Scarborough – The coast with the most
Scarborough in North Yorkshire is the natural choice for our launch of Seaside Walk Week 2016. Steeped in history, the town lays claim to being the world’s very first seaside resort and still attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The history of Scarborough
The famous castle was built around 1136 and its original keep still stands today. Scarborough is also known for its medieval fair, which these days we’d describe as more of a large market or exhibition. Beginning in the mid 13th century, people would come from far and wide to exchange goods at the annual Scarborough Fair, which is immortalised in a famous folk song:
Are you going to Scarborough Fair
Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme
Remember me to one who lived there
She once was a true love of mine
Scarborough’s status as a booming holiday resort goes back almost 400 years, when a stream of spa water was discovered by Elizabeth Farrow. News of its apparent health-giving properties saw visitors flock to the town for a taste of this miracle liquid.
By the mid-19th century, with rail links established and bathing in sea water fashionable among the wealthy, Scarborough had become the seaside resort we now know and love today. Did you know that bathing machines (to preserve swimmers’ modesty) were first seen here? Scarborough was also the venue for two of the world’s first purpose-built hotels, The Grand and The Crown.
From the rugged headland of the South Bay to the bright beach huts of the award-winning sandy North Bay, the town continues to provide countless families (wealthy and otherwise) with plenty of things to see and do, and happy memories that they can take home and cherish for ever.
Places to go
Today, Scarborough Spa is a Grade II listed building that hosts conferences, exhibitions, entertainment, live music and events. It has a Grand Hall that seats nearly 2,000 and each year plays host to the popular Scarborough Jazz Festival.
Nearby Peasholm Park is an oriental themed park with beautiful gardens and plenty more besides. Mini waterfalls, wooden bridges crossing trickling streams and an abundance of wildlife make this the perfect location to enjoy a relaxing afternoon.
Scarborough’s Open Air Theatre is the largest in Europe. The original building was constructed in the 1930s to take advantage of ground contours which created a natural amphitheatre. The stage was (and still is) set on an island in the middle of a lake with fixed seating for the audience opposite.
Scarborough’s location, on the edge of the North York Moors National Park, offers miles of beautiful coastline in both directions. From rock-pooling trips, to fossil hunts and dinosaur walks there is loads to explore and discover.
We’d like to say a big thank you to the people of Scarborough, and particularly our friends at the Spa and Hidden Horizons, for their help with organising the launch of Seaside Walk Week 2016!