Trips To Scarborough

The large seaside resort of Scarborough has two bays, divided by a rocky promontory - home to the ruins of Scarborough Castle and ideal for GCSE and A Level Geography student and school tours.
Geography classes can study the sea defences in place at both bays and the dramatic effect of erosion along the coast too. With field work opportunities and a range of study-linked visits in the area including the soft clay cliffs of Hornsea and Mapelton, a visit to this coastal area makes for a highly educational and enjoyable school trip destination.


Tour Day 1

Depart on your coach. En-route stop at Flamborough Head to see and discuss the obvious erosion & associated landforms at this location. Explore the famous lighthouse
Late check in to your accommodation
Evening meal at your hotel with free time.

Tour Day 2

Visit the North and South Bay to compare, consider the sea defences, rejected plans and discuss ideas and possible future solutions
Visit and explore the Rotunda Museum before enjoying an educational workshop tailored to your group.

Tour Day 3

Visit the small coastal towns of Hornsea and Mappleton, two sites of substantial coastal erosion. Observe the effects, discuss what has/is happening and why, as well as what could/can be done. Continue to your coach and return to school
Board your coach and begin return journey to school


The Green Gables, Scarborough

Within excess of 30 Years’ experience of providing accommodation to children of all ages, Green Gables provides a friendly environment for school groups and tours.. 

The hotel caters for students of all ages offering full board accommodation normally sleeping 3 or 4 per room while members of staff sleep nearby in single rooms.

Each group receives their own private lounge and full access to the hotel's facilities. Upon arrival they will receive a 3 course meal every evening, English breakfast every morning served to the table and a pick-your-own lunch in our popular self-serve Picnic Bar. All diets catered for.

Located in a quiet residential area of Scarborough next to a public park, the hotel has a heated indoor swimming pool, games room and many other activities for children to use on their visit.

YHA, Scarborough

Once a 17th century water mill set on a quiet riverside, located 1½ miles north of the town centre and 15 minutes' walk from Scalby Mills and the North Bay beach, YHA Scarborough is the perfect base to enjoy, explore, or simply unwind on the beautiful North Yorkshire coast.

YHA Scarborough has 46 beds in four and six bedded rooms, all with shared toilets and showers.

The hostel is down a quiet driveway, set in a small woodland on the bank of a small river. 

Study Visits

Scarborough Beaches And Coastal Defence

South Bay Beach

South Bay Beach is the busiest of Scarborough's beaches due to its soft sand and calmer waters protected from the North by the Castle Headland. The bay’s arch means an almost south facing suntrap drawing in the tourists where the tide rarely reaches the promenade.

Add to this, the bay’s proximity to the town centre, amusement arcades, eateries as well as the harbour and it’s easy to see why it is the more popular of the two bays.

When the tide is out, the rock pools are always a hit teaming with marine life, which makes an interesting exploration for both science and geography students.

The large Regency and Victorian terraced houses on the promenade here, now home to many of the larger hotels and apartments give a glimpse of the desirable accommodation available to the wealthy during the emergence of this holiday resort.

North Bay Beach

North Bay has a Blue Flag beach, meaning it is one of the best in Europe for cleanliness, facilities and safety. Generally less popular with tourists, most of the North Bay Beach is away from the road, with the chalet-lined promenade.

Scarborough Coastal Defence

Geography student tours can examine the sea defences at both the North and South beaches consisting of recurved sea walls effective in protecting cliffs from erosion and also act as a barrier to prevent flooding. Groups can also discuss any disadvantages of sea walls. 

Rock armour or rip-rap is also present in front of the sea wall to absorb the energy of waves.  Students could discuss the advantages and disadvantages of rip-rap or other possible techniques.  

A £16m new planned sea defence scheme was scrapped in late 2013 after local uproar over the likely visual impact on the south bay in favour of improving and repairing the current walls, but at what cost?

Rotunda Museum Visits

Free self-led tours are very popular with Geography and Geology groups, and the museum also offers a range of workshops for KS3-5 pitched according to your study requirements. 

Full of fascinating objects, the Rotunda Museum is home to Gristhorpe Man, a unique Bronze Age skeleton. Found near Scarborough buried in a tree trunk, Gristhorpe Man is the best example of a tree burial in the UK. There is also the Speeton Plesiosaur - a fantastic marine reptile from the lower Cretaceous period, found near Filey. Scarborough's Lost Dinosaurs is an exploration of Jurassic Scarborough and its residents.

For KS3-5 groups, the museum can also organise a 'Dinosaur Footprint Walk' tailored to the age of students, to see the footprints still in situ along the coast. This lasts about 75 minutes.

The museum can also organise a 'Meet the Geologist' session for Sixth Form students to discuss careers in geology and put their questions to one of our geologists.  The session is subject to availability.

Scarborough Castle

Situated proudly on the headland between the North and South Bays, it makes sense to make a quick stop at this historic castle which is free to school groups and also offers cross-curriculum links to History and RS.

The site’s history spans some 2730 years with Henry II's 12th-century keep being the centrepiece of the fortifications developed following repeated sieges during 4679 and twice during the English Civil War. In December 1914, key parts of the castle were destroyed by German naval warships, but what role has the castle played in local and national events?

Flamborough Head & The Lighthouse

Flamborough Head provides an inspirational location to witness, at first hand, evidence for the many processes of weathering, erosion and mass movement and a spectacular array of associated landforms. Situated just south of Scarborough itself, the coastal cliffs headland developed in Jurassic age provides a great discussion point location for groups.

The light house first built on the Flamborough Headland in 1669 but never lit. The current lighthouse was built in 1806 and acts as a waypoint for deep sea vessels and coastal traffic as well as marking the Flamborough Headland for vessels heading for the ports of Scarborough and Bridlington.  Guided tours are available here.

The Holderness Coastline: Hornsea And Mappleton Coastal Management

This coastline is a well-used as a case study allowing students to observe one of the most vulnerable coastlines in the world which retreats at a rate of one to two metres every year. 

The longshore drift along the coastline combined with soft boulder clay cliffs are the primary causes.

We recommend visiting Hornsea and Mappleton and comparing these two coastal settlements. In Hornsea students can see the sea defences including a sea wall and wooden groynes. Why not stop for some fish & chips here too!

At Mappleton, a town often featuring in the news due to the erosion issues, students can see the £2million pound sea defences built in the 1990’s including rock groynes and rock armour at the base of the cliffs.  Here, tide permitting students can measure the effectiveness of the groynes by measuring the beach gradient at intervals, using a clinometers and ranging poles to do this.  Mappleton also forms a good location to discuss the negative impact of the sea defence further along the coast. 

Field Study Sessions

These KS3-5 age programmes are designed to meet the needs of the National Curriculum and can be adapted to your individual requirements. All programmes are fully risk assessed, as are the sites used.

Each outdoor session begins with an introduction, either indoors or in the field; followed by the investigation. A short summary concludes the sessions which are as follows…

Coastal Landscapes and Processes:  This coastline allows students to see first-hand some of the most dramatic coastal processes the UK has to offer up close. The Holderness Coast in particular provides a wealth of opportunities including beach surveys and coastal management studies. The 2 Scarborough Bays again allow study and comparison of the required sea defences, (a hot topic of controversy for locals) and also the impact on human development in the area.

Settlement Studies

This study compares the structure and facilities found within two or three very different settlements. There are a number of North Yorkshire towns and villages to choose from. The study consists of a tour of the settlements recording the structure, facilities and the student's feelings about them. These can then be compared with their home area if desired. Local history and, where applicable, folklore are also included to better give a feel for life in the settlements.  This is an outdoor activity which requiring your coach.

Recreation and Tourism

Tourism is a major source of income in the largely rural area of North Yorkshire, especially within the two national parks. This programme of study investigates the effects of tourism on the landscape and social wellbeing of people living within it.

There are a range of studies available dependent upon your requirements and accessibility. This study will require your coach to visit the North York Moors or Yorkshire Dales

Pond or Stream Ecosystems

Freshwater is always a popular habitat for students to study. This programme of study investigates the ecosystem within a pond or stream. Invertebrate sampling techniques are included; botanical and bird sampling can be involved if required and possible. The study is very flexible and can be used as the basis for more complex studies, for example the energetics study, effects of pollution, or effects of abiotic factors by comparing more than one site.

Seashore Ecosystems

This programme of study investigates succession down a shore within the inter-tidal zone. A transect is set up and marine algae and creatures are recorded. Botanical and invertebrate sampling techniques are included; bird sampling can be involved if required and possible. A study of the effects of abiotic factors can also be included, for example, the effects of wave action on dog whelk or limpet shell morphology. This investigation studies a rocky shore, depending on time and access you can also study a soft shore for comparison.

Meadow Ecosystems

Grasslands are a relatively new addition to the earth's habitats, having been around a mere 3 million years or so. However, they have played a vital role with herbivores evolving to graze them. Arguably, humans would not have developed our complex social structures without grass; no oats, wheat or barley for food, or domesticated grazing animals. This programme of study investigates the botanical and invertebrate richness of grasslands. Random samples are taken within a range of grasslands to assess the effects of management within an agricultural context.

A popular study investigates how abiotic factors affect communities as you move from an open grassland into a woodland. This involves a transect being set up along the environmental gradient, sampling the plant and invertebrate communities. Abiotic measurements are also taken, for example, light and soil moisture levels.

Whitby Bay

Whitby lies just 40 minutes north of Scarborough and has several sites and museums of interest to geography groups. Discover the geology of Whitby Bay by taking an up-close look at the coastal defences including the iconic piers as well as coastal processes and their resulting features which have been created.   

Captain Cook Museum

Ideal for KS3-4 groups, the museum can deliver a tour and introductory session covering Cook's Yorkshire background, his naval career, the great voyages of exploration, and his ideas on topics such as diet, scurvy, and encounters with previously unknown peoples.

The museum staffs have experience in will tailoring visits to the subject of Geography and there is also a dedicated education room.

Whitby Museum

This museum is a treasure trove of local artefacts, relating to cross curricular subjects up to Key Stage 4. Displays include Fossils, Geology, Natural History, James Cook, William Scoresby, Ethnography, Archaeology, Shipping, Social Trade, Domestic and Education, Bygones, Toys, The Abbey, Military, Coins plus a Temporary Exhibition on a variety of themes which change several times a year. All in all we have well over 80,000 interesting items to look at.

We offer to work with teachers across all Key Stages and ages to make a more in-depth or broader study of their particular topic or research (resources permitting).

Cleveland Ironstone Mining Museum -Skinningrove Valley

Explore the history and environments, both man made & natural, of the Skinningrove Valley.

A visit into the Mining Museum itself involves a fully guided tour, which tells the story of the mine site from the establishment of the first drift in 1848, through 110 years of change and development, to its final closure in 1958, depicting everyday life as experienced by the miners and their families.

A Victorian Mining Village- Settlement Investigation: Pupils investigate the changes in the settlement of Skinningrove, which was specially designed by the mine owners for their workers. Many of the original features have now gone, however contemporary photographs dating back to Victorian times are used to compare then and now on a walk around the village. 

Cultural Visits

Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary

Located on the North Bay of the main headland, within 3 iconic triangular buildings, SEA LIFE Scarborough offers school groups a unique mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits and over 50 displays of marine life including seals, otters and penguins. Enjoy SEA LIFE Europe's only penguin walkthrough feature, the hands-on rockpool experience and learn some amazing facts about the underwater world we love so much.

New from 2016 is ‘Shark Encounter!’ Come face-to-fin with an incredible array of sharks as they circle above the new abandoned shipwreck. 

Pirate Adventure Mini Golf

Pirate Adventure Mini Golf is a pirate themed, 12-hole mini golf course situated directly next door to Scarborough SEA LIFE Sanctuary. Test your navigation skills around cannons, treasure chests and gunpowder barrels!

Peasholm Park Scarborough

This historic and beautiful park situated behind Scarborough’s North Bay has a tranquil lake at its centre with an accessible island to explore 

The lake has been designed within a natural glen with a stream running through it which culminates in the lake at the bottom.  There are lots of rare and unusual trees and flowers, both naturally wild and deliberately planted which can be seen taking any of the walking paths. Even the tourist attractions have not taken away the natural simplicity of the park so it is an ideal breeding ground for much wildlife. 

Whitby Abbey

Whitby Abbey offer free self-led visits. Having endured coastal erosion and stormy weather, destruction during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under the rule of King Henry VII and shellfire from German naval ships during the First World War, Whitby Abbey remains an iconic landmark along the North Yorkshire coastline. 

As already stated everyone I dealt with was superb. Nothing was too much trouble. All questions were answered quickly and efficiently. I was made to feel that our school trip really mattered to them.
Stonelaw High School