Scarborough is the first coastal town that I can recall from my childhood. That was in the days of steam trains (the railway arrived in Scarborough in 1846 making it Yorkshire's oldest seaside resort), when holidays were a real family adventure and my father managed with amazing dexterity to balance numerous heavy suitcases and load them into the plush carriage of the waiting train. Although the steam trains have vanished (there are still privately maintained lines in Yorkshire) and I am now older than my father was in those halcyon days, Scarborough is still a great place to visit.The castle presides over the two splendid bays and I never tire of the invigorating walk "over the top" from the North to the South Bay with a chance to explore the narrow but extremely steep alleyways that predominate as you approach the more commercialised South Bay. The castle was built between 1158 and 1168, costing just over £600 and assuming a prime defensive position (previously occupied by a Roman Fort) over the twin bays. Nowadays visitors can just be impressed by the skyline it creates and, from time to time, enjoy a spectacularly staged battle re-enactment.Although I’d not advocate staying in the South Bay you can’t beat an exploration of the Promenade when night falls and the amusement arcades display their gaudy lights. There’s a real buzz if you enjoy people watching, with a cacophony of sound from the hoards of people and the arcade’s music, the smell of the hot dogs, fish and chip restaurants, and the excitement of youngsters as they head for the candy floss stalls or plague their parent for a stick of freshly made Scarborough Rock. A walk out of the bay will take you to the Spa theatre complex. Indeed the Spa was the start of Scarborough’s popularity as back in the early 1600s Scarborough Spring Water was discovered and over the years wealthy individuals would regularly descend on the this quiet village to "partake of the waters" and either improve their health or extend their life. Not that it worked for Anne Brontë who visited Scarborough for a cure. She died at the age of 29 and was buried in the churchyard in the shadow of the castle. During the summer the spa hosts daytime concerts in the open forum or in its extravagant sprung dance floor (if you suffer from occasional sickness its not a good idea to try dancing on this "elastic" floor.There are good views beyond the Spa from along the promenade and generally you’ll be able to take in the seascape without hoards of tourists. Up above the Spa (try taking the short journey by funicular railway) is the main shopping area. Most of the shops are predictable but occasionally you’ll spot a gem—a privately owned shop offering quality crafts or more unique clothing. They won’t be cheap, but they are northern and not London prices.