Car-free adventures aroundScarboroughYorkshire

“Are you going to Scarborough Fair? (Parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme),” runs the old song made famous by Simon and Garfunkel. In medieval times, Scarborough’s late-summer fair was an un-missable event for merchants from as far afield as Denmark, Latvia and Turkey. People are more likely to head there today for ice cream and donkey rides than to barter corn and cambric. With a good network of trains and buses, not to mention ferries and tramways, getting around Scarborough without a car is not just possible – it’s fun!

  1. 3. Catch the bus to Whitby

    Whitby is another iconic seaside destination and the journey there, over the bracken-blanketed moorland, is an adventure in itself. Sit on the right for the best sea views.

    • Arriva’s X93 bus rolls through forests, fields and open moorland, purple with summer heather and stretching out towards the sea.
    • The bus leaves every half an hour (hourly in winter) and takes 60 minutes.
    • Look out for patches of white cotton grass and Bronze Age tumuli (burial mounds) on the North York Moors and the view of ocean-backed Robin Hood’s Bay as the bus heads steeply downhill.
    • Finally the spiky, gothic ruins of Whitby Abbey are visible across the valley, and topping the view down the River Esk to Whitby harbour.
    • Whitby is famous for fish and chips and there are lots of options around the harbour and in neighbouring streets. Get a takeaway from Silver Street fisheries, tucked away on a side street (£5.55; 5-8pm).
    • Alternatively, take tea with Yorkshire parkin and plum bread at Botham’s on Whitby’s Skinner Street.
    • The dramatic view of Whitby Abbey inspired Bram Stoker’s Dracula and the town’s creepy connections have made it a magnet for goths: shops and streets are full of eyeliner, frilly cuffs and velvet.
    • As nostalgic wafts of frying filter through the seaside beach huts, work up an appetite for the famous fish and chips with a climb to the headland or a swim from the mile-long sands.
  1. 4. Onward by boat, bus or train…

    Several exciting car-free options lead around and out of Whitby. Seen close up or from the sea below, the abbey ruins are always spectacular and – beyond them – the wild North Yorkshire Moors are waiting.

    • You can ride the steam bus (Feb-Oct, £4) around town or take a boat trip round the harbour. The little yellow boats provide a 25 minute cruise for just £3.
    • The Coastliner bus ride over the moors from Whitby to Pickering is one of England’s wildest, with wide, lonely views and miles of purple heather. It passes the North York Steam Railway, which opens up more miles of scenic adventure.
    • And the Esk Valley Railway train journey from Whitby to Middlesborough runs beside the River Esk and through the villages. The local community rail partnership have details of walks, cycle rides (you can take bikes on the train free of charge) and even pub crawls to access from this line.
    • From the CAMRA-approved Station Inn and the characterful Wellington (“the Welly”) pub in Whitby to Ruswarp’s Bridge Inn and the Postgate in Egton Bridge, the Esk Valley has a number of pubs that are one minute’s walk from a station.

Look out for the Good Journey Mark – where car-free visitors are welcome and enjoy a discount