Scarborough is a classic British seaside resort with one wistful foot stuck in the past. In its 18th- and 19th-century heyday, holidaymakers flocked here to take the waters in its grand clifftop Victorian spa, followed by a bracing dip on the broad South Bay sands. Still retaining vintage character today, Scarborough’s seafront offered a period backdrop for wartime Britain in the 2016 feature film of Dad’s Army. It also features heavily in contrasting 2020 psychological horror film Saint Maud.
Nineteen-thirties cliff trams still trundle down to the South Bay Beach. Here the Foreshore Road promenade is flanked by amusement arcades and fish-and-chip shops that provided a backdrop to scenes in Saint Maud. At the northern end of the beach, Vincent Pier juts out into the North Sea and at its tip is a stark white lighthouse, both of which you might recognise from Saint Maud. The 18th-century original lighthouse was seriously damaged by German war ships in 1914 and what exists today dates to 1931.
Above the sands, the revamped Victorian spa sits proudly on the cliff head. Heading further south from central Scarborough along the clifftop road, you’ll find the crumbling Holbeck Cliffs, nibbled away by landslides, and another filming location from Saint Maud.