Stephen Joseph Theatre (2)
This should come near the top of any "must see".
It's a glorious art deco building that has been wonderfully restored, and it's a real delight to attend the premier of an Alan Ayckbourn play there. The theatre is in-the-round, so no member of the audience is ever more than about 25ft from the stage.
We like second row aisle seats (B14 and B15 are our favourites!) because you're close to the action without having the actors tripping over your feet.
Upstairs is a standard cinema. Fondest memory: As 2003 became 2004, we walked along the Esplanade (the promenade along the top of the South Cliff) while gorgeous, plump snowflakes drifted down. The lights of the town were twinkling in the bay, and the waves susurrated below. Total magic.
What do we miss? We drive for two and a half hours to get there on Friday evenings, and two and a half hours to return on Sunday afternoons, and in between, we just miss Scarborough.
About 10 miles from Scarborough is a national forest at Hackness. Dalby Forest is situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park. The southern part of the forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a 'Rigg and Dale' landscape whilst to the north the forest sits on the upland plateau.
Entrance to the forest is paid at a toll booth and prices vary but a car costs £7.00. This may see high but upkeep of the forest must be expensive but the facilities within such as public toilets are very good and the paths are easy to negotiate as they are so well maintained. It i deemed disabled friendly and I agree although pushing someone in a wheelchair along country paths is not easy.
There are several walks to make and clear streams and a lake. Lots of picnic sites , BBQ areas, shops, cafes and cycle trails. There are dedicated mountain bike routes to which look very exciting.
See also my two tips on cafes within the forest.
Access possible by Moorsbus (see separate tip) if you do not have a car.
Cafe, Lift, Fleamarket...
Around the corner from The Grand (past it and then right) you come to another cliff lift. This one has its terminus in a fine victorian wooden hut that also serves as a cafe. In front of this is a small area that acts as a fleamarket from time to time.
More than a fair
Scarborough is probably the most well-known Yorkshire seaside resort outside Yorkshire. Much because of the old folk song "Scarborough Fair", later immortalised by Simon & Garfunkel. Personally, I would spend a "one day only" trip to the Yorkshire coast on Whitby instead, but if you have more than one day then definately come here! This place is everything you expect of an English seaside resort; donkey rides, candy floss, tacky souvenirs, amusement arcades and excellent fish & chips.
I went here some times when I lived in York and pined for the sea. For that reason, I went back with the family recently so that we could reminiscence and show our daughter a place her parents went to when they had just met :) We even ended up staying three nights as Whitby where we wanted to stay was full because of its annual regatta. This made us realise a bit more about Scarborough. My husband (VT member kitan) has spent a lot of holiday time here as a child and was pleased to see that his old fish and chip shop was alive and well, but he also realised that a ten-year-old has more fun here than an adult. The town is sort of stuck in a 1970s timewarp which is nice if you like to live in the past, but less nice for all the bed and breakfast owners who no longer gets any guests as Scarborough has tons more hotels than it needs these days. It used to be a great seaside resort from the discovery of its spa qualities in the 18th century and up to the 1970s, but today the British working class can afford holidays abroad and Scarborough is left with only a trickle of its old custom. Often those too poor still to go abroad, or those who just dislikes foreign travel. Having said all this, Scarborough has some wonderful historical sights to be explored (more about those below) and I do hope what I wrote above will not scare you away. Go here to see a very genuine part of England and enjoy the great sea views.
Scarborough has two parts to it - the Southside and the North Bay and both have long sandy beaches. The Southside is where you go for the harbour and the amusements.
The North Bay has the green Peasholme parklands and lots of bed and breakfasts as well as waterparks. In between, the impressive hill with its castle ruins overlook both. Another intersting thing with Scarborough is that is has a great Italian population which may seem a bit odd here on the Yorkshire coast but which has coloured the town in the sense that people seem to eat later here than is normal and don't bat an eyelid if families with children are out for an evening meal quite late.