It has sandy beaches in two bays and a promenade around the headland between them on which stands its castle. There are parks with boating lakes, miniature train rides, a sea life centre, open top buses, an open air theatre and indoor entertainment at its Spa. Its South Bay also contains a picturesque fishing harbour from where there are boat trips around the bay and beyond. Scarborough's lifeboat is based nearby and there's a lighthouse at the end of the harbour.
Scarborough seems to offer everything expected of the traditional British seaside in one town, but, if that's not enough, there are other Yorkshire resorts to visit a few miles away, including
People have been flocking to Scarborough for more than 400 years and the level of tourism was boosted in Victorian times with the coming of the railway to the town.
Today Scarborough is providing more modern facilities, including a recently-opened water park, while maintaining its traditional charm.
There's plenty to see here and the town has hundreds of hotels and small quality guest houses to choose from if planning a stay.
The town also has a traditional Market Hall with a wide range of goods in St Helen's Square.
The town's main post office is in Aberdeen Walk, there are also a number of sub-post offices in districts and villages around Scarborough.
There are several banks and building society branches in Scarborough.
From traditional Yorkshire pubs to more modern bars, the town has a good range of places for refreshment and entertainment.
While the town has cafes and restaurants catering in all cuisines, fish and chips on the seafront near Scarborough's fishing harbour remains a popular favourite.
Scarborough has a huge range of hotel and quality guest house choices and also offers self-catering accommodation and caravan and camping sites.
Scarborough's main library, run by North Yorkshire County Council, is in Vernon Road in the town centre.
Scarborough has several public toilets around the South Bay and harbour and at the North Bay, Peasholm Park and its nearby car park at Burniston Road. Some of the toilets open in the summer and some all year round. Some have a 40p fee. Some open at 7.30am and others at 10am. Almost all are closed at 6pm. You can check which offer the most convenient times before you go at this
Scarborough has places of worship including Anglican, Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, United Reformed, Islamic and others.
The Church of St Mary, above the harbour and just below the castle, is the parish church of Scarborough. The church traces its history back to 1150, but has had been extended and rebuilt over the years, particularly after it was severely damaged in the English Civil War siege of Scarborough Castle in 1645. In the churchyard is the grave of Anne Brontë, one of the poet and novelist Brontë sisters. She died in Scarborough in 1849.
Scarborough Open Air TheatreNorthstead Manor Gardens
Europe's largest open air theatre hosts some of the biggest names in the music industry. The list of top music acts in 2020 includes Lionel Richie, Westlife, Little Mix, McFly and more.
The SpaSouth Bay
Scarborough Spa is a conference, exhibition and entertainment venue on the sea front at the southern end of Scarborough's South Bay. It hosts a wide variety of musical concerts and top entertainers from the field of comedy, sport, music, dance, children's entertainment and tribute acts, together with ballet, opera and the Scarborough Jazz Festival in September.
Stephen Joseph TheatreWestborough
The theatre opened in its latest guise in 1996 in Scarborough's former Odeon Cinema. It has a theatre in the round seating more than 400 and a smaller forward facing-stage or cinema. It provides a venue for drama, comedy, musical entertainment and new work, including world premieres by award-winning playwright Alan Ayckbourn, who was the theatre's artistic director from 1972 to 2009. The theatre traces its history to British theatre pioneer Stephen Joseph forming the first modern professional theatre-in-the round company in Scarborough in 1955.
Scarborough Cricket ClubScarborough Cricket Club is a host to Yorkshire County Cricket Club matches at North Marine Road.
Coventry University Scarborough CampusAshburn Road, off Valley Road, Scarborough
A brand new campus of the West Midlands-based university opened in Scarborough in September 2016 with a range of full-time, part-time, foundation and access courses.
Rotunda MuseumVernon Road (near Spa Bridge)
As one of the UK's oldest purpose-built museums, the 1829 Rotunda Museum building is an exhibit in itself, but it is also full of fascinating objects. They include the bronze age skeleton of Gristhorpe Man, found near Scarborough, a geological showcase of the Jurassic coast and its lost dinosaurs and finds from an important Mesolithic site at Star Carr, just south of Scarborough.
More information at the
Places to visit
Scarborough CastleCastle Road
In its clifftop location on the headland between North and South Bays, the ruined castle is the centrepiece of Scarborough. The castle includes ruins from a 4th century Roman signal station and medieval chapel, but its most dominant feature is the half-ruined keep. The tower was built by Henry II between 1159 and 1169 and was used as a grand residence. Half its 12-foot thick walls were damaged during an English Civil War siege in 1645. The castle also has a rebuilt barbican gate tower and bridge from 1243 and remains of a royal lodging dating from the early 13th century. King John and Henry III invested heavily in the castle. In more recent history Scarborough Castle was one of the targets of the World War I bombardment of the town of Scarborough by German battlecruisers on December 16, 1914. Scarborough Castle is now managed by English Heritage.
More information at the
Scaborough Sea Life SanctuaryScalby Mills
The Sea Life Sanctuary is located at the pyramid-roofed buildings at Scalby Mills at the north end of Scarborough's North Bay. Indoor and outdoor exhibits include Bonnethead and Blacktip Reef sharks, otters, penguins and Yorkshire's only seal hospital.
North Bay RailwayNorthstead Manor Gardens to Scalby Mills
The historic seaside minature railway has operated since 1931. It runs for just under a mile beside the lake of Northstead Manor Gardens and along the North Bay to Scalby Mills, near to the Sea Life Sanctuary. Most journeys are operated by diesel-powered miniature images of historic mainline steam locomotives, but the railway recently acquired a real steam locomotive to operate steam special services.
More information at the
Peasholm ParkOne of Britain's best-loved parks, Peasholm Park, a short walk from Scarborough's North Bay, has at its heart a lake encircling an island and an oriental theme inspired by a willow pattern plate. The lake offers a circuit for traditional rowing boats and canoes, dragon pedal boats and a swan launch. There are also free concerts from a bandstand in the lake. A bridge provides a path to the island where there is a pagoda at the top of the hill, enhancing the park's theme. A quiet and peaceful natural glen leads away from the lake area to ponds, one to launch model boats, and shady trees with their population of squirrels. The park is supported by a friends group.
Further details at the
North York Moors National ParkStarting just outside the the town of Scarborough is the beautiful scenery of the North York Moors National Park, which covers 554 square miles (1,435 square kilometres). Within its area are moorland and coast, historic stateley homes, remains of castles and abbeys, attractive villages and market towns and a historic railway. For more information see our page dedicated to the
Scarborough station offers TransPennine Express services across Yorkshire to Seamer,
Station managed by TransPennine Express. Operators: TransPennine Express and Northern.
Bus servicesAround two dozen bus routes operate from locations in Scarborough town centre to surrounding towns and villages. Inter-town services have stops or terminate near to the town's railway station at Westborough. Among other towns and resorts served by buses from Scarborough are Cayton Bay,
Yorkshire Coastliner provide a regular 843 service from Leeds bus station via
Scarborough has a sea front service operated by open top buses providing a useful connection between the South Bay at The Spa and the North Bay at Peasholme Gap, with several stops along the route.
Road travelThe A64, a single carriageway road with short sections of dual carriageway, connects Scarborough with
In Scarborough there is pay and display car parking in many areas around the town, including around its Marine Drive, but this can soon fill at the peak of the holiday season. Permit, disc and restricted time parking operates on some streets.
Park and ride buses operate from car parks at Filey Road and Seamer Road, providing 15-minute journeys into Scarborough between 7am and after 6pm every day.
The HS2 effect
ScarboroughThere would potentially be a 29min time saving to London changing at York to the fastest train on the HS2 route compared with the current fastest East Coast Main Line trains.
Emergency servicesNorth Yorkshire Police
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust
District authorityScarborough Borough Council
Scarborough Borough Council covers a large district extending for around 40 miles along the coast to the north and south of
A large proportion of the district is within the North York Moors National Park.
Elections are held every four years.
A revision of wards on the council from May 2019 means the number of wards of Scarborough Borough Council is reduced from 25 to 20 and the number of councillors elected is reduced from 50 to 46. Each ward has one, two or three councillors.
Link to council website
The political composition after the 2019 election is:
County authorityNorth Yorkshire County Council
Includes the Scarborough borough and six other non-unitary districts of North Yorkshire.
Police and Crime CommissionerPolice and Crime Commissioner North Yorkshire
Covers the county of North Yorkshire and City of York.
Fire AuthorityThe North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service was previously governed by the North Yorkshire Combined Fire Authority made up of elected members from across the broad areas of North Yorkshire and City of York councils which it serves. Following a ministerial announcement in June 2018 the governance of the fire service was transferred to the Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire from 15 November 2018.
Further information at the
National government regionYorkshire and the Humber
Ceremonial countyNorth Yorkshire
Historic1835- Municipal Borough
1894-1974 Municipal Borough and Rural District within North Riding of Yorkshire
1974-present District authority (enlarged) within county of North Yorkshire
Also in Yorkshire.guide
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