Our annual trip to Scarborough
I love Scarborough. It has just about everything you want from a seaside town. A harbour, a funfair, a pier. A promenade, a sandy beach. A castle, cliffs, wide vistas, fishing boats. Chips, doughnuts, icecream, rock, candyfloss. (Actually I hate candyfloss, but it’s an essential part of seaside nevertheless). Cheesy gift shops, arcades, push-penny.
There’s a nasty little ancient voice in my head telling me I should disapprove. Something from a long time ago, telling me it’s tacky and a bit disgusting – all that petty gambling and garish plastic and sugar. I don’t disapprove of it though, and being a grown up, I can ignore that voice, I can like whatever I damn well please!
Truth is, enjoying being somewhere, for me, is more about what you do and who you’re with. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Or indeed, very good at all. If I can spend a bit of time loitering, having a laugh, eating chip-shop chips on the street, walking on sand, people watching, that will do me. Champion.
But Scarborough is perfect. I also like long lonely stretches of Northumberland beaches. And wild, remote, inhospitable Hebridean beaches. And hot sunny upmarket Mediterranean resort beaches. But I like Scarborough because it is crowded, and mucky and cheesy and a bit down at heel. I like it even when it’s raining and the seagulls have stolen my chips.
What we did
Where we stayed: The Miricia: a lovely little B&B. Great customer service, clean, neat, comfortable and with a fantastic view over the North bay. I wouldn’t have decorated it like that, but actually it’s very tastefully done and is co-ordinated, so we didn’t have any compulsion to move things around or repaint, which was handy for a colour-obsessive like me and a symmetry-obsessive like S. It’s in my little black book now – would definitely stay there again.
Where we ate: haha, mostly chips. From the fish and chip shop, Rennards I think, but I do lose my bearings in Scarborough. I’m pretty sure they were cooked in veg oil because I didn’t get stomach cramps or feel sick after eating them. Something completely perfect about eating chip shop chips on the street.
Where we drank: The Golden Ball. Sam Smiths pub on the front. Fab. It’s our favourite pub, bar none.
Where we parked: car park beyond Peasholme Park, in the North bay. It’s a pay and display. You can catch a bus along the front if the long walk round to the South bay feels like a bit of a trek.
What new things we discovered: a tiny little Maritime Heritage Centre (45 Eastborough, Scarborough, YO11 1NH) Kept us out of the rain for 10 minutes and was interesting into the bargain! And the painter Atkinson-Grimshaw’s house. He was from and mainly associated with our home town of Leeds, I didn’t know he lived in Scarborough.
The old things we love: Scarborough Market is going through some renovations at the moment. It will be interesting to see it when it’s finished. But in the meantime, there’s still a great record shop in the vaults downstairs along with lots of other little treasures, as well as a bakery, greengrocers and butchers and a café in the main hall.