Scarborough is a large town and seaside resort situated on the coast of north-east England, south of Whitby in the county of North Yorkshire. after going into something of a decline during the 1970s and 1980s as holidaymakers started travelling abroad for their summer holidays, Scarborough has had something of a renaissance in recent years and has made great efforts to re-establish itself as a popular holiday destination.
The heart of Scarborough for visitors is centred along the sea - around the beaches and harbour - and the old town just behind the coast. The coast is divided in two by the headland that holds Scarborough Castle, with the southern part having the greatest number of resort facilities: cafes, pubs and amusement arcades etc.
Directly behind this tourist facing section of Scarborough, a more modern town has all the shops and other facilities you would expect in a large town with all 'big name' High Street shops, speciality shops and various markets. There are also several museums, including the Rotunda, an attractive round building dating from 1828 and with a museum focussing on geology, and the Scarborough Art Gallery, featuring local paintings in a grand 1840's stone villa. At night-time there is a good choice of restaurants to meet all budgets, and a wide selection of nightclubs and theatres.
A grand promenade lined with Victorian townhouses links the two bays in Scarborough- each have family friendly beaches to enjoy. More fine examples of Victorian architecture can be enjoyed by following the South Cliff promenade; visiting the Spa Complex (now a theatre and music venue); and at the Westborough Methodist Church (also a music venue), to name but a few.
Away from Scarborough beach
To escape from the holiday crowds a little head north of the peninsula to Peasholm Park, a very substantial park area with woods, a lake and gardens set in a steep sided valley. Recreations of the naval battle the 'Battle of the River Plate' (the first major naval battle in WWII) is played out on the lake during summer months, and there is a Trail through the park that highlights some of the more rare and unusual trees.
Peasholm Park is also one end of the miniature railway, another popular Scarborough attraction that leads about 1 kilometre to Scalby Mills and the Scarborough Sealife Centre.
Literary enthusiast will want to head for the small Saint Mary's Church, to see the burial place of the 19th century novelist Anne Bronte.
There is a very wide selection of other family and tourist orientated events, attractions and activities both in and around Scarborough according to personal preference and the dates of your visit - visit the Scarborough Visitor Information Centre for events that are taking place during your stay.
Built in the middle of the 12th century, Scarborough Castle occupies an impressive location above the cliffs on the rocky headland that protrudes into the North Sea in the heart of the town between the two beaches. Although in ruins there is a substantial amount of the castle that remains for visitors to explore - the original castle keep is the main building standing (30 metres high, although missing one wall), with substantial other walls and fortifications also still in place.
Unusually for an early medieval castle, Scarborough castle was pressed into service several times during the 16th - 20th centuries, at various times as a prison, a barracks and an arsenal. To help us better appreciate what the original castle was like English Heritage now operate a Museum and Visitor Centre at the site.
Map of Scarborough and places to visit
Scarborough places to visit
See more places nearby in the North Yorkshire guide