A look at Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast

In case you didn’t know, the old ballad popularised by Simon and Garfunkel that asks, “Are you going to Scarborough Fair?” refers to the town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire and an annual trade fair that was held there for about 500 years. That fair is long defunct, but the town is still going strong as a seaside resort and as a centre for the creative arts as well as the modern digital industry.

Scarborough gained its popularity initially from the presence of a mineral spring that was turned into a fashionable Victorian spa back in the 1600’s, and the town has retained much of that Victorian atmosphere. However it has definitely joined the 21st century in many respects, so there’s a very enjoyable combination of history melding with contemporary technology, not to mention two beautiful beaches and glorious scenery.

Visitors to Scarborough have plenty of choices in dining, accommodations and activities, both cultural and beach-oriented. There are numerous art galleries, or you could take in the more ephemeral art of sandcastle-building that has become extremely popular and quite competitive. Or you might take advantage of the free wi-fi connection available on the beach promenade, then take a trip to the past at the Castle on its lofty 300-foot promontory, first built around 1135 and still a magnificent landmark.

For kids (and adults) there are all sorts of animal attractions, from donkey rides on the beach (a huge hit) to the Sea Life Centre, with more than 150 species of marine life and hands-on interaction with sea creatures from starfish to otters and many more. If it’s shivers you want, try out the most recent attraction, Terror Tower. It’s a combination of live actors, incredible animation and special effects based on the scariest Hollywood horror flicks; not for the faint of heart.