Cityvisitor blog

Scarborough Rock and North Sea Rollers

British seaside towns have been voted the favourite national get-away by a range of holidaying Brits. Any number of the pretty destinations come to mind, from Brighton to Barry, but Scarborough in Yorkshire was considered the ideal place for a seaside sortie in the roaring twenties and after years of changes it still retains plenty of charm.

From the rugged beauty of Scarborough Castle to the savvy sophistication (on the outside) of the Grand Hotel,  Scarborough’s South Bay  offers one heck of a panorama. But then this has to compete with North Bay’s earth-shattering waves as they clash with the glass and steel pyramids of Sea World like something out of an Asimov novel, there really is a lot to choose from.

It’s your typical, perhaps even archetypal English seaside town and, whilst that may mean typical English weather, it also means typical English sweet shops, typical English pubs and typical English kids paddling in the typically freezing North Sea.

South Bay is the place for the real traditionalists. Big stuff aside, it’s the home of steep, windy, cobbled streets with sweet shops and penny arcades along the side all converging on a promenade that’s been around since the mid-nineteenth century. Most of the beach is protected from the strong northern winds by the imposing outcrop on which stands the castle, so it’s great for paddling. It’s a little chilly, but that never put off any excitable children for more than about thirty seconds.

North Bay is the home of the surf in Scarborough, and indeed Yorkshire. A few boarders can be seen at the very south end of the beach, where the North Sea rollers can pass the bay’s smaller headland. Here’s generally only the place to surf if high tide hasn’t driven the waves right against the North Bay’s sea wall so boarders often migrate to the quieter South Bay or nearby Cayton when the sea is high.

As with many British seaside towns, there is a perfect mix of familiarity and fun to be had.


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