What can be more traditional at the Englsh seaside than a donkey ride? There are 3 or four teams of donkeys at Scarborough, though when we arrived it was their lunch time. Which is lucky for Susan, cos she hates the donkey ride (but she loves the donkeys).
Well not for me but Eastborough ( the steep street from the beach on south bay to the town centre) has mushroomed with tatoo parlours and shops undertaking body piercing. They seem very busy with trippers and townspeople and so perhaps this is a local custom!
Thank goodness for the good old fashioned shops selling beach goods.
You will never get used to Scarborough's weather - the best thing is to just deal with that fact and move on! The locals have a kind of 6th sense (or are we just more tolerant of going out in a T-shirt and getting so wet we have to go home and change?!), but for everyone else, my tip is to layer your clothes.
Never look at the weather in the morning and assume it will be the same all day. The double-bayed cliff formation which leaves us exposed to the North Sea while protecting us from winds that come off the land means that whatever weather report you see on the TV news, it is likely to be wrong. Last winter, when snow engulfed the entire country? Blazing sunshine here - it was T-shirt weather. The next day it rained, then it snowed, then sun again! You get the idea! Last week when the rest of the country had heavy rain, we got a bit of that, followed by hail - yes, in July! (it's unusual, even for here) - then the rest of the weekend was glorious sun.
If you are caught short in the rain, buy a cheap umbrella in the Pound Shop (one near the harbour on South Bay, one opposite Marks & Spencer in the town centre)... or just head for a cafe or a shop doorway until it passes, like the rest of us!
Cant believe no ones mentioned it! This is a very very local custom and since Ive moved away I have tried time and again to explain it to people, every Shrove Tuesday all the schools shut and they close off the marine drive so people can skip on the roads, this is one of my fondest memories of my home town! It comes from when at lent the fishermen used to give their ropes and nets to local children to skip with as they weren't going to be using them in the holy period. Now they organize loads of stuff in town like pancake races and competitions.
Also boxing days a good one, where theres footy on the beach in the morning and raft races in the harbor! Apparently you used to be able to get an Irish coffee from the harbor bar but im not sure if they still do that. Its a bit of a rowdy night out later on though as a lot of people follow on from the morning activities by heavy drinking throughout the rest of the day.
All you British, you know exactly what I mean but to the overseas guys who haven't quite figured out our traditions yet here's one of them.
It's like this...
You go on holiday to a seaside resort. Maybe Blackpool, maybe Weston-Super-Mare, maybe Brighton or maybe Scarborough to mention but a few. You'll probably walk along the beach, you'll probably have an ice cream (see my ice cream tip). You may walk along the pier if they still have one and you may even let the kids ride a Donkey if they're brave enough but one things for certain, you'll take all of your friends a stick of rock back.
Available in all colours, flavours and sizes rock has 3 unique qualities.
1) It is manufactured mostly from sugar and has its name running through its entire middle - i.e. Scarborough Rock.
2) It's moorish beyond belief. Once you start you hate to stop but its almost inevitable that you'll save a little bit for another day by wrapping up the soggy end in its plastic wrapper.
3) Rock removes fillings better than a harley street dentist - GUARANTEED! You don't believe me, then try it.
As a little thank you for reading this tip I've got 4 sticks of Scarborough Rock to send to the first 4 people from overseas who'd like to try some. All you need to do is get in touch (and insure you're teeth).
Ayckborn ("Norman Conquest" and many other humourous plays about family relations) always opens his new plays in his hometown so if you want to see them first, here's where to be.