught out.
Whitby - Another lovely town - Whitby is probably best known for the goth weekends which are great fun - even if you are not a goth - Whitby is a lovely town and you do almost feel like you have stepped back in time when visiting.
York - Im sure you will have an idea of what York has to offer - There is the lovely Cathedral to visit for starters - The railway museum and this is also where the large majority of Scarborough locals go to do there Christmas shopping every year.
I am going to end my review here as I am getting very tired but please feel free to leave a comment to ask me to add anything if you can think of anything you would like to know that i haven't mentioned yet.
All in all Scarborough is a lovely place to visit but beware that pretty much everything costs money and dont come for longer than a week as you will run out of things to do - especially if you dont plan on visiting nearby towns - Its a great place to visit but quite a boring place to live
Thank you for reading
I may have put the headline as Sunny Scarborough - but the sun is well and truly hidden recently
Scarborough, olde english seaside resort, stunning architectural elegance and picturesque views situated in a glorious location with two bays of quite unbelievable contrast.
Having spent quite a few weeks in the place over the years I have never tired of the spectacular coastline and golden sand encased in a clear blue horizon.
There are many interesting things for the holiday maker to do here from visiting Peasholm Park in North bay and taking in the miniature naval battle, the park is a gem of a place with pedolos aplenty and stunning ornamental gardens, Atlantis water park is nearby, a huge outdoor swimming pool with large flumes to rival similar attractions in europe and Kinderland, a huge adventure playground for young children. There is a steam train herritage here with the Scarborough Flyer Line to the small locomotive that chuffs its way around north bay.
Over on south bay we find more traditional seaside fayre with the usual wares from shops selling gifts and trinkets to the local caught fresh seafood offered in excellent restaurants and takeaways (Try the shark steaks), to the arcades and bingo halls. The beach is popular and can be very busy offering great views of the majestic Grand Hotel and Cliffs. Unlike the quiet north bay which offers blissful solitude between the beach huts.
The town centre is a bustling busy place full of the usual shops you'd find anywhere, the cloned restaurant and fastfood chains etc... It just somehow feels better being there than anywhere else.
Looking around in any direction you will be presented by fantastic sights and great examples of extravagant victorian architecture, this place looks like nowhere else and is the better for it.
Parking is adequate, it is serviced with a reasonable road network, the prices in the shops, eateries and hotels etc.... are on a par with everywhere else.
Being quite hilly is the main reason people are put off visiting but there are Tram Lifts for these priced at 50p so you never need to walk up any hills, only down.
The piste de resistance is 3 miles south on the filey/bridlington road, two quite beautiful towns in their own right, a beach called Cayton Bay, an isolated horseshoe bay of white fine sand with no pebbles, shells, seaweed or people except the odd surfer making the most of the unusual wave formations this bay creates, distant views of flamborough head cliffs then the horizon.
Visit Scarborough, it echoes Blackpool in tradition but eclipses it with its cleanliness and beauty, a much more tranquil place too with no one in a rush, Blackpool is a bit like Scarborough Fuelled on adrenalin.
I have mixed feelings about Scarborough. On the one hand I have some good memories of family breaks there from my childhood, but then going back as an adult it doesn't quite live up to my fond memories.
Scarborough is an English seaside resort located on the East coast. It is within easy driving distance from places such as York, Hull, Leeds, Middlesbrough and my home city, Sheffield.
What to do
Scarborough is divided into 2 distinct areas: the North Bay and the South Bay which are separated by a large headland on top of which sits the ruins of Scarborough Castle.
The two bays are very different to each other with the South Bay being full of your usual seaside attractions: amusement arcades and pubs. The arcades line the entire length of the South Bay and can be very busy on summer days (if we get any). Likewise the pubs are pretty frequent and can be a little rowdy later on in the day. Too much beer + too much sun = idiots, unfortunately.
The North Bay is much calmer and quieter than the South and usually a lot less busy as well. There are no amusement arcades and no pubs, but there is the lovely area known as Peasholm Park (see below).
Both bays have large beach areas for those daring enough to endure the cold North Sea. Donkey rides are available priced at £2 each, although sadly I'm now too old and too fat to go on one :(
I can't comment too much on the amusement arcades as at 26 (approaching 27... late 20s... argh!) I've grown out of throwing my hard-earned money away on useless grabber machines and games that I could just play on my Xbox. One thing I will say is that the music can be bloody annoying when you're walking past!
There's plenty of areas to find refreshments throughout the day. You're at the seaside, so you have to eat unhealthily! Fish and chips for dinner, followed by some donuts (5 for £2) and an ice cream!
If you want to get away from the seafront crowds, I recommend a walk around the headland on Marine Drive. This road runs next to the sea and used to be closed quite regularly when the rough seas endangered traffic and people alike. However, in the last 5 years or so Scarborough Council have spent a great deal of money on sea defences and (as far as I'm aware) the road is now always open.
The town centre is located up the hill between the North and South bays. It's a fair old walk up the steep slopes but is well worth doing to get away from the crowds and admire the coastline below you.
My favourite area of Scarborough is undoubtedly Peasholm Park, which I reviewed a few days ago. In short, it's a great place to get away from the crowds and is a beautiful area in its own right. A lake is filled with ducks, swans and geese, there's a model battleships show that plays during the summer and there's a pretty decent 18-hole pitch n putt golf course too.
Where to eat
You're at the seaside so you simply have to have fish and chips for dinner - it's a rule! My recommendation is Winking Willy's which can be found in the South Bay. You can eat inside if you wish or in the unlikely event that it's actually sunny you can sit on bench outside or better still cross the road and eat your dinner overlooking the harbour... just watch out for the hungry seagulls who seem to have developed quite a taste for fish and chips!
If you're staying into the evening, there's only one place I can recommend: Tricolos - a great Italian restaurant located on the main road into the town centre. The food and service are great and they even serve the illusive Italian beer Messina, which is fantastic. More info can be found on their website: www.tricolos.co.uk.
Where to stay
We haven't stayed overnight in Scarborough for a couple of years now, preferring to make day trips instead. If you do want to stay though, I would recommend the Pheonix Hotel which is located on the cliff overlooking the North Bay. Rooms are approximately £60 per night and I would recommend paying the extra £5 for a sea view as it's great to look out of your window onto the castle and the North Bay - especially if the sea is rough! The hotel has free guest parking and is only a couple of minutes away from the town centre. More info can be found at: www.hotel-phoenix.co.uk.
Surprisingly for a relatively small town, I always seem to buy something from Scarborough! I like my designer clothes (Lacoste, Henry Lloyd, Penguin, Duck and Cover etc) and there are a couple of boutiques within the town centre that sell all the above brands at pretty reasonable prices. As well as the couple of designer places there's also the usual High Street stores including Argos, HMV, Debenhams etc.
Scarborough vs Blackpool vs Skegness
The other 2 Northern seaside resorts that I've been to are Skegness and Blackpool, which for me just aren't as nice and picturesque as Scarborough is. Skegggy has some great mini golf courses but it's so flat that it's easy to forget that you're near the sea as half the time you can't actually see it!
Blackpool on the other hand is just an absolute dump, full of idiots on lads weekends and hen parties. I'll only ever go back there again for the football, and even then it'll be a short visit! The only good thing about Blackpool is that is has excellent motorway links... which make it easy to get away from!
Scarborough is a pretty decent place to go for a day trip, but I couldn't stay there overnight again. £60+ per night is bit too expensive for a UK seaside resort which if we're honest hasn't particularly changed in about the last 20 years.
Scarborough is another place where I spent much of my childhood. This Coastal town is set in North Yorkshire. There really is something for everyone. The town is really split in half by the massive cliffs stretching out into the sea, with the famous Scarborough Castle sat on top.
So you have the North and South sides.
The south side is were the main town is situated. It has all the shops, pubs, restaurants you would expect from an average sized town. Down on the sea front there are numerous arcades, is a little like Blackpool, but nicer. All the glitz and glam you get in some seaside towns. The beach on the South side isn't anything too special. I remember riding the donkeys there as a child.
The North side is far nicer in my opinion. The beach is far bigger, and far more interesting. If your on the sea front on a stormy day, you can watch the sea splash high over the walls. Don't get to close! Further along the beach there are the instantly recognisable pyramids of the Sea Life Centre. A great place to visit for the afternoon. The cliffs make for some spectactular walks, and a little further back is Peazone park.
In the park there are soem really nice walks, you can feed the squirrels who will come and eat the nuts out of your hand! There is a nice lake where you can take boats out in the summer. Also there is a fantastic Pitch and Putt golf course. I would strongly recommmend this! Its great fun!
There is also a large fun fair that tends to be in full swing in the summer, many happy memories from my childhood here. The cable cars are a good way to get up there!
As for accomodation you are really spoilt for choice. There are hundreds of hotels to choose from. From luxury 5 star ones to simple bed and breakfast. If you go a little out of town there are also plenty of caravan and camp sites if that's more your thing.
Overall would say Scarborough is a wonderful destination. There is much to keep everyone occupied! If your over on the East Coast anytime soon I wuld go and check this one out! You will love it!
Scarborough is so often an under rated sea side resort in the UK. It offers many of the things you can get in the likes of Blackpool and Great Yarmouth apart from possibly the night life. If a night on the booze is not what you are looking for then there is no reason at all not to go to Scarborough.
The town, situated in North Yorkshire is pefect for couple and families alike and offers lots of variety, easily enough to go there for a weeks holiday. I first went to Scarborough in the early 1990s and it still ranks as one of my favourite holidays. Naturally my interests and needs from Scarborough have changed now, but they will be perfect for my daughter in a few years and I can't wait to take her through Peasholm Park and to the outdoor water park. The park especially is a place of real beauty and offers boating lakes, fun fairs and beautiful walk ways. The water park can be seen for miles and boasts what has to be the largest outdoor water slide in the UK. It is breathtaking.
Scarborough town centre is as busy and bustling as any you will find from a sea side town. There are many a high street name there and the shoppers among you will have a field day there. There is even a fantastic little magic shop on the corner of the main sea front stretch that is still there today and I remember going there for professional tricks when I was going through my Paul Daniels want to be phase as a teenager.
The main seafront is a hive of activity in the summer and boasts countless cafes, amusement arcades and other attractions. As I eluded to earlier though, there is a real lack of bars for the older holiday maker.
Be aware that Scarborough is a particularly hilly place so if you don't like the taxing walks in life then you may want to go for somewhere flatter like Blackpool or nearby Bridlington. One hill is right in the middle of the coast line and the top leads to the stunning castle grounds. They may be a little derelict now but make for a great stroll of an evening.
For the cricket fans among you, there is a terrific little cricket ground in Scarborough that holds a festival every summer in which the Yorkshire County Cricket team come to town to play a championship match and a one day match too. These are great days out in themselves.
Sadly the football team is now non-existant after once playing in the football league and I had fond memories of my trips there as a Doncaster Rovers supporter too.
You tend to find that the locals are a friendly enough bunch, particularly the nearer to the coast you go and in terms of financially, Scarborough is not a dear place to visit either. You can get one of their legendary bags of Harry Ramsden chips for around 50p at times.
Scarborough is an often forgotten place that has a lot going for it.
Scarborough - now we are talking!
A few years ago, an American exchange student I'd shared a room with over in Germany sent me a typed circular letter proclaiming that he'd just got engaged to his wonderful fiancé in the "happiest place on earth" - Disneyland Florida.
Utterly cringeworthy stuff I'm sure you'll agree, but it did get me thinking as to where in the world my "happy place is" and the inescapable truth dawned on me -
For me it has to be Scarborough!! - now before you start questioning my sanity, particularly when I tell you that I've travelled to the States, most of Continental Europe, lived in Germany, the Gulf, in Africa - I grant you that there are vastly more historically significant and spectacular places, far more refined cultural experiences to be found.
But you know what at the end of it all I'm a man of simple pleasures, and to me, fill me full of fresh and fabulous fish and chips, stick a double chocolate waffle cone and a flake in one hand, a tray of mixed sea food in the other, park me on a golden sandy beach watching my little boy squishing my newly built sandcastles - and I'm there - I'm in my own personal paradise!!!
Now for the remaining non-believers here's a selection of some of my Scarborough highlights
Let's start with the down-right off the scale example of pure British eccentrism that occurs in Peasholm Park, situated in the North Bay area, every day throughout the summer. I'm talking of course about the Naval Battles - never heard of them - well allow me to enlighten you. In the middle of the park, there's a nice little boating lake, you can take a selection of swan shaped pedal boats and "sail" all the way round, for a nice relaxing afternoon.
But then somewhere around mid-afternoon, the park takes on a whole new significance - as the host for the Naval Battle spectacular. Basically an army of wader wearing enthusiasts plonk a selection of six foot replica boats over their heads and charge around the lake recreating some of the great submarine and battleship confrontations of recent times. Take that basic recipe, and add into the mix a Captain Beaky stylie compare, who has his own little stage mid-lake fully equipped with organ system and effects, who leads us all (for we the expectant crowd are by now gathered in the handily situated concrete layered seating overlooking the lake) in a mass of rabble rousing sing song tunes.
Then the battle gets underway, and I have to warn anyone with little babas to cover their ears - some of the explosions are pretty loud and a tad scary. At the peak of the battle, there is one overriding moment of such complete joy to savour...."Don't worry here come the RAF!" is the cry as our British ships are being pounded by enemy submarines and warships to their very limit. And true to the word they arrive, shiny white balsa wood sticks on a piece of wire, stuttering towards the lake - you can only marvel how they drop their bombs, disappear back up the wire and then a few seconds later, the explosion happens in the water - I've seen it three times and they've not timed it right yet - bless!!!"
Now to witness the phenomenon there is a small fee to pay at the gate (but if you are crafty and already in the park you may even skip that) - but believe me if you only get one chance to visit Scarborough in your life - you have to see this show!!
~~~~North and South Bays - via the SS!~~~~
Scarborough beaches basically divide into two areas. The North Bay, although there are currently a number of new hotel and resort developments underway is really the unspoilt side of things - a good mile of sandy beaches which lead you in one direction to the Sealife Centre - always worth a visit (can use two for one vouchers you get in Tescos), and in the other towards the cliff edges with Scarborough Castle up above.
I always park up on the North Bay side, plenty of car-parking available even at peak season times, and take a good old stroll and a paddle here, then when its time for lunch take a trip over to the South Bay. And this is where the SS bit comes in - no not some neo-nazi experiment in beach transportation, the SS stands for SeaFront Service - and it's a glorious, depending on the season often ice cold 5 minute ride to the southbay for around £1.50 a head.
~~~~Lunchtime - Golden Grid~~~~
I guess everyone will have their favourite fish and chip restaurant - there are a good number at the South Bay, wee willie Winkies, the Packet Inn, but for me it goes back to when I first visited Scarborough as a nine year old on a school outing. We went to the Golden Grid, and I loved the fact that not only were we allowed window seats with harbour views upstairs, it was so posh it had a third level just for us - now looking back on it I realise that it was more a case of keep those noisy schoolkids out of the way of the paying guests - but hey I felt special!!
The fish and the service that goes with it are still just as good as I remember to this day - so I'm afraid my family never gets to try anywhere else!!
~~~~Harbour and Beach~~~~
After lunch I head straight for the seafood stalls and tuck into a mixed tray of whelks, cockles and all the trimmings, and it's a bracing stroll to the harbour - there are numerous boat and fishing trips operating here, always worth checking out.
As I said earlier the South Bay is usually much busier, but its here on the beach that you'll find some of Britains best loved Beach donkeys -always amuses me that they are decked out like bin men in their fluorescent jackets with Scarborough Borough Council written on them!
If you've got any energy left, and particularly if you are an English Heritage Member, you might consider a trip up to the Castle - spectacular views, wonderful tea shop and an audio tour that takes you through a fairly colourful history - it was still used as a working military garrison in the 20th century and was even bombed by German warships - you see that Peasholm Park experience is very educational!!
So there you have it 5 reasons among numerous others that I have to love Scarborough the best. And the tears welled up in my eyes when my little boy, then a mere 18 months managed to repeat the phrase over and over
"nice Scarrrr boorrr ouggh!!" - no better endorsement than that for me - the boys got taste :)
And do you know, for months after his first visit, every time he saw a plane in the sky he was convinced it was flying to Scarborough - cos that's where you go on holidays!!
Park Resorts, Cayton Bay, Scarborough is not the place to stay unless you just want to use it as a base to visit nearby attractions in the Scarborough area. My friends and I went on a Sun newspaper holiday offer in October 2008 and were disappointed with the facilities (or lack of them).
On arrival at 1.30pm we were told in no uncertain terms that we couldn't book in until 4pm, but that we could use the on site facilities until then.
There was a swimming pool, which was closed between 1 and 2pm daily for lunch - as as we hadn't been able to unpack our bags yet, not exactly the best option. This had a large water slide, but during our time there we never saw anyone on it.
We took a quick look around the outdoor children's play area, which was quite muddy due to the wet weather we'd been having this year. I noted that there wasn't an adequate path to get to this from the road, and very little to entertain my friends' 17 month old son, Mark, as he was too small for most items.
In addition outside the entertainment complex was a crazy golf game (again no path to get between holes) and we never found out where to obtain the clubs or balls from to use this, and never saw anyone else using this facility on the week that we were there.
There was also an outdoor football/basketball pitch and despite the good weather we had on the day of our arrival, and all week, it was deserted. The entertainment brochure given to us on our booking in never mentioned any daytime activities, so we went out visiting local attractions.
Inside the main complex were the compulsory arcade machines, pool tables, air hockey and 2 bar areas with a small kids shop and a food outlet.
The toliets area was very clean and never seemed too busy - even the ladies! There was also a food shop just outside the main complex, which sold gifts as well as bread, milk, etc.
We used the caravan site as a base to visit Flamingo Land at Malton (about 15 miles away), Eden Camp - an old Prisoner of War camp (about 15 miles away), Scarborough Sea Life Centre and Scarborough itself. We also tried to visit a National Trust property - Nunnington Hall (about 30 miles away from the caravan site), which we arrived at about 11am only to discover it didn't open until 1pm!
As we soon bored of the site's facilities , we drove back into Scarborough to see some of the sites. We drove to the North Bay initially, which has a good clean long beach, but just 2 cafes and no shops. We paid about £1.50 to park for 1 hour. After taking Mark for his first walk on the beach and his first paddle, we moved onto the South Bay. Be prepared to pay for parking as we never found a free car park in the town itself - you even have to pay for the one directly outside the Sea Life Centre!
On our return to the caravan site, we were offered an upgrade of caravan for £25, which we ended up having to take, as when we checked out our original caravan, we found we couldn't set up Mark's travel cot, as there was a room with bunk beds in it, which went in different directions (i.e. one above the head went lengthways and the one lower down went widthways). Even if we could have moved the lower bunk we'd have banged our heads on the upper bunk trying to take him in and out, and the lower bunk did not seem to be able to be moved anyway.
In addition, the first Bronze style caravan was not next to the car parking spaces and was 4 caravans in, with a very muddy area in front of the doors. You could not park in front of your caravan and would be charged for a tow if you did.
We were more impressed with the upgraded caravan - a Silver extra wide one, which had a decked area from one door, which baby Mark could play on in safety as it didn't have steps on it. In addition, it had it's own parking space right next to the caravan.
We did have some problems with the caravan and its facilities but that is another story.
All of the caravan site was split into smaller sections named after birds, trees or bushes, e.g gosling, beech, ivy. There was only 1 entrance into the site and only 2 recycling points - every where else just had bins. On the map we were given are listed 3 payphones and a launderette but we didn't need to use these facilities.
Nearby is a beach (Cayton Bay) but is is a very steep incline to get to it, as you are on the top of a cliff, and you also have to cross the busy Filey Road to get to the path, so we never attempted this, as it didn't seem buggy friendly. The Sun offer suggested that the camp site was 400m from a beach, it never mentioned straight down!!
At the caravan site, there was a soft play area next to the Boathouse Pub, but it is not staffed, so parents have to go in and supervise their children. As Mark is only 17 months old, his mother and I struggled to get him to use the toddler area, and he kept trying to run off back through the arcades area, as it was too near the door. Not very well planned, in my opinion.
Scarborough Sea Life Centre is well worth a visit - we had a 2 for 1 offer from Tesco's and I have seen a similar offer on a particular brand of tea bags. It costs £12.95 per adult, £11.95 for concessions, under 5''s go free, and children have a cheaper rate, which I do not remember as it wasn't applicable to our group. We had to pay for 3 hours parking, which was about £3.50. When you get inside there are lots of exhibits of fish, sea horses and sharks. There is plenty to do for children - as they have a sheet they give out and you have to answer questions as you go round the centre. These have multiple answers and you have to guess the correct one. In addition, they often have talks about star fish or crabs in the rock pool area and you get the chance to hold some of these items, if you are lucky.
They also have penguins, seals and otters, which if you arrive at the right time you can see the handlers feeding them and they give you a talk about each particular breed. We were lucky enough to see the otters and seals being fed and the centre has an excellent cafe facility, which unfortunately is upstairs. Michelle and I managed to carry Mark's push chair up, but there is a stair lift for wheelchair users from the shop, which you need to get assistance with. I was impressed with the food and drink available from this cafe - as I am on a wheat free diet I can not usually find anything I can eat but they had a fantastic range of flapjack and other items I could choose from. The toilets had pictures of otters, seals, etc on them and were extremely clean. I was also impressed that there seemed to be wheelchair routes around the centre.
Scarborough has plenty of shops, arcades, and little cafes on the sea front on the South Bay. We also drove past Scarborough Castle - I believe this is an English Heritage site, but we didn't get time to visit this. There is also a Lifeboat station on the sea front, which we were able to visit and look at pictures, information about rescues and an old rescue boat. It also has a little shop where any purchase made helps the RNLI. Near to this, is a set of public toilets just off a pay and display car park, which we used on several occasions and always found to be clean. Michelle was disappointed with the baby changing facilities, however.
We went into a cafe one evening and were pleased to find it clean, child friendly and extremely pleasant. We had four meals and four drinks and paid less than £30 at the Welcome Inn on the sea front. It is a licensed restaurant at 22 Sandside, Scarborough, YO11 1PE (Tel 01723 375200). There were clean toilets and extra space upstairs. I found the staff at this establishment were extremely pleasant, helpful and we found the meals to be both good value for money but also hot, edible and interesting. Robert had a Hawaiian burger with pineapple and some strange combination of sauces.
We also saw Doctor Who's Tardis near the Tourist Information Centre on the opposite side of the road to the Welcome Inn.
I apologise if there is too much about the caravan site on this, but it was originally going to be a review about Park Resorts Cayton Bay, but as I have already written a review about a different Park Resort I can not seem to be able to put another one on.
We are a family of four and stayed for only a few days at Cayton Bay Caravan Holiday Park, I must say that while the kids loved it in the pool which does have what they call a floom, which is nothing more than a water slide, the pool is over thirty years old and not deep enough for anyone to swim in, being only 0.05 meters deep then shallowing out to nothing at all, it's around thirty - fourty foot long and about 25 - thirty wide but still you cant swim in it, it's no good at all for an adult, and only good for children.
The food while it's there is much too expensive and has to be bought from their only restaraunt, one shop on sight serves all who stay there, there's nothing for adults at all, but a club, that's rubish too & expensive, poor.
Scarborough is a lovely place,not only does it have an incredibly beautiful coastline here,and two lovely clean safe beaches,but it is also a very friendly place,the locals are the friendliest people i have ever come across,they are very lucky to live in such a nice area,the crime rate is low,of course you do get the occasional crime here and there but there is not a place in the world where that wont happen apart from a desert island,and for a town that attracts millions of visitors each year and is the third most visited place in the UK i think for the crime rate to be as low as it is is pretty amazing,you feel very safe walking around here even at nights.
For such a smallish town its amazing the amount of facilities which are here,great sports facilities such as Scarborough sports centre,George Pindar leisure centre,Scarborough indoor pool,South cliff golf course,north cliff golf[smaller course] indoor and outdoor bowling,skatepark on the north side,surfing,jet skiing, these are just a few.The town has just about every kind of shop you can think of,you can find more or less everything you need here,there are the usual high st shops such as marks and spencers,burtons,wilkinsons,clarks,miss selfrige,wallis,topshop,mark one,new look,JJB,JD,sports world,clinton cards,debenhams,adams etc etc,and also lots of independant shops,boutiques,craft shops,designer shops,and lots of toy shops,the big cities seem to have very little in the way of toy shops these days apart from places like toys r us which i think is rubbish,here there are lots of places to find toys from,even the most unlikely places have toys,there is a large newsagents on north marine rd just to the north of the town near the north bay and that sells a great range of toys also.The great thing about Scarborough is the shops are not just in the town centre part if you walk further out there are lots more all scattered around,Victoria rd is a good one to look down there are a few good shops along there,an organic food shop called fairchilds,a health food shop called victoria health foods,an unusual fancy accesories shop called fandangles,outdoor wear shop and many more,plus theres falsgrave rd which has many shops on,and you can walk down a street and there will be a shop in the middle of a row of houses or something else like a gym,or garage or something,and i have never seen a place have so many hairdressers! they are everywhere,mens and womens.Also shops on Ramshill rd,great fishmongers,nice bakery called Gibsons and a few others.There is also the market halls and vaults,really nice to look around.
There are lots here for everyone to do,the beaches are lovely any time of year,you always see people on them all year round,they are always clean apart from in the summer when they have been packed out with tourists who have set up camp on the beach for the day,a lot of them leave their rubbish just scattered lying there,cigarette buts piled up wrappers bottles everything,and their are litter bins everywhere for goodness sake!! so if you come to Scarborough on holiday dont drop your litter everywhere please its disgusting and lazy!! luckily the council clear up the beaches afterwards and they are soon back to their lovely clean ways but it shouldnt happen in the first place.
There are plenty of arcades along the front,about four theatres like the Stephen Joseph theatre,futurist,the Spa,Ymca,the library put on lots of productions also,two indoor playcentres little hoppers Seamer and playzone in the town on Columbus ravine,there are a few different festivals on throughout the year,the Jazz festival,beached festival and allsorts of other events,continental markets in summer and christmas,theres the sea life centre,lovely gardens on South cliff called the Italian gardens lovely to walk around with the most beautiful flowers and palm trees,also the clock tower up there with the building opposite where they film 'The Royal' theres the Meer lake nice for a walk and fishing,Peasholm park with its lovely japanese gardens and boating lake and events on and concerts,there is Falsgrave park also. I could sit here all day and name the many delights Scarborough has to offer,Scarborough is also situated ner lots of lovely countryside only a stones throw away!
As I sit here bearing the marks of a long day in Scarborough (i.e. I'm painfully sunburnt), I thought it would be nice to share with you good people the delights to be found in one of my favourite seaside resorts... Location & Getting Around Scarborough is situated on the North Yorkshire coast, and is easily accessible by road or rail. It is served regularly by rail and bus services from York and Leeds, and is less than an hour from York on the A64. There is a Park & Ride scheme in operation in the south end of the town - parking isn't difficult to find, but almost everywhere is Pay and Display. Once you're in the town, it is easy to walk down to the two large bays, but it might be easier and more fun to use the Cliff Lifts, and the open-top buses connecting the two bays along the seafront. The lifts cost 40 - 60p for a single journey, and the buses are a little more expensive at over £1. History Most people favour the above methods of arriving in Scarborough; although if you're a 10th century Viking raider you'll probably use the 'North Sea via longboat' method. Indeed, it is thought that the name of this popular resort was derived from Old Norse, and means 'the stronghold of Skardi'. The Vikings, however, were by no means the first people to settle on these shores. Scarborough is on a rocky peninsula, surrounded by cliffs. It consists of two large bays, North Bay and South Bay. I'll leave you to figure out where each one is. Between the bays is Castle Hill, where the ruins of Scarborough Castle stand. This makes it a perfect place for a coastal defence - you can see for miles out to sea, and yet the cliffs make it extremely difficult to penetrate. Over the years this fact has shaped Scarborough, both physically and historically. The Romans had a signal station on the site of the castle in the fourth century, and in the 11th century Scarborough was an important Viking settlemen
t. In 1066, as William the Conqueror waited to attack England, Viking rivals led by Harald Hardrada touched land north of Scarborough and then sailed down towards it. They were stiffly opposed by inhabitants, so they burnt the town and slew many of the people. The castle was founded by William Le Gros in the early 12th century, and added to by Henry II, after he demanded the return of all royal castles upon his succession in 1154. King John created the Royal chambers, but the castle saw very little war. It was expensive to keep, because the effect of the sea and extreme weather kept damaging it, but by the end of Henry III's reign it was one of the greatest fortresses in England. Apart from a brief siege in 1312, and several skirmishes under the Tudor reigns, the castle remained relatively undamaged until the Civil War. Scarborough was originally held for the Parliamentarians, but the occupier switched loyalties early on, and it became an important possession for the Royalists. Well, we all know how that one ended, and in 1645, Scarborough was taken by the Parliamentarians, who luckily decided to repair it and establish a garrison there. Considering they'd pulled down an entire wall of the keep, it was only polite... From the 1660s, Scarborough became famed for something other than its military strength. It was a successful spa town - since a Mrs Farrow tasted the waters of a small spring, running from below the cliff onto the sand of the South Bay in 1626, and found it had curative powers. The Spaw, as it was called, was connected to the world at large by the newly built railway, and so the popularity of the resort grew - the yearly constitutional was available to rich and poor alike, in time. Scarborough was the first holiday resort in the UK, possibly the world, and it led to the development of some beautiful and elegant terraces, which are still B&Bs today. Sadly, Scarborough's military role was not over yet
, and it played a role in both World Wars. On the 16th December 1914, three German warships appeared and fired over 500 shells at the town, killing 17 people and injuring more than 80. Winston Churchill himself talked about this in his speeches, and 'Remember Scarborough!' became a rallying cry for recruiting officers. In WWII, Scarborough was a listening station, relaying messages to Bletchley Park, until it was put out of action by German bombers. Today Scarborough is a popular family resort, and a thriving fishing harbour, overlooked by the ruined castle; a reminder of past glories and defeats. Attractions My favourite way to take in the fun of Scarborough starts at the south end of South Bay, so that's where our tour will begin... After taking the Cliff Lift down to the seafront, we can walk along the huge sandy beach. Across the road are the benches featured in the artwork of the Little Angels 'Little of the Past' album - they were a Scarborough rock band who sadly are no more. But if we look to our right, we'll be cheered up by the immensity of the North Sea, and can clearly see the North Yorkshire coastline, and the original Spa Complex. You might recognize this from the closing act of the film 'Little Voice', starring Jane Horrocks and Ewan McGregor. This beach is packed on sunny summer days, and there are often sandcastle competitions. There is also a ball pool, and donkey rides. Across the road, which runs alongside the beach all the way around both bays, are amusements and gift shops. We see much of the same as we walk along, heading towards the imposing castle in the distance. But before we get there, there is a working harbour to contemplate. Lobster pots are piled up against the wall, and seagulls scavenge around for stray fish dropped. We also pass the lifeboat shed, where we can look at the lifeboat, and donate a few pence to the cause. At the harbour, we can take a spe
edboa t ride for £2.50; a ten-minute journey up and down the coastline, with the wind running through our hair. As we walk back up, we see The Harbour Bar to the left, and pop in for an ice cream, before heading over to the pier. Here there are rides and amusements, including a Big Wheel and Bumper Cars, costing between £1.50 - £2 a go. We'll stop off here for half an hour, and go on the rides, before heading across the road to the castle path. Climbing up the path, we begin to leave South Bay behind us. It's not a long walk, but may be a bit too demanding for the very young or very old, so a meander through the streets with a more graduated incline might be better. As we near the castle, St Mary's Church appears to the left. A quick detour here, and we can see the grave of Anne Bronte in the churchyard. She died here on May 28th, 1849, of tuberculosis. Onwards and upwards, and the castle entrance is in our sights. You can walk around the castle walls for free, but the castle itself is run by English Heritage, and costs £3 to get in, or £2.30 for concessions. Included in this is a free audio tour, which is marvellously simple - plaques around the buildings tell you which numbers to key in, then you simply press play on the remote control-like handset, and get the information required. The castle is well worth a visit, if only for the unsurpassed views of both bays available from the top. There are also the remains of the Roman settlement, plus the interesting fact that over 150 species of grass grow on the land surrounding the castle - some quite rare. Next we can head down the other side of Castle Hill to the North Bay. Along the winding steps down the side of the hill are rocks, full of holes, which my dad convinced me were fairy houses when I was a child. You'll also see lots of motor bikes parked along the road, as Scarborough is a magnet for motorcycle enthusiasts. Along the North Bay
things are much quieter, and in winter, I prefer walking along here, and seeing the huge grey waves crashing up against the sea wall. There is simply grass on one side of the road, and the sea on the other, until we reach the other, equally sandy, and slightly quieter, beach. Here we can carry on along, past The Waffle Shop and other commercial enterprises, or walk away from the beach towards Atlantis and Peasholm Park. Or if we're too tired, this is an ideal spot to catch the open-top bus back to South Bay. Atlantis is an open air water park, with two of the largest water slides in the UK. It is quite popular in the summer, and has a café to sit around in. But if we walk a little further, we arrive at Peasholm Park, which was purchased in 1911, and given a Chinese theme. It is a beautiful grassy park with a lake, which in turn has an island in the middle. The whole park features lanterns and pagoda-style features, and you can hire peddle boats or rowing boats, to paddle around the lake in. Each boat has to have someone over 16 in, though, so watch out when planning. Next to Peasholm Park is Kinderland. You can catch a cable car here from Peasholm Park, and it costs £4 to get in. This is aimed at the younger child, although it has rides, such as a water chute, to amuse the whole family. Another cable car runs to the north end of the bay, where our final attraction is located. Scarborough boasts its very own Sea Life Centre, a striking arrangement of several pyramids at the far end of North Bay. Of course, the other thing you can do in Scarborough is shop, and the town centre has the usual high street shops, plus a few more local ones. Brunswick Indoor Shopping Centre is popular, and Bar St has the gift shops and craft shops you might look for in a seaside town. There are several museums and gallerys in town, such as the Wood End Natural History Museum, on The Crescent (£2 entry, £1 concessions, £5 family). The p
laywright Alan Ayckbourn also premieres all his new work at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, opposite the railway station. Accommodation & Eating There are literally hundreds and hundreds of places to stay in Scarborough. You're not going to find a Hilton or even a Holiday Inn, but there are lots of B&Bs, hotels and guesthouses, suitable for every budget. I've included a list of websites at the bottom, which will give more background on Scarborough, plus information on attractions and accommodation. It's usually a safe bet to turn up in Scarborough without any accommodation, and to look for those familiar 'Vacancies' signs in windows. Although the resort may appear to be packed to capacity on hot summer days, it is a very popular destination for daytrips, and so finding accommodation is easy. In peak times, though, it may be advisable to book. There's a Youth Hostel, for the budget visitors - the YHA website address is given below. The town centre has many places to eat, including the usual McDonalds, Pizza Hut etc. But for a real taste of the seaside, fish 'n' chips has got to be the way to go, and I can thoroughly recommend Walkers of Scarborough, at 17 Main St. Although it has recently been taken over, it is a shop I have visited many times, and because it is slightly away from the tourist routes, it is nicer and cheaper than those on the seafront, despite being only a few steps further. Most of the commercial businesses and attractions are on the South Bay, and there are also plenty of places to eat as you wander along. With Scarborough being an active harbour town, almost everywhere takes advantage of the fresh seafood on offer, and you can buy a mixed seafood platter on the seafront for £1.50. My personal recommendation, however, has got to be The Harbour Bar. This is an award winning ice cream parlour, almost unchanged since the 1950s, located opposite the harbour, spookily enou
gh. The sunny yellow melamine counter, and mirrored walls, can cheer up the most despondent of souls, and the hand-painted signs around the walls, urging that 'Ice cream is good for you!' can surely persuade anyone to sample one of their delicious sundaes (get me a chocolata while you're at the bar, please!). Although the sundaes, at £3 - £3.75 are a bit pricey, they're definitely worth it; and interestingly enough, the cones at the take away counter are the cheapest on the seafront. Nightlife Well, lets face it, if you're in Yorkshire, there's bound to be a few pubs around. The nightlife in Scarborough is fun and cheesy, but can get a little rough at times. It's probably not the best place to get completely off your trolley, or you could end up in trouble. For sheer cheesy comedy value, I can recommend Club XS, and the bars around Aberdeen Walk and Huntriss Row are there for the brave. I'm no wuss, being Yorkshire born and bred, but I'd stick to the hotel bar or the touristy pubs near the seafront. Lots of them have family rooms, or don't mind serving lemonade and crisps to children in the main room. A family favourite of ours is the Leeds Arms, which is around the corner from Tha Harbour Bar, and just down the hill from Walkers Fish 'n' Chip shop! In Conclusion... Scarborough really is a place for the whole family. It's not classy, it's not posh, but it's cheap and cheerful, has lots of history, and plenty to do. My parents went there on honeymoon in 1975, and we've been on several family holidays and lots of daytrips there since. My brothers and I always loved going on the rides, and in the sea as children, as well as exploring the castle. Yesterday I took 44 teenage girls there on a school trip, aged between 13 and 19, and from places as diverse as Africa, China, Hong Kong, Spain, and Stoke-On-Trent. They all enjoyed their day immensely, and after rea
ding the guide I made for them, all expressed disappointment that they hadn't managed to fit in everything they wanted to do. But many of them plan to come back again, and that's what keeps Scarborough full of people. They love it. They love the hot sandy beach in the summer, and the cold winds and crashing waves in the winter. They love the fresh fish and the friendly faces; the cheap entertainment and the delicious ice cream. It feels like an old friend. And if you haven't yet been there, I would thoroughly recommend going and making a new friend as soon as possible. Further Information Please bear in mind that along the seafront, nearly all the public toilets have a nominal charge (about 15p). While we're on the warnings, please also remember the suncream. Sometimes at the seaside it is easy to forget that the sea reflects the sun, giving extra potency to the rays!! There are loads of websites about Scarborough, but here's a select few: http://www.yha.org.uk (Youth Hostel Association) http://www.scarborough.co.uk/ http://www.e-sbc.co.uk/index.htm?http://www.e-sbc.co.uk/site_front_page.htm&2 http://www.yorkshirecoast.co.uk/scarb/ http://www.scarboroughtoday.co.uk/ (this one just has funny headlines) Now I'm off to apply more aftersun to my burning shoulders...
I came across Scarborough about 18 months ago in rather perculiar circumstances. I'd had a bit of a bust up with the missus and decided that I wanted to bugger off for a bit, and seeing an advert in the local rag for bar staff at a holiday park near Scarborough, I decided to apply. As an expert in pubs, I got the job and moved down there in March of last year. Scarborough is a popular seaside resort on the North East coast of England, 17 imles south of Whitby and about 10 miles north of Filey. It is the 3rd most visited resort in the UK, and is primed solely for the "season", which generally kicks in around May and ends mid-way through October. It is a moderately large town(certainly larger than I expected), with a variety of things around for people who come for a day-trip or for a holiday. Many of the holiday makers are based in one of the many caravan sites that litter the outskirts of the town. These are bigger than you might expect. Haven holidays did have 4 caravan sites on the fringes of the town: Cayton Bay, Blue Dolphin, Reighton Sands and the largest one, Primrose Valley- a truly huge caravan site with nigh on 3000 caravans on park. For the record, I worked at Blue Dolphin, but within weeks I realised that it was a horrible dump run by morons and staffed by complete sh**s, with a guest list which read like a hilarious action pic. In my time there, we had visits from gypsies armed to the teeth with a variety of thoroughly illegal weapons, locals who fancied robbing the "security" men of the arcade takings, and staff whose primary aim was to sleep with guests, or to steal from the tills. DO NOT go on holiday to Blue Dolphin!! I then moved to Cayton Bay, about 3 miles from the centre of Scarborough. It is much smaller- about 400 vans on park, and was altogether better. The staff were great, in general, the facilities in a better condition and the armed response unit remained firmly off park. It is
no longer a Haven park, it was purchased by Park Resorts in May 2001. I stayed until October, then went back this summer until I started Uni in September. I am more than happy to recommend it. As well as these parks, there are several smaller parks owned privately by person or persons in a small business capacity, one of which, "Browns" on Mill lane, Cayton, comes with my heartiest recommendation. The town centre itself is impressive if shopping is your thing. It certainly makes a mockery of Gateshead High Street, with a wide range of shops to choose from, all situated around the main High Street, including Marks and Sparks, Next, HMV, Woolies and Boots. There is also the Brunswick shopping centre, possibly the smallest shopping mall I have ever seen. As usual, the obligatory McDonalds is there along with Pizza Hut, BK and the other usual suspects. Transport is decent, with a moderately reliable bus system in and around town, along with a "Park and Ride" scheme to relieve congestion in the town centre. I personally found the buses reliable if a little expensive. The train-station is not mainline, but will get you to York, Leeds, Sheffield and the like, but not Newcastle, can I add. If you want to go from "up-north" by public transport, you will have to get to Middlesborough/smog-land, and then get the very irregular 93/93A. Check in advance with traveline. Anyway, train station. Fairly small, functional with a bar and a small customer service desk, though it tends to be rather quiet. Don't know about the ladies, but the mens toilets are bloody awful: graffitee strewn, urine smelling cess-pits which are definately to be avoided. Scarborough is famous for it's old buildings, which give it character and additional interest. Worth a look is the historical indoor market and the "Vault", underground corridors filled with small, specialist shops. If you're after a gr
easy fried breakfast, try the greasy-spoon in the corner of the market (Market Cafe, originally enough). Two quid for a fry-up!!!! Also worth a look, bizarrely, is the McDonalds in town. It is not the usual plain crap you would associate with this "resteraunt", but a beautiful, stained glass early 20th century building full of character and style. Shite knows how McDonalds got there... On the subject of food, there are plenty of fast food places here, and as expected, loads of "chippies" full of the freshest fish you can imagine. Fully recommended is "Leeds Fisheries", a small, white chip shop on the corner at the very bottom of the High Street. Massive fish and chips, full of flavour, you can almost taste the freshness, all for about £2-80 last time I looked. The benches outside offer a wonderful view of the cliffs and the sea, perfect for lunch time relaxation. Sports facilities are, in truth, sparse, but the Scarborough Sports Club on Filey Road, just outside town, offers fine crown green bowls and grass court tennis. Bit pricey though. A bit further afield is Pindar Leisure centre, on the outskirts of Eastfield, near Cayton. Good fascilities for flood-lit football, badminton, swimming: the usual. This too is a bit expensive, plus Eastfield is probably the scummiest part of Scarborough-avoid at night like the bubonic plague. For groceries and the weekly shop, everything that should be there is. Tesco is open 24 hrs just round the corner from the station, as well as Safeway and Kwic-Save. Near Eastfield, about 4 miles from the town centre, is the huge Morrisons supermarket, along with another McDonalds. Cheap as chips for things like beer and pot-noodles(caravan park staff diet!) Bars and Clubs are moderately prominant. Well worth a look is Rockies- the pub owned by local boxing hero Paul Ingle. The walls are lined with memorabelia from his career, his belts etc. Downside is
that it i s probably the dearest bar in town, and the sandwiches are to be avoided, unless you want a cheese-slice baguette. Also try the usual suspects: Wetherspoons is as cheap and cheerful as ever, and Yates can be found just up the road from Rockies on St Thomas Street. Don't bother with Quids In, it's a sh**hole. There are handful of clubs, the pick of which is Berlins (spelt wrong cos I can't remember hows it's spelt, so be warned!) on St Thomas Street. 2 floors of music and a couple of bars- downstairs for you Dance fans, and a more nostalgic mix upstairs. Thursday Night is ladies night, free entry for the birds and 2 quid for the lads. Drinks usually start at about £2.50. A bit cheaper is Planet 2000 and Club 99 on Huntriss Row (next to the McDonalds!), although what you get back in cash you lose somewhat in quality. Planet 2000 is like a smaller version of Newcastle's Ikon, which for those of you who don't know is a horrible, juvenile and drug filled crap-hole. The average age of the people in there is about 15, and there is a fair chance of being involved in a fight at some stage. Club 99 is a bit better, and if you go into the 60's/70's/80's room as oppose to the dance room, you should have a decent night. Saturday night in 99 will set you back just a quid to get in and a quid on most bottles. It goes without saying surely that a seaside town will have a beach, and Scarborough has two; the North and South piers. They are split in the middle by the towering site of Scarborough Castle on Castle Hill. This beautiful old castle is still very much recognisable, and a trek up to it will be rewarded with a magnificant view of both beaches. A national heritege site, this is well worth a look. The North Pier is the smaller of the 2 beaches by some way, and is surrounded on the prominade by tea-bars and other such places, including the old bingo hall. It is full of elderly folks: a ni
ce place to rel ax. The South pier is the main beach, a large expanse of sand streching almost a mile along the sea-front. Here you will find all the usual suspects: small fairground rides for the kids, donkey rides, Ice-cream vendors and the usual plethora of pubs, of which the Newcastle Packett is probably the best. There is also the usual expanse of amusement arcades for those like me who choose to fritter large sums of money away chasing £5 jackpots. Of course, there are the usual number of "Prize bingo" venues for those over 90 who want to spend the entire day sat down, smoking JP Superkings and trying to win the "big" £3 jackpot. When the sun is out, it is undenialibly beautiful sight.(the beach, not the prize bingo!) An open-top bus will ship you from the north to the south pier for a £2.50 return. Better than walking, it is a good mile and a half, at least. Scarborough has it's fair share of attraction, all of a different standard. The Stephen Joseph theatre opposite the train station is a large, plesant venue, with a cinema built in. Waiting for a movie in Scarborough is like living in a time-warp:most big films don't get here for about 6 months. I kid you not. The Futurist on the sea front is similar in purpose, but is actually a relic which should have been knocked down years ago. Decrepit is an understatement. Well worth seeing, also on the seafront on the South Pier is "Terror Towers", a "ride" of the ghost train variety, but which is actually shit your pants scary! Honest! Costs about £4, but well worth it. On the North pier, Atlantis is an outdoor waterworld full of flumes, hot-tubs and diving pools. Unfortunately, it has seen better days, and it is starting to show. Still worth a try for now. Arcadia is another large arcade on the south pier, but this one has pool and snooker table, a licensed bar and a ten-pin bowling alley- a real one, not one of t
hose daft little &qu ot;bowlingo" things. A bit pricey, but clean, new(ish) and relatively moron free, certainly one to take the kids to. A monorail will take you back up to the top of the high street from arcadia, which is a releif because the hill is bloody massive! Quite a steep little thing this, but cheap at 40p per body, and worth going on just for the view of the south pier. On the subject of beaches, go see Cayton Bay itself. It's a bus ride from the town centre and is about 2 miles away. This National Trust site used to be a nudist beach until the mid 90's, but lost it's license after a local outrage. It is now a surf beach of almost unimaginable beauty. The whole beach is hemmed in by a cove of one half cliffs and the other half trees. Looking down on it from the bus on the main road is simply breathtaking. I am not kdding, its that nice. Careful though when it is hot, the cove acts like a huge suntrap and you will burn like a McDonalds burger in no time! One of the best things about Scarborough is the atmosphere. Reading the local paper is hilarious. Where I come from, deaths and violet crime is everyday stuff. Front page of the papers here(Scarborough Evening news) will normally be about a police raid on a house to find a nasty washing line thief!(this really happened). Scarborough is a very quite, relaxing place. It is not Blackpool or places like that. If you want an all-action holiday, full of beer and cheap slappers than this is the wrong place to be. This means, however, that this is probably the safest place I've ever been to, although I have to admit that like all places, there are some areas best avoided. Another thing is that the houses in and around town are generally huge, and very expensive. Scarborough oozes money. Most of the people who live there are absolutely loaded. Lucky them, I guess. Which brings me roundly back to the title. A lass about my age was
cutting my hair in the su mmer, and she asked if I liked Scarborough. When I answered in the affirmative, she looked at me like I had just asked her to strip off and lap-dance, before saying in no uncertain terms that she would soon be out of the place, she hated it because it was "full of old people who come to live here while they wait to die". I disagree. I love Scarborough and its old stuff and its timewarp like cinema and its beautiful beaches. I love the fish and chips and the gawdy arcades. I love being able to walk round the town centre at night and not feeling remotely uneasy, even if it does mean that the place is hardly Ayia Napia. I don't care. I will be going back again in the near future, and I recommend that if you haven't, that you bloody well should. Sharpish. Thank you for reading and commenting on this (rather long) opinion.
Scarborough is my home town and over the years it has been looking a bit grim in areas. I would like to tell you about the best part of Scarborough, the shops! I paticulary enjoy the many shops in the Brunswick Pavilion and along the pedestrianised Eastborough. Theres a huge variety with shops like mark one, Topshop, Next and Togs4u for clothes shoppers and woolworths, Index and argos for most occasions. For the bargain hunter we have Yorkshire trading Company, Boyes and other niknak shops. Food courts and fast food retailers are spread around for your conveinance like Pizza Hut, Burger Hut and Mcdonalds. If you don't fancy fast food theres plenty of restaurants and cafes at reasonable prices scattered around the town. Theres just about every type of shop in Scarborough, mobile phones, shoe shops, supermarkets and many more to suit every type of shopper.
Oh no there seems to be a mistake. I read the other two peoples opinions on Scarborough and even though they may have been right at the time of writing, things have certainly changed since. Back in the good old days when I was a child, between 1982 and 1995, Scarborough was a briiliant place with loads going for it and plenty to do for all ages. Now its alot different. I grew up near the mere and frequently went for walks with my dad and friends. It was bustling back then, people coming from all over to enjoy the mini golfing ( i mean very mini), boating and the cafe. There was an ice cream stand and little canoes for children. A pirate ship sailed people to an island in the middle of the mere where people could search for gold coins ( not real gold but you get the idea ). At one end of the mere there was a jet ski school for people wanting to learn and for professionals. The mere was once a very popular and prosperous place and attracted loads of holiday makers. Now its dead and ugly. A few fisherman still go but only for the peace and quiet. The pirate ship is gone, no boats are available to rent and the cafe is derelict and unsafe. Several times the fire brigade has been out to put out fires started by local teens. Apart from the fisherman theres only youths that go to get drunk. Anyone remeber Peasholm Park? The boating lake and fantastic pogoda on the hill. Totally different now too. It may still get visitors but the atmosphere has changed and the place has been hit by vandals and the pagoda has been destroyed by fire. Even the outdoor water park Atlantis, once known as Watersplash is seeing rough times. Trouble with the filters means that not as many people can be allowed in as usual. I used to enjoy looking round the woodend Museam which is one of two museams in Scarborough. Now attendance figures have dropped by more than half by the introduction of entrance charges. The outside of the museams have also be
e attacked by vandals. The road leading down to the main beach is called Valley Rd and has lots of seats for people to sit and and enjoy the veiw. This is now impossible as the area is used by skaters as there is no skating park for youngsters even though one was promised a few years back to stop skaters using the train station. The main tourist area is Foreshore Rd which runs along the beach. Recent renovations to the Olympia Gardens are very nice but some parts of the beach still looks rather unsightly, like the Futurist which is one of the cinemas/ theatres. This place has definatley seen better days. The inside is rather shabby with carpets in need of replacing and the seating area should be completely refurbished. Many people will remember the outdoor swimming pool at south bay. What a terrible eyesore now, The place has been pronouced dangerous and closed down for many years. many barriers have been erected around the pool to keep people out but this just hads to its uglieness. the changing rooms have been set on fire and pulled to bits so many times I'm surprised the council hasn't just ripped the whole thing down. Even the Spa has been under fire from the newspapers and performers for its shabbyness, Scarborough Coucil knows theres alot in need of upgrading but don't have the funds, so most places just get worse. I really feel saddened about the disrepair that the once prosperous and popular town has fallen into. Alot of the problems arise from groups of children vandalising and setting fire to some of Scarborough's only remaining beauty sites. I'm not just an irate holiday maker who visited Scarborough. I was born and raised here and so have been able to watch its fall from dignity.