There are two bays, separated by a headland which juts out into the sea.
The headland was used by Celtic peoples, and later used by the Romans for a signal station, built in 370, of which there are still some remains.
The rising town, originally settled by Norsemen, was burned by the invading Harald Hardrada and Tostig in 1066.
The American privateer John Paul Jones captured the British warship "Serapis" off Scarborough, and in 1914 German warships bombarded the town. Legend says that when Robin Hood went out one day with Scarborough fishermen, the boat was attacked by a French warship. He boarded the vessel, seized a hoard of gold and distributed it among the fishermen.
Mrs Tomazyn Farrer discovered efficacious spring water in 1626 and it was this that led to Scarborough`s first taste of tourism.
It was the railway, reaching Scarborough in 1846, that really established the town as an important seaside resort, which continues to provide the expected bandstands, gardens, donkey rides and Punch and Judy.
St. Mary`s Church, parts of which are 12th century, stands proudly overlooking the town and seafront. Anne Bronte, who died here at the age of 28 in 1849, is buried in the churchyard.
Scarborough Castle stands on top of the headland. It dates from the 12th century, and was besieged twice in the 1640s during the Civil War. Piers Gaveston was besieged and captured here in 1312. George Fox was imprisoned in the castle in 1655. It is now in the care of English Heritage.
Among the interesting old buildings are the Three Mariners and the 14th century King Richard III House.
The Marine Drive and promenade were completed in 1908.
Scarborough is also a working port, with three piers enclosing an inner and outer harbour.
The town has a popular Cricket Festival.
Among the prominent people born at Scarborough are Charles Laughton, actor; Lord Leighton, artist; Edith Sitwell, poet; Sacheverell Sitwell, poet; and Penelope Wilton, actress.
Scarborough features in Tibias Smollett`s "Humphrey Clinker", as well as Paul Simon`s arrangement of the folk song "Scarborough Fair". "Are you goiung to Scarborough Fair? Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. Remember me to the one who lives there, She once was a true love of mine". Bob Dylan`s version "Girl From the North Country", does not mention Scarborough.
Blue Badge Guide Colin Crosby is available to lead Guided Walks around Scarborough for groups.