“Are you going to Scarborough fair?Scarborough Fair ballad
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
Remember me to one who lives there,
for once she was a true love of mine.”
Scarborough is a small resort town in Northern Yorkshire, UK, which I visited from Leeds one day in 2017. Apparently the town features a geology museum, which is one of the oldest purpuse-built museums in the UK, Japanese gardens and a SEA LIFE marine sanctuary, but I was not aware of all this at the time of my visit. I simply decided to make a daytrip one weekend as I’ve always liked the Simon & Garfunkel edition of the Scarborough Fair, a traditional English ballad, and wanted to experience the town that inspired it without any preconcieved notions about it.
I did not even know Scarborough has a castle (and what a castle it is!) or beautiful sandy beaches, although I did see on the map that it was on the coast. So I took a train one morning and ended up exploring the town, getting completely drenched in one of the signature British showers and treating myself to a posh lunch. I believe this was also my first encounter with the UK sea and it made for some of the most dramatic photos I’ve ever taken.
Scarborough sea drama
I started from the train station and climbed up the hill to the 12th century Scarborough castle to take in the promising view and the weather held out for that long. However, clouds started gathering on the horizon and I was forced to descend into the small harbour below. I was planning to walk to the white lighthouse I saw on the other side of the harbour, but at that point the wind truly picked up. It began to pour and I got drenched in under a minute (umbrellas are for losers!).
Since I visited off-season, the closest sanctuary during the rainfall was a very classy old fashioned restaurant, full of fancy British ladies enjoying their afternoon tea. Imagine me barging in like a drowned rat, a foreign student in jeans and sports shoes, and sitting down at one of the tables with handmade white doilies. I got a couple of weird looks, ordered my pot of tea and a soup, since everything else was a bit out of my budget. Despite the whole out-of-place situation, the waitress was very friendly and one of the old posh English ladies came over offering a cup of tea for me to warm up. We chatted for a bit and she recommended I try the chocolate cake, which I did and it came divinely drenched in vanilla sauce.
Impressions of Scarborough
Scarborough turned out to be a lovely, if somewhat upscale, resort town with beautiful scenery. The song led me true – I was glad I decided to visit and will continue to choose my destinations with my weird gut feeling – you should try it sometime!
P.S.: Here’s a travel guide to Plymouth, another random city I’d planned to visit, but didn’t get the chance to.