What to do in Scarborough, the UK’s first seaside resort.
When visiting somewhere, it’s easy to fall into the tourist trap and do the normal. But imagine the potential when you decide to go off track. The adventure. The hidden gems.
It’s easy to think of Scarborough as just a seaside town. It’s what tourists love about it and in some ways, it’s what the locals stay for. You can’t beat the sea air and sand under your feet. I’ve written before about the Instagrammable views . But, although it may be difficult to believe – looking at the amusement and cafe ridden foreshore – there is more to Scarborough than it’s beaches. Shocker, right?
Visiting or wondering what to do in Scarborough, and or what there is beside the obvious? Then here are a few ideas.
Shuttleworth’s Garden, South Cliff.
Shuttleworth’s gardens. Located just of the Esplanade on South Cliff. They were originally known as Redcourt Gardens, attached to a property called Redcourt which was bought by a businessman called – Shuttleworth. The town was given the garden as a gift by Shuttleworth.
The garden comprises of much lawn space and seating, as well as an over 100-year-old oak shelter and miniature rock, and water garden, which has an added feature of a fairy post box. Apparently, they sometimes reply. It really is a lovely place to sit and admire. The gardens are maintained by local volunteers, who do an amazing job.
South Cliff Gardens.
There are many gardens on the South Cliff of Scarborough. The biggest being that of the Italian gardens and adjoining and equally beautiful Rose gardens. The Italian gardens feature over a hundred-year-old sheltered seating, as well as a fish pond with a statue centerpiece of the Roman god Mercury – which was given to the town by Shuttleworth. In bloom, the gardens are a real spectacle of colour. But even in the winter months, you can’t help but we amazed at the beauty and also the tranquility.
The gardens can be accessed from the Esplanade on the South cliff, or you can walk up to them from the Spa below. They are signposted.
Holbeck site, South Cliff.
The history of the site may not interest everyone, but the area surrounding it, leading down the sea/beach/spa is a lovely walk and a great spot for photography/photos of the south bay.
Holbeck Hall Hotel. Originally a private home, converted into a four-star hotel owned by English Rose Hotels, formally proudly stood on the South Cliff of Scarborough, down from the Esplanade. However, a landslide in 1993 claimed the hotel’s gardens as well as a percentage of the building, with the debris being slung down the cliff and into the sea. In the aftermath, the surviving part of the property was demolished and the site cleared and fenced off. A small car park next to the site is still in use, with an information board telling the sites tale. The bottom of the cliff below the hotels’ former location has been re-landscaped and it is a nice walk from the car park down the cliff and along to the Spa.
The Market Vaults.
Scarborough Market Hall is possibly out of sight, out of mind to many. It’s located on a side street of Eastborough, the main road leading from the top of the town where shopping precinct/high street is, all the way down to the beach. It’s a pretty big building, but it is easy to have blinkers on whilst you walk down to the foreshore – your eyes taking in the cafes and quirky shops that line the street. But the market hall really is worth a visit. The main hall boasts a selection of local independent businesses from fruit and veg sellers, so fish and meat, plus a photographers gallery/shop and a bakery. There’s also plenty of seating downstairs and upstairs for you to sit and watch the world go by with a drink or food from a selection of cafes.
However, what people sometimes miss is that the hall has vaults. Accessible via a ramp or steps, below the main hall is an Aladdin’s cave of more independent businesses.
A Good Walk.
Not to everyone’s taste I’m sure, mainly of the child kind, but you can’t beat the sea air. But maybe less of the sea breeze, especially when selfies are in order. But sometimes a walk is the best and only way to properly explore a place. Scarborough’s coastal location and two bays provide THE best scenic walks as well as many photography opportunities.