5 reasons why you should move to Scarborough
PUBLISHED: 08:59 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:00 06 August 2019
© Tony Bartholomew
Neighbourhood know-how, places and people
Scarborough boasts one of the most spectacular and beloved coastal locations in the country, with two sweeping bays, each with its own distinct personality (glitz and amusement arcades in the South Bay; more tranquil and nostalgic in the North Bay), either side of a headland dramatically topped by the ruins of a 12th-century castle. And it's surrounded by (and just minutes from) three very different and remarkable landscapes - the wilds of the North York Moors to the north; the rural idyll of the Vale of Pickering due west; and the gently undulating chalk downs of the Wolds heading south. Scarborough's a 45-minute train journey from one of the country's busiest and most historic stations, York, with hourly trains between the two. They're similarly frequent from Hull, although that journey takes a little longer - anything from 75 to nearly 90 minutes. And no thanks to Dr Beeching for cutting the line from Whitby to Scarborough back in the '60s - you'll need to make that journey by bus or car. Anyone travelling to Scarborough by road regularly will attest that the three main routes (the A64 from York, the A165 from Hull, and the A171 from Whitby) can be frustratingly slow if you get stuck behind a tractor or caravan.
Bag a property
Property is still very affordable, with solid little Victorian terraces going for considerably less than £150,000, while flats on the South Cliff, with probably the best sea views locally (or indeed anywhere else) can still squeak in under £200,000. The winding streets and Georgian architecture of the Old Town, behind the Harbour, make it popular - although parking can be, let's say challenging, in the summer. If you've cash to splash, check out picture-perfect Scalby on the town's northern border.
Where to start? Scarborough has a remarkable history - the castle which looms over the town has passed through many hands, including, in the English Civil War, both Roundheads and Royalists; the extraordinary circular Rotunda Museum was built and run in the 1820s by a globally important intelligentsia including the 'father of English geology', William Smith; and the town has been inspiration to many artists including Pre-Raphaelites Rossetti and Burne-Jones, whose work can be seen in the glorious church St Martin-on-the-Hill, and the master of moonlight, Atkinson Grimshaw - see examples of his work at Scarborough Art Gallery.
Café & cocktails
There are many great places to eat and drink in Scarborough, and space is limited, so here's a whistlestop tour of personal favourites: Eat Me Café - warm and welcoming, effortlessly cool, wide-ranging menu from burgers to donburi (plus those cocktails); Pomodoro - good pizza, often full of Italian diners (always a good sign); La Lanterna Ristorante - magnificent internationally-acclaimed northern Italian cuisine (but chef Giorgio Alessio is looking to retire, so hurry!); The Plough - great game and more from chef Jon Smith; Crema e Cioccolato - superb Italian gelato with some truly unusual flavours (tiramisu, fig and ricotta); Lookout on the Pier for superb eat-in fish and chips; North Bay Fisheries for takeout; Yay! Coffee, Greensmith's, the Seastrand and Café Italia for seriously good coffee. Just out of town Wrea Head Hall is a gorgeous spot for afternoon tea or fine dining with a sense of occasion.
Homebird House is a magnet for local interiors buffs, and great for unusual gifts - and nothing is too much trouble for owner Alex Anderson. It's opposite the main entrance to Scarborough's recently refurbished Market Hall full of tiny independents. Blandscliff Gallery and Studio is a hive of arty activity. Wander down Bar Street for offbeat offerings including unusual gifts at Rafferty's and The Amber Room and - it had to happen - a cat-and-steampunk-themed café, Steampuss.