When those cliffs become to much for you, have a go at a funicular tram up the cliff. This is the Central tram which starts from just next to the Grand Hotel and takes you to the shopping area above the beach, close to the railway station. There is also the St Nicholas and the South Cliff one by the spa.
There are frequent trains from for instance Liverpool via York and from Hull. Just bear in mind on your return that in Scarborough, you queue to get on the trains so be there in advance if you travel on a busy day or risk getting no seat.
If you want a cheaper fare, buses are fairly frequent. In York the Yorkshire Coastliner runs from the railway station via Malton to Scarborough. In Hull buses run from the coach station and in Whitby from the railway station via Robin Hood's Bay.
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The local bus service is operated by Scarborough and District Buses. Their buses all seem to be fairly new and the drivers were friendly and helpful when we used them. The buses stop all over town but start their journeys in Queen Street. The web site provides details of the many services and details of discounted fares and season tickets.
I enjoy riding cable-cars and funiculars but I reckon I could manage the cliffs without these lovely old cliff railways. Good for a novelty factor (approx 50 - 70 pence for a minute ride) and useful for those less mobile.
There used to be 5 in Scarborough but only 3 remain now - South Cliff, Central Tramway and Saint Nicholas Cliff Railways.
The Scarborough South Cliff Tramway Company Limited linked the South Cliff Esplanade with the South Sand (by the Spa Complex) in 1873 and claims fame as being the first funicular in the UK. See the website for details of all the cliff railway if interested.
Boat tours can be taken from the harbour and around the South bay - like this boat here which is a 1/3 replica of "The Hispaniola" (Long John Silver's boat). It didn't last too long though - easily less than an hour and not particularly good value I thought so one for the kids only I reckon.
Tramway to the Beach
Situated alongside a lovey old Victorian Tea Room - The Parlour Tea Room - is the Central Tramway (top station is near the rear of the Grand Hotel). This one was first opened to the public in August 1881 to link the city to the shore and it still operates in its original corporate form. Check out the website for some great pictures of the carriages and the charming station.
This is one of several open top buses which run from the spa end of South Bay to the Cafe Corner of the North Bay at a cost of £1 each way. Its not a great distance - easily walked on the flat - but its saves time if you want to spend more time sightseeing or go onto another place :-)
There's all sorts of boat trips going on from the harbour:
"Large" boats (like the one at the right of this picture) with bars, cafes & toilets go up the coast to Robin Hood's Bay or down to Bempton Cliffs & Flambrough Head. You don't get off at these places, it's just where the boat turns around to come back.
The 1/3 replica of "The Hispaniola" (Long John Silver's boat) runs around the south bay.
The old lifeboat runs around the bay just outside of the harbour.
Speedboats (including the prolific "Velocity" which ran countless trips while we were there) run 10 minute or so trips out into south bay. This is just for exhilaration I think.
By the way, the stone building at the back of this picture is the Toll House from when tolls were payed to drive on Marine Drive. These days it's free.
There are 4 main routes into Scarborough - the A64 and A170 from the West. The A170 comes through Pickering and this can be a real bottleneck - it took us 35 minutes to get through it.
From the South (Hull, Bridlington) is the A165 and from the North (Middlesbrough, Whitby) is the A171.
There's a lot of parking in Scarborugh and perhaps the best is the Park & Ride in the South bay at a part of town called Weoponness. It's signposted from the outskirts of town. parking here is free, and the bus ride to town is 40p, though to be honest, it's just 10 minutes walk from there to the seafront (you come out at valley Gardens, near to the Spa and below The Grand Hotel)
This map's not much good at the size VT allows - go to this web link for a better version of it.
Take The Train
The railways are what made Scarborough during Victorian times, bringing hoards of visitors from all over Yorkshire and the North of England. The railway links with York, which is on the mainline. So you'd likely have to change there to get to Scarborough.
In Scarborough's South Bay the town, station and the "posh" hotels are at the top of the cliffs and the beach and associated amusements are at the bottom. The Victorians made life easy for the visitors and built several funicualr railway lifts down to the beach. I'm not sure how many there are, I counted 3 but there may be more.
It's 40p for a ride - woth it just to say you've been on.
The cable car ride runs from Marvels amusment park (at the top of the hill behind Atlantis water park) to Scalby promenade. Again, the walk is probably nicer (and certainly cheaper) but the views and the "exhillaration" probably make the chairlift wortwhile too.
It doesn't run all year long (it was closed when we were there - in fact it may be closed permanently).
There is a miniature train that runs between Peasholm in North bay to Scalby Mills at the very north end - this is where the sealife centre and some good rock pools are.
It's really not too far to walk, and a walk is very nice on a sunny day, but the train is a nice alternative. As is...
Open Top Bus
An open top bus is a great way to get from one bay to another at Scarborough. It runs right along the seafront from The Corner in North bay to the Spa in South bay.
They're just run by the local bus company and form part of Scarboroughs everyday trasport system.
Donkey Rides are always a popular activity with the kids on the beach....except for the time being it was lunchtime......;-)
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