The Scarborough Experience

DaveMorton

Well-known member
I have a friend, Martin, who is a professional tour guide. He's a Sussex man, but took charge of the arrangements when Yorkshire played MCC in Abu Dhabi. He's the best of all the many guides I have experienced; thorough, flexible and a 'people person' - which I'm certainly not!

So early last summer, I was quite nervous when he asked me to show him round the Yorkshire Dales (for reasons too complicated to go into here). I put together an itinerary to cover two full days, based on the Premier Inn at Gargrave. On day 1, we had breakfast in Settle, a walk around Clapham (photographs - he's also a photographer), a drive from Thornton-in-Lonsdale over to top to Dent and Dent Station. We took in Dent Head viaduct and ate our lunchtime sandwiches at Ribblehead. From there we drove up to Hawes, and would have done the Wensleydale Creamery, but the visitor centre was covid-closed. Over the top again, and down the embryonic Wharfe into Upper Wharfedale, where we took in a cricket match for an hour. It was Saturday.

On the Sunday, we began in Malham, where we photographed Janet's Foss. Then up through Arncliffe and Littondale to Halton Gill. We had lunch (in dreadful weather) at the Queens Arms. In improving weather, we had an hour at the trout farm at Kilnsey Crag. I showed him the suspension bridge at Hebden (no, not Hebden Bridge!), briefly Burnsall, and we had a final photo-shoot at Linton Falls. We got back to Gargrave just in time to see Steve Patterson take the final Northants wicket for a 1-run victory. It's all recorded here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/forwarddefensive/albums/72157719092178802

It really couldn't have gone better.

So the challenge is: put together a 2-day trip based on Scarborough. (Walking, driving, public transport, cycling - your choice.) The idea came to me when I suggested breakfast at the Lookout Café on the pier should be part of any 'Scarborough Experience'.

Over to you. I'll throw in some ideas later.
 

Newby

Well-known member
As a Scarborough resident I claim more time to think this through. We have some pretty countryside and also some rugged countryside of course but I don't consider it outstanding and would take the Dales or Lake District any day.

Similarly with the coastline, absolutely gorgeous in some spots, pretty grotty in others unfortunately but a trip up to Northumberland or down to Cornwall might put it in the shade.

Timings important too, we had the grandkids over this week and as they woke up ridiculously early and it was hot I took them down to the front, It was glorious, 4 hours later the same place was a nightmare, at least to my way of thinking.

My tour would also need to cover Rievaulx Abbey, but again only in the early morning and only on a clear crisp winters morning at that.

Considering the cost of fuel I might end up going for a shorter tour, walking and using public transport.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
I am glad someone has responded. I'll hold fire for a while on my favourite bits of Scarborough and the surrounding coast & country, but I have taken holidays in the Norfolk Broads, Dorset and Cornwall this summer, and Filey, Scarborough, Robin Hoods Bay, Whitby and Staithes match anything those wonderful places have to offer.

I am not knocking them, just saying the Wolds, Yorkshire Coast and North York Moors are every bit as good, and the towns and villages at least equally charming. Obviously not Bridlington! (Any more than you'd stay in Bodmin). Though Bempton Cliffs would feature in my itinerary.

I don't see the attraction of the Lake District at all, not in summer, at least. Knee-deep in Americans, last time I was there, and just one traffic jam. All day, everywhere.
 
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DaveMorton

Well-known member
Actually in Scarborough itself, food and photography related, mostly:

Breakfast at the Lookout Café on the pier, and then walk right round the two bays.
Obviously the cricket ground, even if no game on.
Morning coffee at the café up Oliver's Mount, and/or the view from the Cenotaph up there.
A game of bowls (or sit and watch), crown green outside or flat green inside, at the Bowls Centre, north cliff.
The area of the Esplanade, and beneath it - the old Victorian cliff lift, the Spa, Clock Café (afternoon cream tea), and the beach there.
Morning concert at the Spa.
A trip up the coast on the Regal Lady (of Dunkirk fame).
Evening fish & chips upstairs in the Golden Grid.
A couple of pints at the Hole in the Wall. Other pubs available, including real ale.
 

Hawke

Administrator
Staff member
This is not from Scarborough....but just spent 2 idyllic days based at Sedbergh. The cricket ground and backdrop look fabulous. Really like the town too. Then to Cautley Spout waterfall and lunch at the Cross Keys still in historic Yorkshire. A river swim near Pendragon Castle in the Eden in Westmorland. Currently in the best place ever, Dent.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
I have just returned home from a day - and a swim - at Burnsall in Wharfedale. The warmest swim I have ever had in England, and what a paradise of a place, just below the limestone gorge of Loup Scar. Repeat tomorrow.
 

Karma

Well-known member
Actually in Scarborough itself, food and photography related, mostly:

Breakfast at the Lookout Café on the pier, and then walk right round the two bays.
Obviously the cricket ground, even if no game on.
Morning coffee at the café up Oliver's Mount, and/or the view from the Cenotaph up there.
A game of bowls (or sit and watch), crown green outside or flat green inside, at the Bowls Centre, north cliff.
The area of the Esplanade, and beneath it - the old Victorian cliff lift, the Spa, Clock Café (afternoon cream tea), and the beach there.
Morning concert at the Spa.
A trip up the coast on the Regal Lady (of Dunkirk fame).
Evening fish & chips upstairs in the Golden Grid.
A couple of pints at the Hole in the Wall. Other pubs available, including real ale.
I've been away (at a place that claims to have the oldest domestic 9-hole golf links , any guess?) but must add a brief note re Scarborough.
The Harbour Bar (which is not a pub) would be high on the list of my wife and myself for places to visit - it's like a 1960's ice-cream parlour , stuck in a time-warp, yellow formica worksurfaces scrubbed clean, so too the servers! Great ice-cream sundaes and toasties, often first port of call , sit on a high stool at the counter, coffee ,read the dailies, chat , take in the day before a walk round the North bay , hopefully to cricket at NMR
 

Karma

Well-known member
I have just returned home from a day - and a swim - at Burnsall in Wharfedale. The warmest swim I have ever had in England, and what a paradise of a place, just below the limestone gorge of Loup Scar. Repeat tomorrow.
Burnsall to Grassington and back with a black labrador (and my wife) perfect walk and perfect place to swim but not to 'bomb from the adjacent 'heights!'
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
I watched them jumping from the cliffs at Loup Scar. I wish....but those days are long gone. I was tempted only a little. Overslept this morning as a result of my swim yesterday. Woke up with blood tingling, best feeling ever, long forgotten post-sport buzz. Quick coffee and off again. Hope I can park, somewhere. Linton Falls is an alternative swim.
 

Karma

Well-known member
There is a further wild swimming pool on the Wharfe between Ilkley and Addingham, parking near Ilkley tennis Club , not tried it personally yet. Our daughter who lives in Nottingham is very much into her wild swimming and in a recent message advised us that she'd done 1.8 kilometres that evening. Many would think twice about walking that distance!
 

Hawke

Administrator
Staff member
There is a further wild swimming pool on the Wharfe between Ilkley and Addingham, parking near Ilkley tennis Club , not tried it personally yet. Our daughter who lives in Nottingham is very much into her wild swimming and in a recent message advised us that she'd done 1.8 kilometres that evening. Many would think twice about walking that distance!
and just beyond Hamilton’s cafe at Addingham on the Wharfe. I have seen people in the water there and wondered why. Now I know!!!
 

Newby

Well-known member
The Scarborough experience today would include the wailful sound of the foghorn as the easterly breeze brings in a sea fret. Not a cold damp clammy one of early summer but a warm one and it's still very pleasant on the beach and front.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Wharfedale heaven today. Lots of people at Loup Scar - families with toddlers, teenagers, the ageing, and the old. There were a few barbecues, some drinking and a bit of swearing - but not much. I found myself next to a family group who said it was a big contrast with the swim at Ilkley, where the behaviour was 'wild'. 'Not a happy place,' the guy said. This was blissfully happy

The Wharfe was perfect, like swimming in silk. It's deep at this point, well over my height, and probably 300 metres of it, perhaps more. Plenty of room for all the canoes and inflatables and paddle boards, and for the kids to jump, and me to swim.

Perhaps one more day tomorrow, with peak at 25C, warm enough. Summer's lease hath all too short a date...bloody right there, Willie, lad.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
I know the Harbour Bar, Karma, and in the old days the team manager of Manchester Schools cricket used to reward 50s and 5-fors on tour with a Knickerbocker Glory there. It never looked too tempting to me. Is the ice-cream all the Mr Whippy-type no-texture garbage? As in the van at Headingley. Or can you get real ice-cream there, as in the van at North Marine Road?
 

Newby

Well-known member
I know the Harbour Bar, Karma, and in the old days the team manager of Manchester Schools cricket used to reward 50s and 5-fors on tour with a Knickerbocker Glory there. It never looked too tempting to me. Is the ice-cream all the Mr Whippy-type no-texture garbage? As in the van at Headingley. Or can you get real ice-cream there, as in the van at North Marine Road?
They do both types at the harbour bar, the Alonzi family, same couple making the ice cream for 50 odd years. Sometimes a Mr Whippy type ice cream is just what you want, they do it with a different flavour stripe through it. I can never fathom how it works.

Beacon Farm, where the North marine road van comes from, is near Whitby. They have a very nice ice-cream parlour, cafe, campsite, etc which we prefer at this time of year as it's quieter, you can park nearby and you don't have to hang around hoping a table becomes free.

You can get Beacon farm ice-cream tubs in the local shops around here, though they don't normally stock the 20 odd flavours they make.
 

Hawke

Administrator
Staff member
Wharfedale heaven today. Lots of people at Loup Scar - families with toddlers, teenagers, the ageing, and the old. There were a few barbecues, some drinking and a bit of swearing - but not much. I found myself next to a family group who said it was a big contrast with the swim at Ilkley, where the behaviour was 'wild'. 'Not a happy place,' the guy said. This was blissfully happy

The Wharfe was perfect, like swimming in silk. It's deep at this point, well over my height, and probably 300 metres of it, perhaps more. Plenty of room for all the canoes and inflatables and paddle boards, and for the kids to jump, and me to swim.

Perhaps one more day tomorrow, with peak at 25C, warm enough. Summer's lease hath all too short a date...bloody right there, Willie, lad.
yes Ilkley itself is ‘wild’ water swimming in a different sense
 

Karma

Well-known member
I know the Harbour Bar, Karma, and in the old days the team manager of Manchester Schools cricket used to reward 50s and 5-fors on tour with a Knickerbocker Glory there. It never looked too tempting to me. Is the ice-cream all the Mr Whippy-type no-texture garbage? As in the van at Headingley. Or can you get real ice-cream there, as in the van at North Marine Road?
It's real dairy ice-cream , plenty of fruit and syrup(fortunately optional) wouldn't eat anything else. .The beauty of this sparkling place is you can sit on a bar stool enjoy your coffee and company whilst watching the world go by outside in the mirrors. Staff are pretty sparkling too.

They do the Mr.Whippy stuff to sell to passing trade. Inside Real ice-cream as in the van under the main scoreboard at NMR - always plain vanilla for me in a chocolate dipped sugar cone with a chocolate flake . Childish delights still hit the spot.
 

Karma

Well-known member
Wharfedale heaven today. Lots of people at Loup Scar - families with toddlers, teenagers, the ageing, and the old. There were a few barbecues, some drinking and a bit of swearing - but not much. I found myself next to a family group who said it was a big contrast with the swim at Ilkley, where the behaviour was 'wild'. 'Not a happy place,' the guy said. This was blissfully happy

The Wharfe was perfect, like swimming in silk. It's deep at this point, well over my height, and probably 300 metres of it, perhaps more. Plenty of room for all the canoes and inflatables and paddle boards, and for the kids to jump, and me to swim.

Perhaps one more day tomorrow, with peak at 25C, warm enough. Summer's lease hath all too short a date...bloody right there, Willie, lad.
Front page of today's Times has a photo (captioned bathers in Ilkley) and inside advising not to swim there .The Wharfe in Ilkley was given bathing status by the Dept. for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs.However 'much of the 1 mile section included in the application is still badly affected by the release of effluent' .Notices advise not to bathe. It's about as clear as mud or al least the water on that stretch. Think, like you I'd go swimming well outside the town!
 

Hawke

Administrator
Staff member
Front page of today's Times has a photo (captioned bathers in Ilkley) and inside advising not to swim there .The Wharfe in Ilkley was given bathing status by the Dept. for Environment,Food and Rural Affairs.However 'much of the 1 mile section included in the application is still badly affected by the release of effluent' .Notices advise not to bathe. It's about as clear as mud or al least the water on that stretch. Think, like you I'd go swimming well outside the town!
Ha! Yes a notorious mile. Campaigners have been protesting for some time.
Regular wild swimmers go upstream from there! As said just above Addingham there is a good place.
 

DaveMorton

Well-known member
Okay, then, so I'll add the Harbour Bar to the 'Experience'. I suppose Peasholm Park, too. It's not just the lake (lovely) and the Naval Warfare (cringingly pc these days), there are gardens and a rather superior pitch and put course, of which I have a story from my teenage years. Do they still use the bandstand in the middle of the lake? That was good, also, to sit and listen.

Fathers are put on earth to embarrass their kids, and my dad was absolutely no exception. As a low-handicap player (4, in old money), he took a fair selection of clubs, if not quite the whole bag, and set out to demolish the course, only to be thwarted by one green in which the hole was cut on its steepest slope. He was still seething after multi-putting it, and went to the shed after our round to complain about 'an unfair pin position'.

They obviously hadn't a clue what he was talking about! I was about 13, the age when you're most vulnerable to embarrassment. I think he was equally embarrassed by my ineptitude with the clubs.
 
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