Welcome to Scarborough, Britain’s oldest coastal resort: the most incredible things to do in Scarborough are a step back in time. Since the 1700s, when the bourgeois went to bathe in its therapeutic spa waters, people have been vacationing in this town on the East Yorkshire coast.

Waterparks, kitsch arcades, and delightfully clinquant trappings sprinkle the place’s big crescents, magnificent architecture, charming parks, and stunning concert venues. Still, you’ll discover waterparks, kitsch arcades, and wonderfully clinquant trappings scattered in-between.

In a nutshell, it’s the ideal contemporary seaside destination, where donkey rides, ice cream sundaes, and funiculars mix with quirky, independent stores, craft beer spots, and cutting-edge theatre.

Things to Do in Scarborough

1. Go to the Toronto Zoo

Toronto Zoo

Whether you are 7 or 70, visiting the biggest zoo in Canada and the third-largest zoo in the world is always a wild and fantastic experience. There are approximately 5,000 creatures of 450 different kinds! Visit award-winning exhibits such as the Gorilla Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, and 10-acre Tundra Trek on over 700 acres.

Visit the zoo’s bigger one-horned rhino calf Kiran, and don’t miss the return of the Aldabra tortoises, one of the world’s most enormous reptiles. Plus, attend daily animal Keeper Talks and explore our five indoor tropical pavilions, which feature species from around the globe!

2. South Bay Beach

South Bay Beach

Scarborough’s South Bay Beach is famous for its soft sand, amusement arcades, donkey rides, and the majestic Grand Hotel perched on the cliff tops. Like a Victorian-era vacationer, you may still ride the ancient cliff lifts down to the beach from the hotel.

On a hot summer day, South Beach may be as crowded and enjoyable as any Mediterranean beach, albeit the North Sea is much less appealing. It’s usually OK to dip your toes in, but very few people go further than knee depth. North Bay Beach, on the opposite side of the headland, has a Blue Flag distinction for cleanliness.

3. Investigate Scarborough’s History

Investigate Scarborough's History

Visit the Scarborough Museum to learn about Scarborough’s history and how the neighbourhood grew. The museum has historical structures and a reconstructed 19th-century garden with artificial grass in Thomson Memorial Park, part of David and Mary Thomson’s 200-acre farm (1802). Several community events and exhibits at the museum highlight the narrative of Scarborough and Toronto. PWYC admission is available. More information about the museum.

4. Scarborough Market Hall and Vaults

Scarborough Market Hall

Scarborough Market Hall & Vaults is a historical tower that has been extensively refurbished with paving slabs and now houses a contemporary market with a classic ambience. Local goods and booths offering unique jewellery, souvenirs, apparel, and art may find in the main hall. The Vaults are located under the gallery and include even more stores, emphasising antiques and handicrafts.

5. Scarborough’s Old Town

Scarborough's Old Town

The small ancient alleyways behind the port and South Bay Beach are attractive for their outstanding historical appearance and house a diverse range of businesses and cafés. There are essential high street names here, such as Marks & Spencer and New Look, but most stores are little local shops selling odd and beautiful items.

6. Rotunda Museum

Rotunda Museum

The Rotunda Museum’s display explores the region’s exceedingly old history. The collection’s highlights include dinosaur fossils, Stone Age implements, and a Bronze Age coffin. These fantastic things display in an equally fascinating and historically significant structure. The historic circular design and trick-eye ceiling are as exciting to view as the exhibits in one of the world’s earliest purpose-built museums.

7. Peasholm Park

Peasholm Park

Peasholm Park is a location for both excitement and calm contemplation. Every Saturday from June to August, at 3 p.m., model battleships set sail on the big lake near the beach to fight combat, with planes and explosions adding to the conflict. When the tiny fleets aren’t in action, hire a boat and paddle around the enormous centre island, which has a beautiful Japanese pagoda in the centre.

8. Scarborough Harbour

Scarborough Harbour

For generations, the ancient port has been at the heart of Scarborough. Every day, the fisherman bring in their fresh catches, so it’s no wonder the port is also a hotspot for outstanding seafood eateries.

Naturally, the typical fish and chips are the food of choice, which can find at beautiful establishments such as Winking Willy’s, First Catch, and Harbour View Café. As the name implies, Harbour View provides stunning views of the protected moorings and the historic lighthouse.

9. Scarborough Bluffs

Scarborough Bluffs

See the Bluffs, which inspired Elizabeth Simcoe to name this section of the city “Scarborough” (the bluffs reminded her of the white cliffs of her Scarborough in England). Bluffer’s Park (turn right (west) at the end of Brimley Road) is the most excellent site to view the bluffs. The bluffs are visible from any of Scarborough’s parks along Lake Ontario.

10. Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle

From the rocky headland between the North and South Bays, the 12th-century Scarborough Castle overlooks the town. It has survived five sieges, but the English Civil War has left it in ruins. Nonetheless, it continues to draw a large number of people (fortunately, not so many of them are soldiers these days). Take a stroll around the battlements for spectacular views of Scarborough.

While you’re there, look at the lovely ancient St Mary’s Church. Look for the ultimate resting site of Anne Bront, the youngest of the famed Bront literary sisters.


Scarborough is a well-known beach resort town in England. It has the usual historical charm that such locations are renowned for, as shown by donkey rides, amusement arcades, fish & chips, and sticks of rock. Scarborough, in a nutshell, has some of the country’s better beaches at the base of high cliffs.

The town on the Yorkshire coast seems stuck in the Victorian period. The Grand Hotel towers above the cliffs, while the Scarborough Spa continues to attract guests from all over the nation. The town’s architecture is in that particular flamboyant style, and the ambience is charmingly olde-worlde and there are many things to do. Despite its ancient vibe, it is still a lively and welcoming spot to spend the summer in England.

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