The British seaside and the seaside resorts which sit along it divide opinion. For some, a trip to the seaside is the highlight of their year whether it is Blackpool or St Ives. The British seaside has retained a charm that keeps visitors coming back year after year. But for others, it is their idea of holiday hell. Travelling to a run down town that has suffered from a lack of investment for decades and is full of drunks on a Saturday night. For these people the British seaside is dead.
But which version of the British seaside is really true? Is the British seaside really dead?
HISTORY OF THE BRITISH SEASIDE
The British seaside used to be one of the biggest tourist attractions in the UK. After the Second World War, families began making the most of their new right to paid annual leave by travelling to their nearest seaside resort. Towns like Blackpool and Scarborough in the north and Brighton, Margate and Southend in the south. These resorts drew large crowds and became filled with amusement arcades, sandcastles and fish and chips. Resorts such as Butlins and Pontins opened across the country and evening entertainment like bingo and dance halls boomed. The British seaside became the big annual holiday for many families across the UK.
THE DECLINE OF THE BRITISH SEASIDE
However, by the end of the 20th century, cheap flights led to cheap package holidays in Europe and a huge decline in the popularity of the British seaside. People were increasingly able to take the whole family away to an exotic destination for a fraction of the price of staying at home. Plus one of the biggest advantages of travelling abroad is that the weather is much more consistent and you can find sunshine all year round.
Conversely, the weather in the UK is always a risk. We have all been on a summer holiday in the UK where it has rained for the entire week. As more and more Brits travelled abroad, the economies of coastal towns which relied so heavily on tourism began to struggle. A lack of investment in seaside resorts compounded the problem leaving the resorts looking tired compared to their European counterparts.
A RENAISSANCE ON THE HORIZON?
But with Brexit uncertainty and the plummeting pound, the British seaside is making a comeback. European travel is not quite as cheap anymore after the currency uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote in 2016. Instead, an increasing number of people are travelling to beautiful parts of the British coast like Cornwall and Pembrokeshire to make the most of the stunning British coastline.
Even the old seaside resorts are having a revival. This can be seen in the investment made in towns like Brighton, Whitstable and Margate. We love travelling to Brighton in particular and had a great stay at the Grand Hotel on the seafront. With the rise of the ‘staycation’ we think that the British seaside is on the cusp of a renaissance. What is for certain, it is by no means dead!
What do you think of the British seaside? Let us know in the comments below.