Five Things to do in Scarborough


Katy Leverett recommends some fun things to do on a day trip to Scarborough

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Image by Katy Leverett

By Katy Leverett

Scarborough, often referred to amongst the York student community as ‘Scarbados’, is a seaside town that is a cheap and easy 45 minute train journey from York. Although the North Yorkshire coast is renowned for its biting cold winds and rain, a day trip to this seaside resort is a must for every York student at some point throughout your degree. The town and coast offers plenty to see and do, but here are five that are a must for your trip to Scarborough.

See the castle.
I’ll be honest, before I visited Scarborough, I had no idea that they had a castle! Perched on top of the cliffs, Scarborough Castle was a prominent mediaeval fortress. Now managed by English Heritage as a tourist attraction, it is a ruin. However, it is well worth a visit, if only to have a peak through the entrance up to the castle beyond. Tickets start at just £8.50 per adult, with an audio tour available to guide visitors around. The views from the castle itself of the coastline and North Sea are breathtaking on a warm summer’s day.

Meander along the beach and coastal paths.
A prerequisite for visiting a coastal town in my opinion. Due to being situated on the Redcliffe Peninsula, Scarborough has two beaches: the South and North Bays. South Bay is usually busier, as it is situated on the busier side of town, with arcades and eateries all around. However, if you want a quieter beach experience, the North Bay is just over the cliffs and experiences less traffic. Although cold, it is always worth having a paddle or swim in the North Sea! For those who like to enjoy a breezy, atmospheric walk atop the cliffs, the Scarborough to Cayton Bay route runs for three miles with beautiful coastal views and a peaceful sloping beach at the end. The National Trail, the Cleveland Way, also runs through Scarborough for avid walkers looking for a challenging walking experience.

Go to an arcade.
And trust me, there are plenty! Part of the charm of an old Victorian seaside resort is the arcade legacy they have left behind. There is something quintessentially British about them. From the 2p machines (they now also have contactless machines too!) spilling out an endless supply so you can see if you can get your 2p to land in a perfect position for you to win more 2ps or, if you’re lucky, a fidget spinner, to the likely rigged sporting games of basketball and the infamous claw machine. Although you will likely walk away with nothing, the experience brings joy to everyone nonetheless, especially when visiting Scarborough with friends.

Visit Anne Bronte’s Grave.
For the Literature students. For those who don’t know, Anne Bronte was the youngest of the Bronte sisters, Charlotte and Emily. All three were successful novelists, although more widely celebrated now than in the Victorian period in which they wrote. Anne died at the age of 29 whilst visiting Scarborough in an attempt to improve her health after a bout of flu. Despite not being from the area, her family requested her to be buried there. Her grave can be found at St Mary’s Church, which is at the top of a rather large hill. The original gravestone is still there, although a new one has been placed there due to the old one being damaged and illegible. The views of Scarborough bay from the church are stunning, thus it is no wonder her family wished for her to be buried there. A perfect site to visit for Bronte and Literature enthusiasts alike.

Have some fish & chips!
When along the coastline which is most famous for its fish and chips, it has to be done. There are a plethora of places along the South Bay sea front, ranging from your traditional local chippie, to gastro-pubs to restaurants, so whether the sun is shining, or it is pouring with rain, there is always an option for fish and chips in Scarborough! Some places, like Marisco Lounge, also offer vegetarian and vegan alternatives, whilst in others, if you don’t like fish, you can opt for a sausage, or just chips. Although do be warned, the sea gulls are a big fan of the local food therefore it is advised you eat quickly if outside! There is something for everyone, and when in Rome (or in this case, Scarborough), it has to be done. If you’re not quite full afterwards, there are also plenty of spots for a good ice cream too!

These are just a few of many things you can do on a trip to Scarborough. However, they are among the most student-budget-friendly things you can do to get the most out of your day. With train tickets starting at just £14.50 for a return with a railcard, it is well worth the trip.