Scarborough from above

Things to do in Scarborough

  • Share on Facebook

As the largest town on the Yorkshire coast, Scarborough has a long history dating back to the Roman era, with remains of a luxury villa with a bathhouse recently unearthed. There’s evidence of Viking pillage here too, destroying earlier stone and bronze age settlements. 

More recently the town has become a major seaside attraction, as well as being immortalised by Simon and Garfunkel in their version of the traditional English ballad “Scarborough Fair.” 

Here are some of the highlights of this appealing seaside town, all readily accessible to Haven holidaymakers from any of our Yorkshire holiday parks.

Scarborough Beach

Scarborough Beach

Offering two of the best beaches in the county, Scarborough’s wide crescents of golden sand offer colourful beach huts, hillside views, and clean, swimmable waters. Both North and South beaches (separated by the harbour) offer many things to see and do. There are cafes, ice cream kiosks, and traditional donkey rides. 

At high tide, visitors can walk or cycle the coastal path between the Sea Life Centre (see below) and Cayton Beach to the south. On the way, you’ll pass a castle, numerous grand hotels, and the ornate Scarborough Spa.

Sea Life Scarborough

Sea Life Scarborough

If the weather’s bad, Scarborough’s Sea Life Centre is one of the best places to escape to, especially with the kids. The attraction combines an indoor aquarium with an outdoor habitat for penguins and seals. The aquarium especially packs a punch, with otters, a coral reef, and even the fearsome-looking black-tip reef sharks. 

As well as standard ticketing, you can book a VIP experience, such as Breakfast with the Seals and Sharks After Dark. Each event includes a private, guided tour and the latter tour includes a chance to help feed the animals (seals, not sharks!)

Scarborough Fairs Collection

A cavalcade of colourful machinery and fairground attractions await at the Scarborough Fair Collection. As well as the historic steam engines which once powered fairground rides, there are mechanical organs, vintage cars, motorbikes trams, and working rides including dodgems and a ghost train. 

The classic car collection includes a rare convertible Morris, Austins, Daimlers, and even a Ford Model T. There are buses and fire engines, as well as a collection of antique tractors. The museum is motor geek heaven, and even the little ones can even enjoy a miniature Morris car ride.

Scarborough Castle

Scarborough Castle

If you prefer ancient history to motor vehicles, a walk around the ruins of Scarborough Castle is an enlightening part of any visit. Start your walk at the attractive harbour, then take the footpath from Marine Drive, which zigzags up the steps to the top of the hillside. There, fortified walls surround the remnants of an impressive 12th-century keep. 

In 1645, during the English Civil War, the castle was plundered during a five-month bombardment by parliamentarians, including an attack with 65-pound cannonballs, launched from the 12th century St Mary’s Church (in the grounds of which you’ll find the grave of Anne Bronte). 

As well as stunning views and photo opportunities, history enthusiasts can arrange guided tours or visit the interactive museum in the Master Gunner’s House.

Open Air Theatre

If you’re lucky, your visit may coincide with one of the summer concerts at the open space on Burniston Road. From orchestral versions of Ibiza classics to top singer-songwriters, these gigs draw large crowds to dance and sing along in the sunshine. Elton John, Britney Spears, Chic, and Kylie have all played here. 

The theatre dates to the 1930s and was given a facelift in 2010 and opened by Queen Elizabeth. Today it provides all the modern facilities of a festival venue including bars and food stalls.

Discover breaks in Yorkshire

Thornwick Bay self catering holidays

Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire

4 nights from £49
Primrose Valley self catering holidays

Primrose Valley, Yorkshire

4 nights from £49
Reighton Sands

Reighton Sands, Yorkshire

4 nights from £49
Blue Dolphin self catering holidays

Blue Dolphin, Yorkshire

4 nights from £49

Peasholm Park

Peasholm Park

In a town that offers many beautiful vistas, Peasholm Park provides one of the prettiest escapes from city bustle. Voted one of the best parks in the UK, Peasholm is beautifully landscaped, with an oriental theme including streams, waterfalls, and a floating pagoda-style bandstand. For the actively inclined, there are kayaks and rowboats for hire. 

One of the most legendary entertainments is the famous model naval battle that takes place here every week during the summer. During the extravaganza, 20-foot replicas of warships and planes recreate aquatic and aerial warfare. Those seeking gentler entertainment might opt for one of their Sunday brass band concerts or simply a picnic on the lawn.

South Cliff Italian Gardens

In a town not short of scenic charms, the Italian Gardens at South Cliff are a highlight. The ornate gardens, opened in 1911, are a delight to walk through, earning Grade-II protected status for the pretty flower beds, lily pond, woodland paths, and tranquil terraces. 

Look out for the statue of Mercury, the winged messenger, or spot rare avian visitors including tree creepers in the mature trees fringing the site. There’s an event venue, Beeforth’s Hive, which holds poetry events, live music, craft classes, and yoga sessions.

Scarborough Spa

Scarborough Spa

Another of Scarborough’s top event spaces, Scarborough Spa was built in 1858 to capitalise on the Edwardian and Victorian fashion for “taking the waters” of the mineral spring that gave the venue its name. 

It’s now a 1500-seater venue hosting comedy shows, music gigs, and classical concerts from the Scarborough Spa Orchestra. Farrer’s Bar and Restaurant offers seafront views and traditional British meals with a twist. Farrer’s is also popular for filling full English breakfasts.

North Yorkshire Water Park

Beautiful aquatic chaos can be found at this popular leisure facility, situated just a 20-minute drive south of Scarborough and Haven’s Blue Dolphin Holiday Park. Plan to spend a whole day here, since it’s a large site with lots of activities to try, including wakeboarding, kayaking, swimming, inflatable obstacle courses, sailing, and a zipline. 

Water-averse visitors can enjoy the bike trails, puzzle rooms and climbing walls which add to the fun. There’s a café, and the Park schedules a range of events for all ages including dragon boat racing, afternoon teas, and the local Park Run every Saturday at 9am.

Start planning your Great British break

Important information

Brand new holiday homes from £34,995

Holiday home price is for a new 3-bedroom ABI Horizon holiday home and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale. Subject to status and availability.   

As at 1 January 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Cardigan View, Church Farm, Cala Gran, Far Grange, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Seashore, Seaview, Skegness and Thornwick Bay. 

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.  

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Pre-owned holiday homes from £19,995

Holiday home price is based on a pre-owned holiday home and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.   

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale.  Subject to status and availability.   

As at 1 January 2024, price is available at all parks, excluding Church Farm, Cala Gran, Cardigan View, Kiln Park, Littlesea, Lydstep Beach, Penally Court, Perran Sands, Rockley Park, Riviere Sands, Seashore, Seaview and Thornwick Bay.   

Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times. Park cannot be used as a permanent residence.  

Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven).  Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office:  One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL.  We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.  

Free 2024 site fees when you buy a Haven holiday home

Offer is applicable to new customer purchases made through Haven from 19 April 2024, completing by 31 December 2024.

Offer excludes part-exchanges or private sales. Available on new & pre-owned holiday homes at the following selected parks only: Kent Coast, Burnham-on-Sea, Cleethorpes Beach, Craig Tara, Far Grange, Golden Sands, Haggerston Castle, Hopton, Orchards, Seton Sands, Skegness and Wild Duck.

A credit equivalent to the value of your site fees due during the 2024 season will be applied to your account balance on completion of your purchase for use against your running costs e.g. utilities, after-sale add-ons e.g storage boxes or site fees. It cannot be applied to your purchase or refunded in cash.

Subject to availability and status. Deposit required. Access to your holiday home is subject to park opening times.

Offer cannot be combined with any other offer, discount, or promotion. Offer may be withdrawn or changed at any time without notice. Full site fees will be payable for subsequent years.

Images are shown for representational purposes.

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven). Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office: One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.

New holiday homes from £32,795

Holiday home price is for a new 3-bedroom ABI Horizon holiday home and includes siting, connections and standard accessories.

Price excludes 2024 site fees, running costs and add-ons requested at point of sale. Subject to status and availability.

As at 1 January 2024, price is available at Far Grange and Skegness only.

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven). Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office: One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.

Let2offset - make no site fee payments until 2031

Let2offset is a contractual lettings product that offers eligible owners a guaranteed letting income at a preferential rate (calculated each year) in exchange for a stipulated number of letting breaks. It also allows eligible owners to pay their site fees and receive their letting income in 12 equal monthly instalments; the monthly site fee amount charged by Haven will be after deduction of the letting income.

‘Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031’ is available at 33 Haven parks excluding Burnham, Cardigan View, Far Grange, Garreg Wen, Lydstep Beach, Riviere Sands and Seaview.  The letting income received will vary by make, model and location. The monthly site fee payment does not include running costs e.g. utilities, rates & insurance.

“Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” is applicable to new and existing customer purchases of new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed or equivalent or superior grade holiday home purchases made through Haven where customers have also signed up to Haven’s Let2offset contract. It is not applicable to private sales and cannot be used in conjunction with our free Site Fee promotion.  It is available across 40% of eligible Parks and applies when letting a new Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home (or equivalent or superior grade for 15 weeks.

An example of how “Make no site fee payments when using Let2offset until 2031” operates under Let2offset is the purchase of an Atlas Sahara 3 Bed holiday home at Primrose Valley with a monthly site fee of £585.00 (includes purchasing discount of £45) and monthly letting income of £803.67. The monthly difference equates to £218.67, which will be credited to the owner's account. Both letting income and site fees are subject to yearly pricing reviews and the monthly site fee costs and letting income shown in the example are based on 2024 figures.

Modelled assumptions on expected annual site fee and letting income charges over the 7-year lettable life of the Atlas Sahara 3 Bed indicate that under Let2offset it is anticipated that these customers will continue to receive a monthly credit during this period, however, this is not guaranteed. The modelled assumptions are based on the historical performance of Haven over the past 5 years of trading.

Images are shown for representational purposes. Access to holiday home is subject to park opening times.

Park cannot be used as a permanent residence. Haven Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 01968698) and is a FCA appointed representative of Bourne Leisure Limited (t/a Haven). Bourne Leisure Ltd is registered in England (No. 04011660) and is authorised and regulated by the FCA (Financial Services Register No. 312847) as a credit broker and insurance distributor. Registered office: One Park Lane, Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, HP2 4YL. We may receive commission from the finance provider if you enter into an agreement with them.

Get the latest Haven exclusives!

Receive Haven news and offers to your inbox

By providing your email address, you are consenting to being updated on all things Haven! Manage preferences via your account or by clicking the update preferences link in our emails. Privacy policy