I love Scarborough, I've always loved the hustle and bustle of this charming coastal town, it's smaller and prettier than Blackpool though parts of it have the same, the noisy amusements which tempt you in with promises of winning cuddly toys and all manner of strange effluvia you'd never consider buying. There's something weird that happens once you have your pot of 2p's though, suddenly you must have that green plastic keyring in the shape of a foot, it's what you've always dreamt of, the prize, the goal, later on you'll congratulate yourself on your win, and it only cost you £3...
There's more to Scarborough than the cheap gaudy facades of the shiny amusement arcades though, there are beaches with donkeys, Looby's favourite thing, she's 12.5 now of course and nearly too big to go on a donkey and considering she rides every week you'd think a 2 minute donkey ride would hold no interest but no, she just loves being on the back of a horse in whatever form it takes. I suspect this photo may be the last time she's young enough to ride one though.
The thing I adore about Scarborough is the fact that it never changes, it's a constant, in all of the years I've been going it's never changed one bit, it's charm and nostalgia still remains in the very best way and I think that's why it's still so popular because to visit Scarborough is to revisit the halcyon days of childhood.
For the very first time Looby and I stayed in the North Bay, we looked out over the North Bay from our comfortable but basic hotel, the Clarence Gardens, on this occasion though it really was just somewhere to lay our head down but I have to say that we had a great nights sleep, the room had more than a few quirks but breakfast the next morning was a good start to the day, it's pet friendly and the people seem really lovely, just don't have too high expectations!
Our main purpose of our visit was to go and see the Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, we are their brand ambassadors for the next year and we are delighted about that, it means more time in Scarborough and many adventures with the sea life centre.
I'd last visited Sea Life a few years ago and much has changed, it's bigger and better and they have a Loggerhead Turtle called Antiopi who is seriously impressive, I loved the Humboldt penguins and of course the show stealing seals but I also loved the jellyfish and the Octopus, so much to see and do, on this visit we didn't attempt to go to many of the talks and feeds as it was later in the day so we decided that our first visit would be an overview of the whole place and we gently meandered around the displays.
We're already excited for our next visit, we've decided that we'll go and do all of the talks and feeds during the summer holidays and I just can't wait, I also can't wait to see Antiopi again, what at incredible animal, I should say that if the indoor photos are a tad grainy it's because they were all shot at 25000 iso, my top tip would be to not worry about taking a camera unless you have something of a professional quality, you can't use flash because it's not kind to fishies and it's seriously dark so take a day off from your camera and just enjoy being under the ocean. I love the tunnel, it's just amazing to be so near to the fish and watching Antiopi as she glides above you is just an incredible experience. I'm guessing on peak days that it gets very busy so maybe sling your little one, and buy your tickets online.
After a few hours we'd worked up an appetite so we hopped on a train, then we hopped on a water flume which is over 100 years old, go visit it in Peasholm park, it's quite the odd experience! Finally we hopped on a bus and arrived in the South Bay where we ran into Harry Ramsdens with ravenous appetites after not eating since before our train journey. Happily our food was good and after whiling away a couple of hours in the varying amusement arcades (you'll have to ask Looby just how many keyrings she "won") we decided to take the short cut back to our hotel, now let me say that the short cut involvesd walking up a huge hill and down the other side and then up again to get back to our hotel, probably the first time I've heard Looby say she was tired, it certainly worked at burning off the dinner calories! For all of the effort though we were rewarded with the most beautiful views before arriving back just as the sun set over the North Bay.
I received passes from Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary in exchange for being a brand ambassador for the next 12 months