If you love Scarborough but don’t really enjoy the crowded beaches and hustle and bustle of a summer break, you’ll love Angie’s tops tips for how to enjoy Scarborough in the summertime and still find peace and quiet.
Head away from the crowded beach and up to the castle where there’s plenty of wide open space – and the best sea view in town. From this elevated position, you get a sense of why this setting had such strategic importance for armies over the centuries: from here you can see for miles up and down the coast, out to sea and also inland.
Like all English Heritage properties, Scarborough Castle is dog-friendly so, your four-legged friend can also enjoy a visit. (Manager, Simon came to say hello to Tilly and we persuaded him to have his photo taken with her.)
Once you’re at the site, you can explore Henry II’s great tower, which was built in the 12th Century; the remains of a 13th century royal residence; the ruins of a Roman signal station and medieval chapel.
You will also be able to see where English Heritage took steps to repair some structural damage. They took great care to match the exact type of stone which was originally used – and to have the stone dressed appropriately. When we’re so used to seeing weathered ruins, it’s hard to imagine what these magnificent structures would have looked like new so, this serves as a great reminder. (The walls would also have been rendered to make them visible out at sea – a public declaration of strength – a good way to ward of potential attackers.)
Scarborough Castle’s not always peaceful though: there’s an exciting calendar of events throughout the year including re-enactments so, if you’re seeking peace and quiet, make sure you check the calendar of events.
Address: Scarborough Castle, Castle Rd, Scarborough YO11 1HY
Where to Stay – Ox Pasture Hall Country House Hotel
Set in 17 acres of gardens and grounds Ox Pasture Hall is the perfect country retreat for those looking for a peaceful location within easy striking distance of the beach and all that Scarborough has to offer. It’s also walking distance from the very peaceful, Forge Valley which has an accessible boardwalk through some stunning scenery.
Once you’ve unpacked, you can unwind in the front garden, with the aroma of French lavender gently wafting on the breeze – or perhaps you’d prefer to do a spot of bird-watching in the back garden, overlooking the pond? Look out for the herons as they try to steal the fish. Alternatively, you can soak up the sun in the courtyard garden – the choice is yours.
We stayed in one of the suites and we were impressed with how roomy it was. The bathroom looked like it could happily grace the pages of a top lifestyle magazine, with its ‘waterfall’ taps, walk-in shower and what has to be one of the deepest baths I’ve ever seen! Our bath at home is tiny so I couldn’t wait to relax in this tub – and the complimentary toiletries were rather fab too! As well as a sitting area and dressing table, there was even a dining area. It was more than we were expecting. The other bonus was that the bed was a Superking. (I really think hotels shouldn’t have any other size.)
Ox Pasture Hall has a reputation for serving great food. Head chef, Craig previously trained and worked at Le Gavroche in London (which has 2 Michelin stars). During our stay, we learned that the excellent reputation was well-deserved. We dined in the Bistro – because it’s dog-friendly and we were travelling with Tilly the Westie – and we were served food which was as beautifully presented as in any fine dining establishment. We didn’t feel we were missing out all by not dining in the restaurant. The staff were so friendly and attentive and the food was exceptional.
I wouldn’t have any hesitation recommending Ox Pasture Hall to anyone looking for a peaceful place to stay in Scarborough.
Address: Ox Pasture Hall Country House Hotel, Scarborough, North York Moors National Park, North Yorkshire YO12 5TD UK
Dog-friendly stays: www.oxpasturehallhotel.com/about-us/dog-friendly-hotel
For more information about visting Yorkshire, go to: www.yorkshire.com