Before we were lucky enough to swan off a little closer to the equator on a budget flight every year, summer holidays meant packing up the car and heading for the coast.
As children, we’d spend year after year excited about popping pennies into the slot machines for as long as we had coppers for, going from arcade to arcade and ice cream van to ice cream van, before spending the afternoon running barefoot across the beach. And those memories are exactly why Scarborough remains iconic to this day.
Now inducing nostalgia in thousands, Scarborough has long reigned as one of the most visited resorts in the country – but not only that, it was actually the very first seaside resort in Britain, first attracting aristocrats to the famous Scarborough Spa in the early 17th century. Since then, its popularity has barely dwindled, with thousands flocking every single year to soak up the summer vibes.
Now, of course, people don’t visit to bathe in the apparently ‘medicinal’ spa water as they did back in the day, but for the many family-friendly attractions there that are synonymous with the British seaside. We’re talking classic arcades, traditional fish and chip shops serving up fresh and local catches, proper sweet shops stocked full of traditional rock, and, of course, the beach.
Offering a variety of attractions for visitors to enjoy, the resort is now the largest on the Yorkshire coast, and the perfect place to visit for a staycation this summer.
Combining history and heritage with the joy that is the seaside, Scarborough is incredibly unique thanks to its stunning castle, which looms high over the centre of the resort from its very own clifftop.
Split across two bays, there’s plenty to explore in lovely Scarborough, including the stunning architecture of the Grand Hotel on the South Bay, and the brightly coloured beach huts on the more peaceful North Bay.
It’s almost two entirely different experiences rolled up in one destination, with the hustle and bustle of the town existing on the South side of the castle – harbour and fairground included – and the Northern side offering a large stretch of sand, a cafe, and a generally more relaxed tone.
Fondly referred to as Scarbados, it’s the Southside that’s given it the evocative reputation that it has today, offering sentiment aplenty with its brightly coloured, retro shopfronts, the scent of sea salt and battered fish drifting along the seafront, and the sound of children laughing and playing at both the fairground and the beach.
Traditional pubs, inns, stylish bars and Italian restaurants make up the town’s hospitality offering, with endless fish and chips options littering the seafront and beyond for those looking for a more authentic seaside experience. After all, it’s not quite a trip to the coast without a chippy and a bit of candy floss, is it? Even if the seagulls try and pinch it all.
A town that’s alive throughout both day and night, Scarborough is particularly beautiful in the evenings – especially around the Harbourside – with the coast dotted with firefly-like lights that reflect across the calm seawater. It’s like a slice of the Mediterranean in Yorkshire, but with its very own, charming, down-to-Earth, nostalgic twist.