5 reasons why you should move to Scarborough

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Neighbourhood know-how, places and people

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Location, location

Geographically, Scarborough has it all. It sits just below the southernmost boundary of the wilds of the heather-rich North York Moors National Park; just above the rolling chalklands of the Yorkshire Wolds; and at the eastern end of the rural Vale of Pickering, so whatever your preferred landscape, you can be there in minutes. But Scarborough is, of course, most famous as the world’s first seaside resort. Visitors began flocking to the town’s South Bay in the 1600s for the reputedly medicinal properties of the Spa waters; in the 1700s, it was possibly the first place to have wheeled bathing machines; by the mid 1800s, the railway had made it a fashionable holiday destination.

Access to Scarborough by road has long been a thorny issue, with longstanding on-off campaigns to have the main road in from York, the A64, dualled along its length. But as long as speed isn’t of the essence, it’s an easy town to get to from Middlesbrough (via the A171), York (A64) and Hull (A165). Trains from York to Scarborough run hourly; from Hull, a little less regularly – every 60 to 70 minutes or so.

Colourful Scarborough Photo by Tony Bartholomew

Colourful Scarborough Photo by Tony Bartholomew - Credit: ©Tony Bartholomew/Turnstone M

Bag a property

In 2019, the average price for a semi-detached in Scarborough was just over £168,000, while terraces and flats hovered around the £125,000 mark. There are some real hidden gems in the town – check out the Stepney area, sandwiched neatly between the A170 and the A171, for tidy little terraces on Stepney Avenue and on Stepney Drive, some corking detached properties, with an eclectic mix of styles ranging from Arts and Crafts to airy mid-century beauties, and including the town’s only thatched home.

The elegant Crescent, just off the town’s main drag, is an early Victorian curved terrace overlooking pretty gardens, with flats going for less than £150,000.

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew

Peasholm Park (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

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Scarborough’s Peasholm Park is a great place to start. One of the UK’s best-loved municipal parks (sixth Best Park in the UK and 25th Best Park in the whole of Europe in the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice Awards, no less!), the Oriental-themed gardens were created just before the First World War by a visionary borough engineer. The park is stuffed with features to appeal to lovers of quirky history – it’s famous for its miniature naval warfare in the summer, and for its open-air pagoda-styled floating bandstand – the musicians reach it aboard one of the park’s pleasure boats.

Peasholm Glen has a tree trail taking you past many important and rare species, including Dickson’s Golden Elm, until recently thought to be extinct, and one tree so rare no one’s entirely sure what it is!

Harbour Bar (c) Tony Bartholomew

Harbour Bar (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Café & cocktails

Like most holiday resorts, Scarborough is stuffed with places to eat and drink. No trip to the town would be complete without a visit to the seafront Harbour Bar, as famous for its authentically vintage surroundings as it is for its ‘cool treats’ and ‘hot eats’ – don’t miss the knickerbocker glory.

Two new(ish)comers are proving popular with locals – the fairy-lit haven of the Hideout Café, near Peasholm Park, and the hipster retreat Koda Coffee on Northway, where barista Ryan is as knowledgeable as he is friendly. Dinner at Lazenby’s bistro on York Place or The Green Room on Victoria Road is always a treat. For cocktails with old-school glamour, try Ink Lounge Bar on the town’s South Cliff. And keep an eye out for the Bike and Boot Inn, Scarborough’s latest ‘hotel for adventurers’, perched above the Rotunda Museum and due to open next month, with its own ‘hybrid bar-restaurant-café’, the Bareca.

Bonnets Chocolate (c) Tony Bartholomew

Bonnets Chocolate (c) Tony Bartholomew - Credit: Tony Bartholomew

Retail therapy

Scarborough has interesting independents on Eastborough, Ramshill, Falsgrave and, in the town centre, on Bar Street and Huntriss Row.

For those who love a sweet treat, it’s worth noting that the town has three independent chocolatiers: Bonnet’s is famous for its lavish Easter eggs; on Ramshill Road, Confiserie Arosa has a devoted local following for its homemade Florentines and ‘adorés’ – chocolate, cream and wafer confections; and on Eastborough, Crofts Chocolates was last year’s winner of a Deliciouslyorkshire Best Confectionery Taste Award for its salted caramels.

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