If you have already been to the British seaside, you will know just how charming it is! Heading to the coast was a popular pastime and vacation choice for Brits in the 19th Century. But the times have changed, and most Brits enjoy foreign trips. However, there are still many who regularly head out to seaside towns and villages.
So what is so great about the British seaside exactly? Well, it is a truly traditional part of Britain that hasn’t changed much. When you visit a seaside resort, you will feel like you have turned back to the clock! And there is always a variety of sights and attractions, no matter where on the coast you may be. Just remember to visit in summer. That way, you’re more likely to experience bright sunshine when you are there; perfect weather for enjoying the beach and sea!
Not sure where to go on your British seaside adventure? Here are some of our favorite coastal towns and cities.
Brighton, East Sussex
Brighton is possibly England’s most famous seaside town. It is super easy to get to from London. A direct train only takes an hour. Brighton is a vibrant place with plenty to do for the whole family. Take a walk down the popular Brighton Pier. You will find plenty of amusement arcades and rides along here. Not only that, though, but it is one of the best places to get some fish and chips. You’ll be able to enjoy this traditional seaside dish while looking out to sea! Take a trip to Brighton’s Royal Pavilion as well. Once a seaside palace of King George IV, it is now a large museum that houses a number of unique galleries. Brighton prides itself on being a very open and welcoming destination, especially to LGBT travelers. One of the busiest times for the town is its annual Pride Festival, which often takes place in August.
Whitby, North Yorkshire
Nestled on the pretty coast of North Yorkshire, Whitby is a traditional British fishing port. In fact, the port is still working today, and you may be able to spot fishing vessels leaving the harbor and going out to sea for a day of fishing. Whitby is particularly famous for being the town in which Bram Stoker wrote his famous novel, Dracula. The town is even one of the locations used in the book. But why did Stoker think the charming town of Whitby would be a great place to base part of his novel? That is probably because of the large abbey ruins that sit at the top of a cliff, overlooking the town. It certainly gives the small town a gothic atmosphere! If you are intrigued by the gothic side of Whitby, book a visit during one of its annual Goth Weekends. They take place in October and April.
Blackpool is kind of like the northern version of Brighton. It will be slightly more cheaper to visit, but you shouldn’t expect it to be quite as polished as its southern cousin. However, you will still have just as much fun in this colorful and vibrant town! You will find something for the whole family here, no matter how old or young your fellow travelers may be! Kids will love playing in all the amusement arcades and building sandcastles on the long beach. Older travelers can enjoy watching the professional in the Blackpool Tower’s elegant ballroom. Taking a trip up to the top of the tower is also highly recommended. You’ll witness breathtaking views out across the Irish Sea. Families love the town’s theme park as well. Located right by the beach, Blackpool Pleasure Beach has a variety of rides suitable for old and young. There are also some shows aimed at kids of all ages.
St. Ives, Cornwall
St. Ives is an artistic center in Cornwall. It was once famous for its pilcharding industry, but ever since the 1920s and 1930s, the arts have taken center stage. In fact, the town is such an important location for arts, there is even a branch of the Tate Gallery here, at Tate St. Ives. But even if you aren’t too into art, you will still enjoy visiting St. Ives. Soak up some of that elusive British sun on its beach or explore the wildlife sanctuary at Paradise Park. The Minack Theatre is a famous open-air amphitheatre that still shows a wide range of plays and performances. Fancy a scenic stroll? Then hike up to Lanyon Quoit to explore the area’s ancient tombs.
Margate is one of the most popular British seaside resorts in southern England. And once you get there you won’t have to struggle to see why that is! The town was once extremely popular with the Victorians. After a slump in popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, Margate has come fighting back. And it is now one of the most beloved seaside destinations in the country again. It may not be as twee as some of the towns on this list, but it still has bucketfuls of charm. Spend the day browsing artworks in the Turner Contemporary Gallery or explore the curious Shell Grotto. History aficionados will love the Tudor House.
Wales isn’t short of seaside towns and resorts. One of its most popular is Porthmadog in Gwynedd. This pretty town is located in bracing countryside, so it is the perfect destination if you plan on going hiking. You will also find Caernarfon Castle and Conwy Castle not too far away. Many people visit the town on their journey to Snowdonia National Park. As you can tell, Porthmadog combines both the best of British seaside culture and countryside activities!
So which part of the British coast will you visit? Hopefully, this blog post has given you plenty of ideas!