12th June 2013
Everyone seemed to have the same reaction when I told them I was going to Scarborough next. I’m guessing it doesn’t have a great reputation as a destination for overseas visitors. Quite often on this trip I haven’t really had a reason for going somewhere, except that it seems to be in the general direction I’m heading. But I can’t say that about Scarborough because I’ll have to backtrack to York to head south again.
I just picture Scarborough as one of the typical English seaside holiday places in years gone by, and would like to see what it’s like. There’s also a bit of a pull to see what the English version is like of the places where I grew up at home – that’s probably weird but there it is.
So – first impressions weren’t all that favourable!! The pedestrian street near the train station seemed to be grubby and full of not very savoury characters, and then as I got closer to my hotel it seemed to get even worse – but then I realised I was going down a back alley where hotels stored their rubbish bins, lol.
By the time I found the front entrance of the Mount Hotel, I really was expecting the worst but I feel in love with it the moment I walked in the door. It’s like walking back in time to, I don’t know, maybe the thirties or forties, just how I imagined holiday hotels would be by the English seaside. It’s all very old fashioned and gorgeous, the tables in the dining room have starched tablecloths and serviettes and silver tableware. And to make it even better, my room looks out over the ocean and the Spa Bridge, has free internet and isn’t going to break the budget.
I arrived about lunch time and felt like I’d walked the entire shore-front by the evening. I resisted the urge to take the tram down to the beach and walked down the terraced stairs, it’s a mighty big drop to the sea.
The seafront was an eye opener, full of cheap junk shops and arcade game places – now I know why people were looking at me strangely for going to Scarborough! It really is rather tacky in parts, seems much more so than the seafront of Brighton. But even with all that, it’s still wonderful to see and experience. The harbour was full of fishing boats, kids were having donkey rides along the beach and pretty much everyone on the sand was fully clothed – so English.
When I got to the headland and what looked like a full on side-show alley, with rides of all sorts, I turned back and headed towards the Spa Complex that I kept hearing about. I was sadly disappointed, yet again, to find there is no spa there – it’s an entertainment complex – bugger. But, what an entertainment complex, I’ve no idea what the inside was like but the exterior was gorgeous.
Then further along, I came to what looked like something out of a roman settlement – a covered curved walkway with cement columns right down on the water’s edge – just amazing, and a little bit creepy as there weren’t any other people around. But wait, there’s more – further along still were brightly coloured beach huts and a lovely café set a bit higher up the cliffs.
What an afternoon, I’m so pleased I cam to Scarborough, and I’ve got lots more to see yet.