Scarborough 2013

I can just about remember going to Scarborough as a lad, but I only recall one thing: The Battle of the River Plate, enacted by man-operated boats in Peasholm Park. It still goes on, but only from the end of May, however when I discovered the Clarion Cycling Club Easter Meet was to be held there I just had to go. What I'd forgotten, however, was how hilly it was!

Scarborough, from the hotel

I travelled up via York prepared for snow, but my warm clothing wasn't needed - it was a glorious sunny weekend, albeit with a chilly breeze. The Ambassador Spa hotel, on the South Bay Esplanade was a slog from the railway station, pulling my wheelie suitcase, over a land bridge - but I discovered there was a cliff lift operating nearby down to the beach, so the next morning, after the AGM, I bought a £1.20 return ticket down to sea level. The Spa below was overrun with elderly mods and their scooters on a rally.

Scooters at the Spa

I caught a 109 bus around the headland. Now, this bus route was exempt from the bus pass, so I bought a day ticket for £2. But beware, there are two companies running this service and, as I found out on the way back, they don't accept the other's tickets! At the North Bay terminus I walked to the North Bay Railway and bought a return to Scalby Mills and enjoyed the ride further north, past the water chute and along the bay. Although the engines look like steam locos, they are actually diesels - but they are old, 1931 Neptune was built in... 1931!

  1931 Neptune

I got a 109 back to the pier and went for a coffee at Pacitto's a retro looking cafe overlooking the sea. They had no toilets and the nearest were 'attended', ie you had to pay, so I headed off to find the art gallery, where you can always count on a decent jakes. After a schlep up the hill I found that you had to pay to get in - £1.80 for me, and to be honest apart from the toilets here's not a lot to see apart from some shipwreck paintings, an Edward Bawden watercolour and a big Lord Leighton.

  Art gallery

After a quick nosey round the not-so-grand Grand Hotel, I got the cliff lift (a different one - looks like there were three at one time, but one looks derelict) down to the beach and a number 6 bus (with my bus pass) back up to the station where I bought a bottle of wine for that night's ceilidh from Tesco. Killed an hour at The Cask Inn, the other side of the land bridge with a pint of Old Peculiar and some cheesy chips, then set off to the dance. Got a lift back to the hotel, thankfully!

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