The other week we visited Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast.
My parents were staying there for a few days so it was the perfect opportunity to see them, have a short holiday and do some research for my next book.
I love Scarborough. Growing up in Harrogate, Scarborough was our nearest proper seaside town. When the children were younger we often went there for holidays, renting a cottage in Tollergate:
Scarborough has a long history. The Romans built a Signal Station there around 400AD. The Vikings arrived in 966, followed in 1066 by Hardrada, King of Norway. The castle on the headland dates back to 1136. In 1626 Mrs Elizabeth Farrow discovered spa water flowing into the sea and in 1660 Dr Wittie wrote a book about the spa water. In the 19th century Victorians flocked to Scarborough in droves to enjoy the health benefits of the seaside. German warships bombarded the town in 1914 and a lone bomber hit Potters Bar in 1940. In the post-war period Scarborough became a popular family holiday destination. In 1993 landslides caused the Holbeck Hill Hotel to fall into the sea.
What I love about Scarborough is the fact that it’s a melting pot of different historical periods – the medieval castle and old winding streets, the grand Victorian terraces and hotels, the Edwardian elegance of Peasholm Park and the glitzy (tacky?) amusement arcades along the sea-front. It also has the best fish & chips in the world! 🙂
I booked a family room at the Grand Hotel. This used to be Scarborough’s finest Victorian hotel but now it’s a budget establishment catering mainly to coach parties. The management, in its wisdom, has installed slot machines in the magnificent lobby area and elegant coffee lounge. The effect is an odd combination of faded grandeur and bingo.
Our deal didn’t include breakfast so each morning we popped outside to the nearby St Nicholas Café which does excellent pancakes. The café is converted from one of the old funicular railways (there are still two running) and has fantastic views of the South Bay.
My parents were staying at the Weston Hotel on The Esplanade, a lovely family run hotel with friendly staff, modern, stylish décor and a superb restaurant.
The first morning I woke up early and decided to make the most of the sunshine, taking my camera outside whilst everyone else was still in bed. Apart from the occasional dog walker, it was just me and the seagulls.