Things to do in Scarborough

Scarborough prides itself as being the original British seaside destination and has a whole host of things for visitors to enjoy.

Beaches in Scarborough

Things to do in Scarborough - Scarborough beach
Photo credit – Flickr – YorkshireGeek

Scarborough’s beaches are split into the North Bay and South Bay.

The South Bay runs alongside the bustling promenade, with amusements and shops just over the road. It’s hugely popular with families and has everything you would expect from a typical British beach – including donkey rides!

Scarborough’s South Bay beach is a great place to be in the summer – but be warned, it can get busy very quickly if the weather is nice, so get there early!

The North Bay beach is located further up the coast road. It’s a 10 minute walk from the fairground at the end of the South Bay promenade, or you can catch the sea life centre bus to it. The North Bay beach is more peaceful than it’s counterpart, and while a new housing development runs alongside it, there is nowhere near the same bustle as on the South side. If you’re looking for a quiet stroll after a hefty fish and chip dinner, the North Bay beach is perfect.

At the far end of the North Bay, you reach the Sea Life Centre, a great attraction that keeps children of all ages entertained.

Amusements in Scarborough

Things to do in Scarborough - Scarborough amusements
Photo credit – Flickr – p22earl

If you’re taking your kids to Scarborough, be prepared to be pestered for more and more loose change. Scarborough has an array of amusements and arcades spanning the South Bay, including Olympia Amusements, Corrigan’s Bingo and Henry Marshall’s. 2p pushers, sit-in driving games, one armed bandits and even miniature bowling alleys are all over these places. Once you’ve cashed in on your winnings, almost all of the amusements have cafes if you need to unwind with a cup of tea.

Scarborough castle

Things to do in Scarborough - Scarborough castle
Photo credit – Flickr – IngyTheWingy

One of the most fascinating historical sites in Yorkshire, Scarborough Castle dates from the 12th century, with some finds dating back as far of the bronze age.

Dramatically overlooking the town, breathtaking views over Scarborough and out to sea can be enjoyed from the castle walls. There’s no on-site parking, so it’s best to use the park and ride, or park at the Marine Drive car park.

North Bay miniature railway

Situated opposite Peasholm Gardens, the historic North Bay miniature railway takes it’s passengers on a relaxing 3/4 mile journey from the gardens to Scalby Mills (and the Sea Life Centre).

Along with the train ride, there are many things to do; get drenched on the UK’s oldest water chute, relax by the boating lake at Northstead Manor Gardens, tuck into some fish and chips at the Scampi Shack, and wash it all down with a visit to Boatman’s Tavern, the smallest pub in Yorkshire (and possibly the country!)

Peasholm park

Things to do in Scarborough - Peasholm park
Photo credit – Flickr – Jo Jakeman

The free to enter Peasholm park features 14 hectares of oriental-style gardens, a vast lake, miniature waterfalls, pedaloes and a (scaled down) naval warfare reconstruction played out during the summer months. In addition to all this, why not spend an afternoon completing the therapeutic tree trail – a walk around the boundaries of the park taking in the sights of 29 different species of tree.

Pleasure boats

Things to do in Scarborough - pleasure boats
Photo credit – Flickr – Stuart Grout

If you’ve never been to Scarborough before, a pleasure boat trip is a must. Numerous services run throughout the day from the harbour and can take you out towardsFiley, Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and other local towns.

Thinking of visiting or staying in Scarborough? Take a look at our comprehensive selection of holiday cottages in Whitby and find your perfect holiday cottage!

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