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Scarborough’s Top Attractions - From Clifftop Castles to Sandy Beaches

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From a dip in the sea to a picnic in the town’s manicured gardens, a stay in Scarborough can be as action-packed or as easygoing as you want. Whether you're here for the seaside glamour, packed cultural calendar, or local history, this quaint coastal town is sure to impress.

Fun on the beach

 

Two sprawling beaches snake along Scarborough's shoreline. Plodding donkeys carry excited kids down the sands, families get creative with sandcastles, and swimmers splash around in the North Sea. Alternatively, you can watch surfers take on crashing waves while you enjoy an ice cream from the comfort of your sun lounger.

 

  • Dexter's Surf Shop, School & Hire Centre, Unit 5, North Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 7TN; Tel: +44 1723 377565; Website: Dexter's Surf Shop, School & Hire Centre
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  • Hee-Haw Donkeys, North Beach, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 7TN; Tel: +44 1377 236515; Website: Hee-Haw Donkeys

Historic Scarborough

 

High on a cliff overlooking the North Sea, Scarborough Castle is said to have been a favorite of King Richard I. Take an audio tour of the castle and its surroundings, then head next door to the stately Master Gunner House, with its inviting tearoom and intriguing exhibit of finds from local archaeological digs. Another historical highlight not to miss is the circular Rotunda Museum. This treasure trove of fossils and Bronze Age artifacts will get kids hands-on with interactive displays.

 

  • Scarborough Castle, Castle Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 1HY; Tel: +44 1723 372451; Website: Scarborough Castle
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  • Rotunda Museum, Vernon Road, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 2PS; Tel: +44 1723 353665; Website: Rotunda Museum

 

Exploring parks and gardens

 

Oriental-themed Peasholm Park offers a tranquil setting for a walk along the glen, across bridges and past rare trees. A picnic by the lake, near the swans and ducks, is a delightful way to spend a sunny afternoon. Summertime, you can rent a canoe, rowboat, or pedal boat to explore the lake. Less than 2 miles south, Italian-inspired South Cliff Gardens is tucked away in a quiet part of town. As you stroll past manicured flowerbeds and stone balustrades, you’ll come across quirky features like a small putting green and a central statue of the Roman god Mercury.

 

  • Peasholm Park, Peasholm Park, Scarborough, North Yorkshire; Tel: +44 1723 383636; Website: Peasholm Park
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  • South Cliff Gardens, South Cliff Gardens, Scarborough, North Yorkshire; Website: South Cliff Gardens

 

Shopping in Scarborough

 

Scarborough offers souvenir and gift stores aplenty around the harbor and South Bay areas. Conveniently located in the centre of town, Brunswick Shopping Centre has about 30 stores, including the popular Debenhams department store, as well as a coffee shop and a Greggs Bakery. A favorite of both tourists and locals, John Bull Confectioners sells traditional sweet treats, including local honeycomb toffee, at its 2 central locations.

 

  • Brunswick Shopping Centre, Brunswick Pavilion, Westborough, Scarborough YO11 1UE; Tel: +44 1723 371777; Website: Brunswick Shopping Centre
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  • John Bull Confectioners, The Foreshore, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO11 1PB; Tel: +44 1723 373725; Website: John Bull Confectioners