Do you know the song Scarborough Fair? I’m familiar with it because my mom knows and regularly sings probably every song written before 1985. Derek knows it because there’s typically some variation of it in most piano lesson books. It’s most famous from Simon and Garfunkel, but is actually a really old folk song. So old that it isn’t attributed to a certain composer. All of this brings me to… our trip to Scarborough.
A few weeks ago Derek’s company sent him up north for a job in Scarborough so Daughter and I went with him for a week. We had gloriously clear weather most of the time we were there. Hooray for sunshine!
There’s really not a ton to see in Scarborough, particularly for how well known the song is, but I know we had a warped perspective because a lot of things were closed until April, thereby limiting our options. Additionally, according to our Great Britain guide book Scarborough was a really popular tourist destination…pre World War II. We still had fun filling our time.
Daughter and I spent some time on the beach, went to the Sea Life Center, and took plenty of time to wander the city.
Sand to a 1 year old seems equal parts magnificent and repugnant.
How fun are those little beach huts! (If only it was warmer).
Hats and coats aren’t really
my anyone’s preferred beach wear, but we were just happy to see the sun.
Scarborough has two bays. The North Bay has the Sea Life Center and the beach huts, and the South Bay has touristy arcades, fish and chip shops, and Luna Park – the closest thing to an actual Scarborough Fair.
I learned a bit more about what the Scarborough Fair actually was at the Maritime Heritage Center. The “center” was basically a room with of pictures on the walls, binders of information, and two older men, also full of information. I learned about tuna or tunny fishing as a upper class sport, how Scotch girls would come down south to Scarborough to help the men sell the herring they had caught, and that the Scarborough Fair was really just a big market.
A few other things not pictured: We went to Anne Bronte’s grave, the Scarborough Art Gallery (which had this cool exhibit) and the Rotunda museum, the library for some hangout/run around time while it rained, and Scarborough’s indoor market. I learned how lonely it can be when your travel companion’s vocabulary is limited to a handful of nouns-largely body parts, but we had fun together.
On Friday we all drove to Eden Camp, a POW camp turned war museum.
It was pretty cool! Although we’ve been to quite a few things that address similar bits of history we always learn something new. I was especially interested in some of the propaganda urging mothers to send their children to the countryside (away from London) during WWII. The funniest thing that happened however, was not war related at all. The jeans Daughter is wearing in the above picture are a bit loose. She typically needs a onesie and a belt to keep them up. Earlier that day we had been on the beach and she had sat on the sand, soaking through a different pair of jeans and her onesie. So she was wearing just these jeans + no onesie. We were talking to a man – I’m not sure if he worked at the Camp or not to be honest, but apparently Daughter’s diaper had gotten just full enough to slide off her little bum and it pulled her jeans off too! Pants-ed! by gravity! And the guy that was talking to us just kept on talking! haha She didn’t care that everything was out in the open, and I pulled everything up nice and quick-like, but Derek and I had to work hard to stifle our giggles.
The next day we went further north to see Whitby Abbey, the building that inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
We parked on the far side so we had to walk to get to the visitor’s center, but the walk provided some nice views of Whitby.The fact that it was on the edge of the cliff overlooking the town was really the coolest thing about the abbey.
You can hike down the cliffside stairs to get to the city, but we drove to save a few minutes of pre-nap time. We didn’t spend much time walking around the city, but we did find the best fish and chips we’ve had yet! We picked where to eat based on what everyone else was eating – we passed person upon person holding boxes that said the Quayside, so we found the same place! And as a bonus they had gluten free batter (still super yummy) so Daughter could have some too. (Here’s my second favorite place for fish and chips, fyi).
We finished with a treacle tart (such a quintessential British meal!) then drove back to B’ham.