Scarborough review: a relaxing dog-friendly stay at The Sands with seaside walks and a spot of walrus watching
There's nothing quite like a holiday escape to the seaside. Even in the depths of winter, stepping out into the fresh sea air brings a sense of well-being that warms the heart, cleanses the mind and revitalises the body.
Scarborough was the coastal destination for our latest three-night getaway, a place that has become a firm favourite for my wife and I since we became dog owners many moons ago. And with our young greyhound Jojo in tow, we were eager to see how she'd fare with her first ever experience of sand and sea.
This time our accommodation was the luxury five-star self-catering holiday apartments at The Sands, perched on the edge of the town's beautiful North Bay looking out onto the beach with a stunning clifftop view of Scarborough Castle.
With a bar, cafe and shops alongside, and picturesque Peasholm Park just a stone's throw away as well as the many dog-friendly visitor attractions of the much-busier South Bay, we knew we wouldn't be short of things to do.
Checking in to The Sands was easy as we were immediately handed a secure car parking space for the duration of our stay, but it wasn't long before we were heading out to the supermarket so we could stock up our fridge with the all-important food and drink supplies which would allow us to enjoy our tranquil haven to its fullest.
There are various accommodation options for guests ranging from one, two and three-bedroom apartments to ultra-luxurious penthouses and five-bed superiors sleeping up to ten people, meaning it's perfect for couples wanting a quiet break or for large families and groups of friends to spend quality time together.
Luckily our two-bed apartment in Lockwood House, one of the dog-friendly options, came with a beautiful sea view while also boasting a king-size bed in the master bedroom, two large bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen and spacious lounge area, with the ground floor exit doors conveniently close by.
Access in and out of The Sands is easy through the use of an electronic key fob which automatically opens all doors and gates to the complex, which is especially handy when you have the dog.
There's lots to do in Scarborough, but walking was the main pastime for us as we introduced our pooch to the joys of the beach, taking in the sights of the colourful North Bay beach chalets before looping along Marine Drive to the South Bay for some time on the 2p slots at Olympia Leisure and a visit to our favourite micro pub, The BellyRub.
One thing that's clear about Scarborough is that it's one of the most dog-friendly places around, with our four-legged friends welcome in most places, which makes it even more baffling that the authorities don't allow them on the beach during the summer months.
An animal that we, or anyone else, didn't expect to see was the remarkable sight of 'Thor' the walrus who had nonchalantly stopped by in the harbour for a much-need rest during his journey back to the Arctic, drawing crowds of people by the roadside keen to get some once-in-a-lifetime snaps.
Back at The Sands before bed we remembered to pick up our pre-ordered breakfast hamper from reception which would be cooked the following morning. A real snip at £6.95, our two-person basket of treats included fresh Cumberland sausages, bacon, two free range eggs, mushrooms and tomatoes, all locally sourced from nearby Stepney Hill Farm.
A second day of walking and with the weather taking a turn for the worse, we decided to leave the 'seaside staple' fish and chips at The Famous Fish Pan until the following day, instead choosing to dodge the rain by taking shelter in The New Lancaster pub, one of the many popular watering holes along the South Bay.
Returning to the apartment slightly damp didn't matter as we knew a hot bath and watching Netflix with our PJ's on while sipping on a glass of fizz would soon warm the cockles.
Feeling rejuvenated after an uninterrupted night's sleep, but sad it was almost time to go home, there was a last chance to increase our mileage count with another walk between the bays, this time taking up a photo opportunity with the giant 'Freddie Gilroy and the Belsen Stragglers' statue looking out into the North Sea.
Whether you're in the Caribbean, Spain or Scarborough, there's always something special about being at the seaside and I can guarantee the latter never disappoints.
Apartment Types: One, two, three or four-bedroom apartments, plus penthouses
Prices: Staring from £90 per night to £350 per night
Seasonal Offers: November–March on three, five or seven-night stays
Phone: 01723 364714
Email: [email protected]