Sooner or later we fully expect to have a day where nothing much happens, today wasn’t that day as we have just experienced Scarborough and absolutely loved it. We walked from the campsite over the cliffs and took the steps down to the end of North Bay by the Sea Life Centre. The overnight rain was just stopping and there were signs of the sun appearing a bit later.
North Bay – totally not what we expected. An enormous sweep of bay with just a handful of cafes and nothing else very ‘touristy’. The promenade runs along the bottm of a steep grassy bank with the hotels high above on the hill. Plenty of people wandering around and a few very nice brightly painted beach huts. We came across the fantastic giant sculpture of Freddie Gilroy, by Ray Lonsdale, people were queueing up to sit their children on Freddie’s knee for a photo, not to be out done we joined the wait and took a good few of ourselves.
When we reached the promontory under the castle we turned into South Bay and much more the Scarborough we expected. Another massive sweep of bay but over half of it lined with arcades, shops and cafes. The sun was out by now and so were the crowds, so we took our picnic down on the beach and enjoyed that holiday delicacy of sand in your butties whilst watching the donkey rides, it all felt a bit like a step back in time to the good old British seaside and none the worse for that. After Iain had ably demonstrated his Yorkshire heritage with a display or ‘roll us your cap granddad’ we moved on to explore the other end of the promenade.
We followed the bay along to Scarborough Spa, the Ocean Room is just amazing – a room without a roof that wouldn’t look out of place in a movie. Just behind is the oldest funicular railway in Britain so we took a short cut up the cliff into town for 80p. Rather than walk back along the promenade we aimed to go through town and have a look at the Grand Hotel (where Anne Bronte died) on the way. We were pleasantly surprised inside at how well it has been preserved – especially the two ballrooms. The town itself is very like most seaside towns lots of the High Street names but also lots of independents too, we especially liked Bar Street – a little cobbled traffic free lane with plenty of of things I could have been spending my money on had we not been beginning to flag slightly and to be honest be a dit daunted by the sheer numbers of people in the town by mid afternoon.
As by now we were just slightly worn out and it was time to head back to camp, a rather long walk even though we cut out a great part by cutting across town rather than out along the promenades. We had a stop off at a bakery where Iain bought himself 3 cakes to replace all the energy he had used walking today. A good few miles later and we arrived back, next door to camp is a large pub so we stopped off and treated ourselves to a couple of small Black Sheep beers – 8.5 miles since we left this morning we had earned it. Now its time to get the tv on and catch up with Le Tour for the evening.