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A much loved North Yorkshire seaside resort overlooked by an impressive castle

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Scarborough is a seaside resort that can be found on the North coast of Yorkshire. This much loved British seaside destination has long held a warm place in Britain's heart and remains one of the most popular UK holiday destinations.

Diving Belle statue, representing modern Scarborough
Photo dullhunk
Signs of settlement at the current site of Scarborough stretch back as far as the Stone Age and there is evidence of a 4th century Roman signal station on the headland. The town as we know it however, was founded in approximately 966AD by Thorgils Skarthi, an infamous Viking raider. It was first known as Skaraborg but was soon burnt to the ground by rival Viking raiders led by Tostig Godwinson and Harald III of Norway. This turbulent beginning soon found more stable footing though under King Henry II, who built a stone castle on the headland and a trading market soon flourished. This was cemented in a royal charter of 1253 granted to Scarborough Fair, a huge 45 day market that drew tradesman from across Europe. This world renowned fair is celebrated in the famous English Ballard, most notably brought to the fore by Simon and Garfunkel's 1960's hit.
The spa status of Scarborough began in 1626 when Mrs. Elizabeth Farrow discovered a stream of acidic water running from one of its cliffs. This led to the town attracting a flood of visitors and soon Scarborough became one of Britain's first seaside resorts.

The Grand Hotel, built when Scarborough became a fashionable spa resort
Photo alh1
The crowning glory of the town however, is the impressive Scarborough castle which sits on top of the rocky headland outcrop, like the king of North Yorkshire looking down over its subjects. Although the 90 metre high promontory shows signs of early settlement, the medieval castle of today was founded in the 1130's by William le Gros. Since then it has been the scene of Civil War sieges, many a fine banquet and has even served as a prison. In 1914 it was heavily bombed by German warships and was severely damaged.

Scarborough Castle
Photo Dean Sas
Scarborough stretches out around an imposing headland and is truly a town of two halves; the Old quarter on the South Bay and the newer resort running along the shores of the North Bay. The South Bay is home to the original medieval settlement- the Old Town and charming harbour. It's energetic waterfront, complete with sailing ships, quaint white lighthouse and fishing docks offers a chance to see an English seaside resort at its best. The beautiful sandy beach runs southwards from the harbour and is boarded by a multicoloured line of amusement arcades, restaurants and entertainment facilities. The nearby Victorian rail lift offers an effort free trip up the steep slope from the South Bay. This then leads towards the town centre of Scarborough, with its elegant rail station, grand hotels, buoyant nightlife and busy shopping precincts.

Fishing Boats in Scarborough Harbour
Photo Dom H UK
Along from the hill-top town centre and back down to the North Bay, a more peaceful side of the town can be found. The long beach and beautiful greenery offers a serene alternative to the bustling harbour front. Peasholm Park can be found just west of the beach and is home to a Japanese themed garden park. In the summer months the boating lake here plays home to a mock maritime skirmish based on the Second World War Battle of the River Plate. Model boats and fireworks make for an impressive show. A miniature railway runs from the park to the Sea Life Centre on the northern tip of the bay, at Scalby Mills.

Peasholm Park
Photo Eileen Ann
In 1993 the town made headlines for a more unusual reason when the Holbeck Hall Hotel along with its gardens dramatically fell into the sea as a result of coastal erosion.
Scarborough won the 2008 award for most enterprising town in Britain. There is no shortage of fun and alternative things to do here and a visit will bring much pleasure, joy and relaxation.

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