This is a mid-sized town sitting on a prominent headland and above the cliffs off this rugged part of the Yorkshire coast. According to an Icelandic saga it has been founded by some Viking raider around 966 AD. Wouldn´t be a surprise if this is true as these Viking guys seemed to have a passion for places like this.
Besides its strategic advantages and sheltered anchor place the area is just an utterly beautiful location for a town. Because of this – and a well of acidic water - Scarborough has attracted visitors since the 16th century. What started with the Spa soon developed into one of England’s most popular seaside resorts. Nowadays tourism, is besides some fishing the main part of the town´s economy. Sure, the – in parts Victorian – buildings and infrastructure of the town could have a bit of renovation, but the main reason for the attraction of this town, the headland and especially the bays north and south of the headland, still drag visitors from surrounding major towns as York and even London.
In town you find everything you need, restaurants, shops, museums, parks, hotels, B&Bs, a very nice skate park and these typical English gambling and amusement halls.
Watersport-wise North Bay and south Bay have quite a bit to offer, especially to surfers.
South Bay is all sandy beaches and has shelter from northerly winds which makes this bay an easy surf area very well suited for beginners and one of the few places still surf-able during winter gales.
North Bay is more exposed to swell and has a mixture of sand and reef bottom. Good sized fun waves are on offer here when wind and swell cooperate.
Scarborough is one of the epicentres of English surfing since the very beginning in the sixties of the past century. People in wetsuits walking through town to one of the bays are a common sight. Infrastructure is well developed with a couple of surf shops – especially the guys from the Secret Spot Surf Shop are very helpful. We also can strongly recommend the Boardshed Hostel as a very reasonably priced and surfer orientated accommodation. The bays are in walking distance and the hosts – a surfer couple – are very nice.
Related stories: The Grass, North Sea Swell Chase, Splendid Isolation
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