Scarborough makes a great year round theatre break, and offers fun packed club nights, a range of entertainment and activities for stag and hen parties, a host of world cuisine restaurants and a chic bar and cafe scene. The stunning Stephen Joseph Theatre is the home of playwright Alan Ayckbourn who was artistic director of this Art Deco theatre gem (formerly the town’s Odeon Cinema) from 1972 to 2009. Ayckbourn’s plays are still regularly performed here.
Other historic theatres in the town include The Spa Complex on South Bay’s Victorian esplanade, home to a choice of entertainment venues, a heritage cliff lift, a suncourt outdoor enclosure hosting regular free summer concerts, a comedy club and a brasserie and bar. Scarborough is also home to Europe’s largest open air theatre offering year round pop and rock concerts featuring some of the biggest names in the business.
Eating out in Scarborough
Scarborough offers a superb choice of dining options, from fine dining restaurants to favourite fish and chip restaurants and an excellent choice of Indian and Thai restaurants. From character tea rooms to popular inns serving food and romantic bistro restaurants, Scarborough has them all with plenty of fresh seafood from nearby Whitby on offer. Sitting right on the edge of the North York Moors as it does, you can expect delicious, locally sourced Yorkshire food and drink in Scarborough’s many restaurants and inns. A selection of award-winning cafes and restaurants feature in and around Scarborough.
The Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT)
Scarborough is one of Yorkshire’s theatre hubs revolving around the Grade Listed Art Deco theatre, the Stephen Joseph Theatre. Founded in Scarborough in 1955 by theatrical pioneer Stephen Joseph, the theatre didn’t move to its present home in spectacular modernist one-time Scarborough Odeon Cinema until 1996. The theatre’s particular edge has been having Alan Ayckbourn as artistic director. His new plays continue to premiere here alongside the very best of cutting edge drama, classical music nights and some film screenings. The in-house Art Deco theatre restaurant is acclaimed for its delicious locally sourced cuisine. The area around the SJT is a popular dining quarter in Scarborough offering a selection of chic restaurants.
The Spa Scarborough
An iconic site on the South Bay esplanade, The Spa Scarborough is a Victorian jewel, beautifully modernised today as the resort’s premier entertainment and conference centre. Licensed for Civil Wedding Ceremonies and featuring first class spaces for exhibitions and events including the glorious Grand Hall and Ocean Room, The Spa is also home to the Spa Theatre hosting a year round programme of comedy, musical theatre, talks, festivals and rock concerts. Other venues on-site include The Promenade Lounge, a popular choice for weddings, business events, exhibitions and lunches, with magnificent views of South Bay.
Renowned as one of the best features of The Spa, the Vita Dome is an ornate lounge space perfect for receptions, parties, lunches and product launches. Situated on the first floor, the Vita Dome holds up to 100 guests and also has fantastic sea views. One of the Spa’s most popular venues is the Sun Court Suite, a multi-purpose space popular for weddings. The Spa is host venue to festivals including the annual Scarborough Jazz Festival and is the home of The Last Laugh Comedy Club, Yorkshire longest running comedy club.
Scarborough Open Air Theatre
The Scarborough Open Air Theatre doesn’t just rank as Europe’s largest open air theatre, it is also unusually situated on a lake. Originally constructed in the 1930s and making the most of its ‘natural amphitheatre’ location, this spectacular concert and theatre venue has a fascinating history in Scarborough. In the 1930s the open air theatre drew huge crowds, and in the 1960s it was a popular venue for musicals. Today the open air theatre continues to attract huge crowds, with big names from rock and pop appearing here! Scarborough Open Air Theatre sits within Northstead Manor Gardens in the North Bay area.
Scarborough town centre and historic old town around cobbled specialist shopping street Bar Street offers high street and chic unique shopping galore. A popular surfing hole, Scarborough also has a choice of excellent surf shops also offering surfboard and equipment hire plus surfing lessons. The central Brunswick Shopping Centre is in the heart of the resort, just a short stroll from the seafront, featuring a host of well known high street fashion names and a department store.
Lovers of traditional markets won’t want to miss a trip to Scarborough Market Hall & Vaults with delectable delis, local butchers, a homebrew shop, fruit and vege and a great Market Cafe where you can eat in or take away. Beach chic coffee houses and cafes also sit close to beaches and are scattered across the town centre. This Yorkshire seaside town is truly cosmopolitan featuring a range of world cuisine restaurants from Mexican and Indian to Greek and Italian.
From stylish blues clubs to open air pop concert venues and big nighclub names, Scarborough offers an impressive range of nightlife experiences catering for all from culture vulture theatre lovers to high adrenalin all night clubbers. Whether you’re preference is a chic wine bar or licensed coffee house, a traditional inn or a premier cocktail lounge with live entertainment, Scarborough has them all. A choice of large nightclubs sit in the heart of Scarborough town centre. The resort is very popular for celebrations, gatherings and weekend Stag & Hen parties.
Michelle is an experienced travel writer with iknow and has travelled extensively across the UK, Spain, Portugal and the USA. When she’s not busy writing for iknow she enjoys spending time touring museums and art galleries and seeking out the best independent shops in Manchester and Leeds.