Oh, Scarborough! It’s always a delight. Especially when the sun shines like it did for us this week. We’ve just experienced a true English “heatwave”. We saw quite a few burnt Brits, with dodgy tan-lines, wandering the streets those last few days.
Scarborough has a special place in my heart. My family are born and bred in the North. Mum, Dad, Aunties, Uncles and Cousins have spent their time growing up in or around this seaside town. My Grandparents also lived here and we would holiday over to their house from York, every summer, spending long days at the beach building sandcastles and rock pooling or being taken out on day trips with our cousins to Kinderland, the amusements or to watch the Chuckle Brother’s in action. Those endless summer days seemed to be always hot and sunny (or am I imagining this?) and filled with fun. It’s no wonder that when back in the U.K., it’s Scarborough that feels like home. It’s been great to be able to bring Tim here.
My sister, Lauren, shares the same love for Scarborough. We’ve stood on the Great Ocean Road in Australia and on the shores of the lake in Queenstown, New Zealand, and she’s exclaimed “it’s so beautiful…it reminds me a bit of Scarborough!”. It’s become a bit of a joke now that in all the incredible countries she traveled to (and she’s been to a lot) she always found a comparison with this coastal haven. Actually, I’m slightly reminded of the Wellington Harbour when I look at…
Perhaps we glamourise it too much but it’s a special place for us and it truly is beautiful.
The first couple of nights we spent at Aunty Hilary and Marvelous Morris’s lovely cottage in the village of Gristhorpe. I should mention here that my family have a thing about granting nicknames to husbands and partners. Lauren’s boyfriend is now ‘Gorgeous George’ and I have ‘Thoughtful Tim’. All true to form nicknames, of course.
We were spoilt with hearty dinners and wine those first few days. Thanks for the hospitality H&M!
From Gristhorpe, we took a day trip into York, a beautifully ancient walled city, founded in Roman times. Much like Bath, you could spend hours admiring the architecture, shopping and wandering the old lanes and tasting all the local delicacies like homemade pork pies, tea cakes, fudge and tea. Mum is moving to York towards the end of the year so we also went to the new house to have a nosy. It’s very cute and the perfect house for Mum. I’m pleased she’ll be living up North again, nearer to family and friends.
From Hilary and Morris’s we also walked into Scarborough, along the Cleveland Way. Approximately 7 miles, the walk hugs the rugged cliff top paths, boasting incredible coastal views and, about 2 miles out on the south cliffs, an impressive view of Scarborough.
Closer to town we passed the spa. Scarborough became England’s first resort town in the mid 1700s after people began to flock here for the natural spring water, which supposedly had medicinal qualities. New architecture were designed and built during the 19th century to entertain the growing number of tourists; concert halls, promenades and gardens. At one point, Scarborough Spa was the most popular music venue outside of London. Today there’s no spa water to bath in but a theatre, Grand Hall for concerts, Ocean Room, Promenade Lounge and Sun Court for open air concerts cafes and bars. We learnt all this history from Mum, who needs to take up a career as a tour guide when she moves to York.
The last 4 nights were spent at Aunty Lynne and Bob-along’s. They’ve lived on Lyell Street for as long as I can remember. I love coming to stay here. Hayley, my cousin, was also at home so it’s been great to spend some time with her. Thanks also to the Woodyatt’s for putting us up.
Much to Hayley’s dismay, we ventured into Scarborough town centre. It’s really not that bad. It’s just your classic British hight street but with a plethora of pound shops, teen mums and Tim’s favourite, chavs. If you don’t know what a chav is, think Vicky Pollard from ‘Little Britain’ or here’s urban dictionaries definition. Tim has wanted to see one in their natural habitat since (much to my embarrassment) a few family members revealed to him that I had a “thing” for chavs when I was a teenager. He wants to see what his competition is.
We walked some more of the Cleveland Way, from Ravenscar to Robin Hood’s Bay and back. It’s a 10 mile round trip with the same stunning views along the coast. If you time it right, when the tide is out, you can walk the last mile or two along the beach. We had to come back along the cliff edge as we got delayed by a May Queen parade and Maypole dancing in the village.
Other than exploring more of the town we did what British people do best; we went to the pub. There’s more than enough to choose from in Scarborough but we mixed it up and went to a couple of classic British pubs both with live music and on our last night Scarborough, the newest and trendiest bar, Ink. Bob bobbed-along to all three with us! Not bad for a 70 year old…more on him in our Favourite Face of the week post.
It was sad to say goodbye to Scarborough but I know we’ll be back. Hayley has bought a flat on the South Cliff so she can expect some visitors next time we’re in the U.K. We also got super lucky with the weather, which shone Scarborough in perfect light, so let’s see whether the coastlines of Portugal, California and Chile can hold up to it’s beauty. I know what you’re thinking, it will be tough!