The village is situated approximately 3 miles north of the town separated from the suburbs by the Scalby Beck which flows to the North Sea at Scalby Mills. Scalby is a nuclear village which is dissected by the A171 Scarborough to Whitby road. The older part of the village is west of the main crossroads and is focused around a small but busy High Street. There are two pubs, a newsagents, village store, two restaurants and a local hair salon. In addition there is Scalby Methodist Chapel and the Church Rooms.
In modern times, as an artificial flood relief channel, much of the flow of the River Derwent (which drains a large area of the North York Moors) into the Vale of Pickering) has been diverted, about 10 km upstream of West Ayton, before it reaches the plain of the Vale of Pickering, into a new channel called the Sea Cut east along a previously dry side valley (probably a glacial overflow channel) and into the existing Scalby Beck, making it much larger.
The parish church of Scalby is St Laurence's; the current vicar is Alastair Ferneley. The church is the oldest recorded building in the village. Records show its presentation in 1150 by Eustace Fitz John. The chancel arch and pillars are of that time and the first recorded priest, inducted in 1238, was Henry Devon.
The village is well served by sports facilities. Scalby Tennis Club is located to the east of the junction of the A171 and Station Road. The club has two floodlit courts and further use of two public courts adjacent to the private courts. Additionally there is the Scalby & Newby Lawn Bowling club which shares the site and the clubhouse. On a small hill behind the western limits of the village is the location of Scalby Cricket Club and their Carr Lane ground. During the winter months this doubles as a football pitch.
Scarborough Rugby club is currently being moved from their old grounds in Newby to a new purpose-built club on the northern edge of Scalby, adjacent to the A171.
The village has a number of B&Bs and holiday cottages along with the prominent Wrea Head Country Hotel, built in 1881.
Scalby is twinned with the village of Pornic in north-west France.