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On a cottage holiday visitors will find Scarborough is well served with some good museums and historic musical venues. The distinctive Rotunda Museum is dedicated to the geological importance of the area and displays fossils and exhibits from London’s Natural History Museum, together with a contemporary section filled with multi media and interactive displays on the Dinosaur Coast and the importance of the many geological sites on Yorkshire’s coastline. Once the delights of the museum have been exhausted, step outside and follow the interpretive trails to uncover the delights of the historic Valley Gardens.

Scarborough Art Gallery is set in a stylish, Italianate Villa and carries both permanent and temporary displays, while the South Street Gallery is a more modern affair devoted entirely to contemporary art. The Scarborough Spa is an iconic building dominating the town’s South Bay seafront; it is home to a Victorian theatre offering an extensive programme of summer events, as well as the famous Scarborough Spa Orchestra, the country’s last remaining ‘seaside orchestra’. Theatre is well served in Scarborough too; amongst others, the town boasts the ‘home’ theatre of one of the country’s most performed playwrights of the modern era, Alan Ayckbourn’s Stephen Joseph Theatre.

Scarborough is blessed with many parks and green spaces for visitors to enjoy. In addition to the pretty ornamental gardens of the Rotunda and Peasholm Park, the Royal Albert Park hugs the coastline offering cliff-top walks, geological discoveries, a café and skate park for older children, whilst the appealing South Cliff Gardens on the Esplanade offer further opportunity to enjoy woodland and coastal walks with fabulous views of Scarborough’s coastline. Falsgrave Park is part woodland and part open grassland, and this park has extensive children’s play area. The St. Martin’s Square Garden for the Blind is a lovely sensory garden planted with strongly scented flowers and plants.

Beyond Scarborough, there are numerous family attractions ideal for days out or to act as extra wet weather contingency plans. Those with young children in particular will appreciate quite a selection of farm-themed attractions in the immediate area, such as the Shire Horse Farm at nearby Staintondale, the Grainery at Harewood Dale, Redcliffe Farm in Lebberston or Playdale Farm Park at nearby Cayton. Other attractions in the area include the ruins of Ayton Castle at West Ayton, the fascinating Birds of Prey & Conservation Centre at East Ayton and the National Trust’s Alum Works industrial archaeological heritage site on the Yorkshire coast at Ravenscar, offering walks, an insightful Visitor Centre and family activities.

Read part one of this blog on self catering cottage holidays in Scarborough.

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