Italian Gardens

The Italian Gardens (sometimes referred to the South Cliff Gardens) located in Scarborough. In the 1850’s, Sir Joseph Paxton created the initial aspect of the gardens with staircases and other features.  Further developments were made by the Borough Engineer, Mr Harry. W. Smith the same man behind Peasholm Park in the early 20th Century. The sheltered garden features formal planting, seating and a fishpond overseen by the Roman God, Mercury, the winged messenger.

Scarborough Rock Pooling

The rock pools located in the southern end of the South Bay and the northern end of North Bay will be of interest to any young David Attenborough. All different types of crustaceans, echinoderms, chordates and other species can be found in Scarborough and the surrounding areas. We recommend taking a net and bucket to inspect them closer.

However please check the tide times before adventuring so it doesn’t catch you by surprise.



Days out tested by us! – Peasholm Park

Taken from the Peasholm Park website:

Peasholm Park has a tranquil lake and in the summer months people can hire boats of all sorts to enjoy the water at close quarters. Boats include traditional rowing boats and canoes but pedaloes with dragon heads are available too and these prove to be very popular with summer visitors and locals alike. If you don’t fancy pedaling then go for a sail in the Swan launch where you can relax on the water and let someone else steer the boat. There is a bandstand in the middle of the lake and music concerts which are free of charge can often be heard during the summer season. During the tourist season there are two cafes where hot and cold drinks can be purchased and, of course, ice cream, plus sandwiches and full meals if wanted. What a beautiful place to sit sipping your coffee, looking at the lake whilst listening to the music. If you prefer, you can bring your own picnic. There are plenty of places to sit and enjoy it. There is an island in the centre of the lake and a bridge leading across to it allows the visitor to explore the island with a path leading round it or by climbing up to the top with its impressive pagoda. The park has been designed with an oriental theme and there is much evidence of this as you wander through its pathways.

If you are ever in the area we recommend walking around the Marine Drive from the Crown Spa Hotel, then going to Peasholm Park.  Then enjoy a drink or ice cream in the many places located around the area.  Alternatively if the weather is fine you could hire a row boat or pedal boat and go around Peasholm lake.  Close-by is a small 18 hole golf course, for people who take their golf less seriously, which is great for kids and beginners.

Things to do when it’s raining in Scarborough [UPDATED FOR 2016]

Things to do in Scarborough when it’s raining:

If you have lived in the UK for any amount of time. There is one thing we cannot predict, the weather, hopefully this list below will give you a few ideas.

1. Scarborough go-karting

Scarborough go-karting facility is a stylist modern 16.000 sq ft Unit, the spectacular Indoor Go karting venue boasts an upstairs spectators area and a PitStop Café So you can refuel and relax. With a host of set-up combinations available each event can be tailor-made to meet your racing needs. The powerful 200cc Honda engines SODI GT3 & adjustable pedals and seats, also we have 160cc Junior Karts for the Younger Race Driver. The minimum age for driving at Scarborough Indoor Karting is 8 and all drivers should be over 1.3 meters tall. This is not a guarantee that they will be able to drive. The only way to tell for definite is to come down and sit in a kart.

2. Ten Pin Bowling

With 12 lanes the Ten Pin Bowling Alley, with its modernised interior, updated scoring system and air conditioning, is a fantastic place to relax.

They have fabulous balcony views of Scarborough’s Seafront and Bay. It’s the perfect venue for an Office or Workplace party, Student celebration, Holiday activity, or just a regular get together of friends.

Come on in and see what you have been missing!

3. Arcades / 2p machines

More for the kids or people young at heart, from 20p – 50p a go usually, you can spend a few hours in the amusements for roughly £5.

The 2p machines, which are quintessentially part of the beach holiday, along with ice cream and fish and chips.  You could even win a small prize for your hard earned change.

4. Indoor pool

New for 2016, is the Alpamare Waterpark.  The biggest indoor waterpark in the UK, boasting four slides (Snow Storm, Black Run, Olympic Run and Cresta Run), a Wave Pool, Splash and Play Area, 35oC heated Outdoor Garden Pool, 35oC heated Infinity Pool, Terrace, Scenic Gardens, Restaurant and Wellness & Spa area.

5. Go to the cinema

There are 2 places in Scarborough offering the latest cinema releases, at a price which is a lot lower than your typical chains.  At £7 an adult ticket and £6 a children’s ticket, you would be hard pressed to find cheaper for the latest cinema releases.  T

The 2 places that show films in Scarborough are the Hollywood Plaza and the Stephen Joseph Theatre. The Stephen Joseph is the closest cinema near the Crown Spa Hotel.

6. Go to the theatre

World renowned playright Sir Alan Ayckbourn, premiers all of his plays at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, which usually go onto West End and New York. the Stephen Joseph Theatre opened on 30th April 1996 and has two auditoria: The Round, a 404-seat in the round and The McCarthy, a 165-seat endstage/cinema. The building also contains a restaurant, shop, and full front-of-house and backstage facilities.

The Round boasts two important technical innovations: the stage lift, facilitating speedy set changes and the trampoline, a Canadian invention which allows technicians particularly easy access to the lighting grid.

7. Brunswick Shopping Centre

The Brunswick Shopping Centre is Scarborough’s premier shopping destination, housing 31 shops and stores catering for your every need, from fashions for all the family to home wares, accessories and gifts.

The centre is open seven days a week, 364 days a year (closed Christmas Day) for your convenience. With a carpark situated above the shopping centre which has 350 spaces including disabled and mother and baby parking spaces.

8. Scarborough Art Galleries

With the Art Gallery, Rotunda and Scarborough Collections, all located in walking distance. (Two located next to each other, one a 2-5 minute walk away) You can spend a few hours looking around without having to spend a penny.

9. Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary

Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary will take you on a fascinating journey from the coastline to the depths of the ocean through 12 themed zones. Every step will reveal something new from a face to face encounter with sharks to a hands-on rockpool experience. Don’t miss our outdoor exhibits – penguins seals and otters!

10. Scarborough Laser Quest

A favourite with everyone who wants to be like Rambo.

The 4,500 sq ft dimly-lit labyrinth is a smoke-filled maze of doorways, obstacles and barricades where opponents score points by zapping each other, and destroying the enemy base.  You have to pre-book your ½ hour game slot.  Before playing you assemble in the Briefing Room to receive your instructions on how to play.  It’s like your typical laser quest game in which you score points by zapping your opponents and destroying the enemy base. A personalised print out at the end of the game gives you your score to beat for next time.

11. Go surfing

If you can’t beat it, join it. Why not continue getting wet and enjoy a surf school. They’re numerous places offering surfing lessons in the Scarborough area.

12. Scarborough Fair Collection
A 10 minute drive from the Crown Spa Hotel. The Scarborough Fair Collection has working steam Showman’s engines built by Burrell Fowler Garrett and McLaren fairground rides and street and dance organs vintage and miniature vehicles trains and much much more! Listen to the melodies of yesteryear and the hits of today on the Fairground Street and Dance Organs built by Decap Gavioli Mortier Ruth and Marenghi.

Days out tested by us! – Scarborough Mere Fishing

Scarborough Mere is a natural lake in the Weaponness Valley, in Scarborough.  Formerly measuring 40 acres in area, the construction of the York and North Midland Railway line from York to Scarborough bisected the Mere in 1845. Due to that and other factors, including drainage and landscaping, the surface area of the lake is now approximately 16 acres.

In the 20th century, the Mere was a popular tourist attraction owned by Scarborough Corporation, with rowing boats, a café and putting green. There was also a miniature Spanish galleon, the Hispaniola, which made trips across to a Treasure Island where holidaymakers could dig for Doubloons. Unfortunately drhedging and maintenance of the lake decreased, and the increased silt & weed meant that waterborne activities stopped.

The Mere is now part of the Oliver’s Mount Country Park, and is managed by the Scarborough Mere Angling Club as a fishing lake, with the southern end used by waterskiers.

The fish available to catch are:
Roach to 1lb+
Rudd, Bream to 7lb+
Tench to 10lb
Carp to 34lb+
Pike to 30lb+

The Yacht lake is restocked with approximately 700lb stock a year.

To get a pass please call 01723507588

Day ticket on the bank.
Adult £5
Children/concession £3

For an additional £3 you can fish an extra rod (Only on main lake and ski pond, not yacht pond)

Membership Senior £45
Junior £8
Intermediate £15 (age 16 to 18)

Night permit £25  for Scarborough and surrounding area Anglers only.

Days out tested by us! – Scarborough Go-karting

Scarborough go-karting has recently been opened after initially closing some years back.  Due to popular demand, it has new owners and be redeveloped.

With a brand new fleet of 200cc Honda powered SODI GT3 karts and 160cc for juniors be prepared for speed.  With a host of events available Scarborough Karting can cater for large or small events. Birthday parties, stag and hen, corporate events or arrive and drive are all on offer with food and beverages available at the pit stop café.

With state of the art timing systems mean your laps will be timed with the accuracy of 1/1000th of a second and with speeds of over 40MPH the track will test your driving skills to the max.

Days out tested by us! – Dalby Forest

Dalby Forest is situated on the southern slopes of the North York Moors National Park.  The southern part of the forest is divided by a number of valleys creating a ‘Rigg and Dale’ landscape whilst to the north the forest sits on the upland plateau.

Although comprising mostly pines and spruces there are many broadleaf trees such as oak, beech, ash, alder and hazel both in the valleys and on the ‘Riggs’.

Clear streams arising in springs run north and south out of the forest. A lake has been created at Staindale.

The forest is home for birds such as the crossbill that elusive summer visitor the nightjar. Roe deer abound and badgers, the symbol of the forest, are a very common but nocturnal resident.

The signs of past settlers are all around. Burial mounds, linear, earthworks of unknown purpose and the remains of a flourishing rabbit warrening industry can be found throughout the wood.

A network of forest roads, including the 9 mile Dalby Forest Drive; provide access to this outstanding landscape. Formed in the Ice Age and shaped by the people from the Bronze Age to the present day, Dalby is very much a forest worth visiting.

Days out tested by us! – Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle is a former medieval Royal Fortress situated overlooking the North Sea and Scarborough.  The site of the castle, encompassing the Iron Age settlement, Roman signal station, an Anglo-Scandinavian settlement and chapel, the 12 century enclosure castle and 18th century battery, is a scheduled monument of national importance.

Fortifications for a wooden castle were built in the 1130s, but the present stone castle dates from the 1150s. Over the centuries, several other structures were added, with medieval monarchs investing heavily in what was then an important fortress that guarded the Yorkshire coastline, Scarborough’s port trade, and the north of England from Scottish or continental invasion. It was fortified and defended during various civil wars, sieges and conflicts, as kings fought with rival barons, faced rebellion and clashed with republican forces, though peace with Scotland the conclusion of civil and continental wars in the 17th century led to its decline in importance.

Once occupied by garrisons and govenors who often meanced the town, the castle has been in ruin since the sieges of the English Civil War, but attracts many visitors to climb the battlements, take in the views and enjoy the accompanying interactive exhibition and special events run by Englsih Heritage.

The castle is host to various events, usually in summertime, such as pirate and Robin Hood-themed activities. The castle grounds are reported to be haunted – by three ghosts, among them a Roman soldier. The 18th-century Master Gunner’s House, now a museum has an exhibition whose centrepiece is a Bronze Age sword discovered in 1980. English Heritage invested £250,000 in making the site a tourist attraction. A visitor centre provides admission to all extant remains, and has an exhibition of artefacts from the site and viewing platforms.


Top 10 free things to do in Scarborough (Voted by us!)

Top 10 free things to do in Scarborough

They usually say there isn’t a free lunch, but we have managed to come up with a list of 10 free things to do in Scarborough:

10.Scarborough Art Gallery
Scarborough Art Gallery has free exhibits throughout the year, just simply walk in.  The best way to get to it from the Crown Spa Hotel is to go across the Spa Bridge, carry on until you get to Bar Street, turn left before you go up it. Then continue on to the roundabout and take the second exit on the left and follow the path around.




9. Italian Gardens
Enjoy the Italian Gardens, just over the road from the Crown Spa Hotel, and then take a gentle walk down to the seafront.




8. Walk around the Marine / Royal Albert Drive
Not a very long walk, but you get to enjoy the sights and sounds of both bays, while taking a leisurely stroll around.





7. Events throughout the year
Scarborough plays hosts to several paid events that have free events within them including Coastival, Peasholm Park events and music events.  Your best bet is to look ahead and see what you maybe interested in and plan accordingly.  We recommend our Facebook Page which we will be posting events for the coming week every Monday.




6. Peasholm Park
Peasholm Park has a tranquil lake, there are plenty of places to sit and enjoy it. There is an island in the centre of the lake and a bridge leading across to it allows the visitor to explore the island with a path leading round it or by climbing up to the top with its impressive pagoda. The park has been designed with an oriental theme and there is much evidence of this as you wander through its pathways.  It is open 24 hours a day for 365 days a year.



5. Scarborough Mere / Oliver’s Mount
Not to be confused with Throxenby Mere. It is now part of the Oliver’s Mount Country Park, and is managed by the Scarborough Mere Angling Club as a fishing lake, with the southern end used by water-skiers.  Just a short drive up Oliver’s Mount and near the war memorial will give you a full view of Scarborough, which cannot be seen anywhere else.



4. Raincliffe Woods
Dalby Forest would of made it on the list for obvious reason but as you have to pay £5 to enter, Raincliffe Woods made the grade instead.
Situated about 2 minutes from Scalby Road, and with Throxenby Mere right next to it, you can enjoy a walk around, without spending a penny.



3. Hairy Bob’s Skate Park

More for the younger generation.  Hairy Bob’s Skate Park, was built from the ground up from local bikers and skaters having full involvement in the development of the park.  Getting exactly what they wanted from it.



2. Cinder Track

The Scarborough Cinder Track, starting from Scarborough to Whitby, is enjoyed by walkers and cyclists throughout the year.  Stretching for 23 miles, it was the old train link, that was removed as it was thought not to be of use anymore, due to the ever increasing number of cars being bought.



1. Scarborough North or South beach

Pretty obvious one, but one which you don’t have to spend a penny enjoying.  With recent blue flag awards for clean water, either beach is perfect for a family.
However we cannot guarantee that you won’t spend money on ice cream or fish & chips. 🙂




We hope this guide of free stuff to do in Scarborough is of use.
Don’t forget we also did our top ten attractions, which is located also in our blog.

Agree or disagree tell us on our facebook page.

Days out tested by us! – Raincliffe woods

Raincliffe WoodsRaincliffe woods are situated to the north west of Scarborough. They form an “L” shape with Forge Valley Woods and the River Derwent.

The area is a mixed woodland area designated as Planted Ancient Woodland, and combined with Forge Valley Woods is a site of special scientific interest.

There are many paths, tracks and bridleways through the small woods which many residents of Scarborough use for mountain biking, dog walking and Sunday strolls. Throxenby Mere a popular place for fisherman is located at the foot of the woods.

Deer, badgers, squirrels, frogs, toads, foxes and all kinds of birds can be seen in the woods.