Scarborough, United Kingdom

Travel to Scarborough

Scarborough is a large resort on the North Yorkshire coast in the north of England; it had a population of almost 62,000 in 2011. It has two broad, sandy bays divided by a headland, with confident Victorian hotels ranged above.

A castle was established on the headland in the Norman era, and the town first grew up along the more sheltered South Bay. There was fishing and sea trade, but it wasn't much of a harbour, and Scarborough mostly owes its existence to the strange course of the River Derwent. This arises nearby, but instead of flowing to the coast it turns inland, carving a broad valley between the North York Moors and the Yorkshire Wolds. So this was a natural transport route: for traders heading to Scarborough Fair, for marauding armies including the Normans, Scots and Royalists alternating with Parliamentarians, and above all for holiday-makers. In 1626 one of the springs that bubbled out of the cliffs, staining the rocks with its mineral content, was claimed to have medicinal properties. People flocked for spa cures, from the springs and from sea-bathing. The railway arrived in 1845 and there was a spate of building grand hotels, expanding into North Bay and creating the townscape you see today. Leisure fashions have evolved but Scarborough remains a popular resort because of its ease of access from the industrial cities.

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