After a summer of heat-waves, travel chaos and strikes, it’s no wonder the British public are looking closer to home for their annual holiday. Satsuma Loans decided to run a survey of 2,480 Brits to find out exactly how keen we are on our home-grown seaside resorts. Well, it seems, not so keen. Up until now, we have only visited an average of eight beaches in the UK. With 754 beaches to choose from, that’s a lowly percentage of what is on offer.
However, with the weak currency, travel delays and more optimism in the UK summer, could this be changing? The study found that a significant 54% of families planning a late summer holiday were now considering doing it in Britain, mainly because of the great weather we’ve been experiencing (and will again soon, according to forecasters!). Other reasons given for staycationing included wanting to get to know Britain better; not having to speak another language; not being able to take pets abroad; the weakness of sterling against the Euro; not being able to drive and the risk of cancelled flights.
Is the tide turning for UK coastal holidays? If so, where should we decide to go? Most of us have heard of beach resorts like Blackpool and Eastbourne, but there are dozens of great beaches throughout the whole country that are not on our radar, including in Scotland and Wales. To help us choose where to staycation, Satsuma Loans has created this helpful and detailed interactive guide to Britain’s beaches:
Satsuma Loans also asked respondents what they thought was the most quintessential part of a British seaside resort. Over half of us associate fish and chips with British seaside resorts (51.5%); and indeed there is nothing better than a paper-wrapped portion of freshly battered cod accompanying hot, salty chips dressed in vinegar, ketchup or brown sauce (delete according to taste!) – that’s if the seagulls don’t get them first… 17% of respondents said pleasure piers – those classic walkways which stretch into the sea, lined with souvenir shops, fortune tellers’ booths, amusement arcades and food stalls. Other quintessential British seaside items include multi-coloured beach huts, like at Southwold-on-Sea (14.9%), pebble beaches (8.9%), candyfloss (5.9%) and cheeky post cards, with their truly terrible innuendos (2%).
Encouragingly, nearly two thirds of us (64.5%) believe that seaside resorts are experiencing a revival, as investments have been made into several, making them more appealing for visitors. Margate, for example, has undergone a decent amount of regeneration, following the opening of the Turner Contemporary art gallery in 2011, and the multi-million pound makeover of the Dreamland amusement park, which relaunched in 2017. And Hastings has reinvented itself as an art destination, with the opening of the Jerwood Gallery in 2012.
But even before all these fancy additions, there was something wholesome and appealing about our British seaside resorts, with their donkey rides, 99 ice creams, and buckets and spades, as 71.5% of us look back at our childhood UK beach holidays with fond nostalgia. And we don’t even expect it to be Ibiza or Dubai levels of heat, either; the survey asked what the ideal daytime temperature is for a holiday, and the most popular answer was 24°C. Perfect for wearing a string vest, knotted hanky on your head, and socks with sandals.
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