Travel UK

Scarborough, Yorkshire, England

As much as I like to make fun of Sam for being a Northerner, I do have to hand it to him; Scarborough is beautiful. Plus it’s a place of great literary importance in my mind. Yorkshire is huge and diverse but it’s also  the land of “Wuthering Heights” and the Brontes, of “The Secret Garden”, of “Dracula”, of Ted Hughes (who was from  West Yorkshire) and Sylvia Plath (who was buried there). It’s the home of playwright Alan Ayckbourn, and I really recommend a trip to the Stephen Joseph Theatre if you make a visit.

We had a brilliant time over the Christmas period, and I thought I’d share some of the photos from our walks around town. Since Scarborough is the largest resort town on the Yorkshire Coast it has a lot of (somewhat faded) charm. It really had it’s heyday in the late 19th/early 20th century. But that just means there are some gorgeous Victorian buildings!

Despite multiple trips over the years, I always seem to visit Scarborough when it’s cold- Christmases, Easter, Halloween; I’ve yet to experience it in the summer, and I’m sure to get a very different impression of it then. Although my favourite thing to do in town is ride the cliff life (I’ve kept all my ticket stubs from various visits) so it might be a bit more crowded during the summer. And I’m not sure you can tempt me into the North Sea even in August!

tide and lighthouse
South Bay.

sea front
Looking south towards Flamborough Head.

sea front and beachlighthousesam and bay
Sam with the castle headland behind him.

big spy glassspy glass me in baybaymural
Tram art.

Eastborough Street with Scarborough Castle in the background.

The Grand Hotel, Scarborough.

The Grand Hotel from a bit more of a distance.

town hall
The Town Hall and the Royal Hotel.

mcbean steps
McBean’s Steps.

The Foreshore, where all the arcades are.

in cliff lift
Riding the cliff lift, aka my favourite thing to do in Scarborough.

cliff lift
The view up the cliff lift.

The famous colourful beach cabins near The Spa.

colorful seabeach huts            beach    anne bronte
And of course, the very sad location of Anne Bronte’s death.

If you visit, the train takes about 50 minutes from York.

Have you ever visited Scarborough?

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  • Such lovely photos! I love visiting Yorkshire, but I’ve never been to Scarborough. It looks such a charming place to visit though. I love all the brightly coloured beach cabins, although I don’t think I’d be tempted to take a swim even in the summer either – brrr! xxx

    • It is charming. It’s clearly past it’s prime and a lot of it is starting to get really run down, but you can just tell how incredible it used to be! x

  • That is so charming and how do you not sing Scarborough Faire the whole time you are there?!

    • You don’t. You have to sing it. It’s always stuck in my head while I’m there. x

      • Good our friendship can now continue πŸ˜‰

        • Sam said, and I quote, “I’ve been plagued by that song my entire life!” x

          • I wonder if we all have one of those songs, my whole life I have been sung Won’t You Come Home Bill Bailey to my repeated protests of I am not a boy nor is Bailie my last name!

  • I went to Scarborough for the first time last year and I quite liked it. Even though it is a bit run down it still has a certain charm about it. I do prefer going to Whitby though although it is really touristy. Xx

    • Shh… don’t let Sam here you say that! What I love about it, is that even though it is really faded is that you can tell how amazing it was decades ago, when people still holidayed inside England instead of going abroad. x

  • What a beautiful place! I love your shots looking towards Flamborough Head. It looks like the perfect place to go hiking. We haven’t been north in England yet – only down to Bath and Cornwall. I’d like to see some other areas this year, though!

  • Angie SilverSpoon

    I’ve never been to Scarborough but I used to live in Leeds. It’s not a pretty place but very fun and lots going on.

    Lots of love,

    SilverSpoon London

  • If I’m honest, the only knowledge I have about Scarborough is from the Simon and Garfunkel song about the fair and parsley sage rosemary and thyme and stuff.. I’m not sure that qualifies..

    • Haha I sing that all the time when I’m there! I’m not even sure it’s about that Scarborough- but I sing it to Sam anyways! x

  • I love how all the coastal towns have tons of arcades, and those little beach cottages are adorable!

  • These are fabulous photos! I love the ones by the sea cabins and I love your earmuffs. Looks like so much fun πŸ™‚

    • Hehehe I always get a bit embarrassed about my earmuffs- I know they look a bit silly but my ears are weirdly susceptible to the cold! xx

  • It is huge, it’s totally a ruin though – but you’re allowed to wander through a lot of the grounds of it! x

  • Scarborough is one of my fave seaside destinations! Your pics are fab! Whitby is another gem on the east coast – I’m sure you’ve already checked that one out too! X

    • Here’s a huge nerd confession: I really want to be in Whitby for the Bram Stoker festival one year! xx

  • amitygardens

    So pretty! I need to go and visit.

  • I had no idea about Scarborough’s literary history! Awesome! It also just looks like a nice place to spend some time. I really love that tram art. The whole town looks colorful and peaceful πŸ™‚

    • It’s really beautiful, even though it’s well-past it’s prime. Yorkshire has such a rich literary tradition. I keep bugging Sam to take me out to walk on a moor. xx

  • Anywhere by the sea is a wonderful place in my mind. Add in castles and some pretty architecture and it sounds amazing!

  • I’ve never been to Scarborough, but Jan has. His dad has a friend there. From your photos it looks lovely πŸ™‚ But then most of Yorkshire is pretty. York is one of my favourite cities.

    • It’s one of those towns that was clearly amazing a few decades ago and then just stopped being a tourist hub. York is gorgeous! x

  • Well whaddaya know. ANOTHER thing we have in common: Northern boyfriends! Hurrah!

    You had a lovely clear day for seaside tripping πŸ˜€ we’ve not been to Scarborough yet but we did Whitby in April which I think is pretty nearby no?

    Ace photos as always sweet xxx

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

    • Northerners! Whoop, whoop! Where’s your mister from? Whitby and Scarborough are really close! Like a 35 minute drive apart? xx

      • Aces. Definitely making him take me there next time we’re up haha! He’s from a teeny tiny village called Stokesley πŸ™‚ I think it’s about 45 minutes drive from Whitby? xx

  • So lovely, I’ve always wanted to live somewhere chilly near the water.

  • Looks like a very sweet little seaside town :)) I know what you mean about only visiting in the winter…. perhaps in the summer you’re just busy going anywhere else! I feel the same about Prague- I feel like I’m only there during cold months and can’t even remember what hot, sweaty summer Prague feels like.

    • It is sweet! Rundown, but sweet! Isn’t it strange that you only go to certain places at really specific times? x

  • My brother went to university in Scarborough and I spent many happy days crashing his student digs, going in the arcades and wandering the beach. We spent around 4 hours making a huge sand castle city one May. Happy times πŸ™‚

    • Ha! No way! What a small world! We’ll have to get he and Sam to swap favourite weird drinking places in Scarborough stories! x

      • Haha I’m sure they’d have some good ones! Lord knows Scarborough has enough pubs and bars to go around!

        • They have WAY more pubs than necessary. And hairdressers. Who are all these people that are needing their hair cut that often?! x

          • Haha they do! Have you seen the little shop opposite the lighthouse that does ‘Victorian portraits’? They dress you up and have you pose (unsmiling of course) all straight backed and take an old fashioned picture, with that distinctive sepia tint. It is one of my biggest regrets not going and having my portrait done!!

          • I know EXACTLY the place you’re talking about! HA! x

  • That cliff lift looks so cool to ride! I will have to definitely make a trip to do that.

    • Haha, it’s so cheesy, but I enjoy it so much. It only takes a few minutes….but….I still love it! xx

  • Oh I love your earmuffs! πŸ™‚

    • Hehe, I have so many people who’ve teased me about them, but if my ears are warm then I am a happy camper! πŸ™‚ xx

  • Ana Valentin

    So beautiful! I love your blog simply because it gives me a list of places I really need to visit and of course your lovely face. Have a great day!

    • Ah! Thank you so much! It’s lovely to visit if you’re in the area. To be honest, I’d never put it at the top of anyone’s travel bucket list. πŸ˜‰ x

  • I like the tram art and the cliff lift. By the way is there still a Scarborough Fair as in the song?

    Suze | LuxuryColumnist

    • I had to ask Sam- he said that there was when he used to live there (until he moved away for University) but that he’s not certain now. I hope there still is! x

  • Oh it looks like a bloody great place to visit

    • it’s really lovely! I can imagine that it was a really peaceful place to grow up, compared to London! x

  • Rebecca P.

    Lovely! The grand hotel is beautiful!

    • So gorgeous on the outside, right? Sadly, a lot of the floors have been closed since people don’t vacation here in the more so there are big bits of the hotel that are just empty! x

  • I really like posts like this where you get to find out things about somewhere you know very little about. I’ve never visited Scarborough before, as it’s never jumped out at me as a place to visit. The buildings look beautiful though and it must have been lovely to spend time by the sea.

    I hope you get to go back sometime when it’s a bit warmer!

    • Thank you! I think it’s a place that is great to stop by if you are in the area. It’s not somewhere that I’d tell anyone that it needs to be at the top of their travel list, if that makes sense! x

  • Elise

    I love old seaside towns! You got some really cool pictures. I went to Scarborough once when my friend lived near there, it was pretty cold though so we didn’t get to do much, hopefully I’ll go back some day πŸ™‚

    • I am always freezing when I’m there. Sam’s family is really sweet and they put an electric blanket on my bed so that at least I’m warm at night! xx

  • I’ve been once, and got to visit the castle and it was wonderfully sunny, then when we were walking we got caught in a torrential downpour, which was not fun. Must go back!

  • Charlie D

    Such amazing photographs. This seems like a beautiful place to visit, it must have so much history and the seaside always is lovely !

    Charlie xx

  • I visited the Bronte sisters’ village (I think it was Haworth?) and absolutely loved Yorkshire. It’s such a beautiful area though sadly it has a pretty bad reputation, right? Don’t understand that πŸ˜‰

    • I think Southerners and Northerns have skewed visions of each other – like sometimes Southerners are viewed as posh and snobby, etc, while Northerners are viewed as poor and uneducated, but obviously this isn’t the case and there are extremes in both areas! x

  • Gorgeous photographs, I’ve never been to Scarborough but really hope to make it there one day when I am visiting again soon

    • If you’re in the area definitely check it out as a day trip. Or do Scarborough/Whitby in one day using York as a basecamp! x

  • Is that some blue sky I see?!

    I’ve not had many chances to explore the the east coast, when we were younger we’d always stay near to Norfolk, and as for the north, I’ve only visited Whitby… not complaining, that’s a pretty nice little place!

  • Thank you so much Amy! x

  • Yep- Whitby is really close by πŸ™‚ I think that’s Sam’s second favourite fish and chips shop. His first is a place in Scarborough called Cappleman’s. xx

  • Weirdly enough, I’ve always thought of Scarborough as a shady place because the town in Canada that goes by the same name is kind of shady haha but I can see it’s far from being that. It looks absolutely beautiful! I mean I’m just always so jealous of people who grew up on the seaside like that, it makes me feel so serene!

    • Sam has family in Toronto and he lived there for a year and he said Canadian Scarborough was a place he’d never take me! I guess he wasn’t exaggerating then? xx

  • Thank you for the amazing photos and introductions. This town on the North sea coast is very beautiful and peaceful. The view up the cliff lift is so amazing.

  • how beautiful! the North Sea is supercold even in summer even down the coast in Suffolk, so I bet it’s frigid up there!

    • It is so damn cold. The kind of cold that makes your eyes water, but at least it’s beautiful! xx