8 Traditional British Seaside Towns ...


8 Traditional British Seaside Towns ...
8 Traditional British Seaside Towns ...

If you say traditional British seaside towns to a Brit, images of striped deckchairs on the pier, knotted hankies, fish and chips and saucy postcards come to mind. There was a time, where indeed, this pretty much summed up British seaside towns – add in a fairground, slot machine arcades, donkey rides on the beach, and inclement weather, and you pretty much had it covered. But, time moves on and things change. Whilst many of those characteristics remain, they’ve been added to and improved. Here are 8 Traditional British Seaside Towns definitely flying the flag and worthy of a visit:

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Blackpool Blackpool is the Grandaddy of all British seaside towns. Boasting its own rival to the Eiffel Tower, the piers are long and the beach even longer. There’s a massive fairground, known as Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the iconic Golden Mile – a stretch of shops, pubs and amusement arcades (slot machines). Donkey rides are a mainstay of the sands and trams still run along the prom. Every year, thousands of visitors descend on the town for the holiday lights. The Blackpool Illuminations are one of the most popular attractions in Britain.



Brighton People who live in Brighton don’t think of their home as one of the traditional British seaside towns, but they can’t get away from the fact there is a pier, a promenade with the usual trappings of pubs, fish and chip shops, shops selling rock and kiss me quick hats, and amusement arcades. Away from the seafront though, Brighton can offer visitors the not so usual treats of traditional seaside towns. There’s the splendid and somewhat bizarre Royal Pavillion and the windy shopping area of The Lanes.


Brighton seamlessly blends quirky charm with coastal relaxation, making it a unique spot for those wanting a break from the mundane. Wander through the North Laine for a treasure trove of vintage boutiques, colorful street art, and cozy coffee shops that define its bohemian spirit. Culture enthusiasts will appreciate the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery, which offers a glimpse into the city's eclectic history. Don't miss out on the vibrant nightlife, where live music and theater thrive, perfectly capturing the town's eclectic and inclusive vibe. Brighton proves that a seaside town can be much more than its beachy stereotype.



Skegness On the East Coast, Skegness remains true to its roots. The town was the site of the first Butlins Holiday Camp in the 1950s and it is still there today. (Butlins is holiday catering to the masses.) The beach at Skegness is wonderful – big and sandy – it’s just a shame the weather is not so great. On inclement days there’s always the fun fair and the amusement arcades, or people seek refuge on the pier. ‘Skeggy’ was once described by Lonely Planet as having ‘everything you could ever wish for’.



Bournemouth This pretty town on the south coast has rooted deeply ingrained in the Victorian era. It was once thought of being a place for retirees but in the last twenty years, it has been dragged into the 21st century and is now as popular with the younger set as the wrinklies. There are 7 glorious miles of sandy beach at Bournemouth and like most traditional British seaside towns it is graced by a pier. It’s most famous attraction is the Royal Pleasure Gardens, that have been a major feature since the 1860s.


The Victorian charm is evident in the town's architecture and nostalgic attractions, with the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum standing out. The transformation of Bournemouth also brought trendy cafes, vibrant nightclubs, and cultural festivals, balancing the old with the new. For those seeking adventure, the Bournemouth Balloon offers breathtaking aerial views of the coastline. Health enthusiasts can enjoy yoga or Pilates on the beach, followed by a dip in the sea. The town's blossoming reputation is a blend of history and modern leisure, appealing to visitors of all ages and interests.



Tenby Lovely Tenby is a town in South West Wales. It was originally a fortified town perched on a high cliff overlooking a stunning beach. It does have the unusual feature that at one part of the beach, the backdrop is a sheer grey stone wall. The old town still has the walls and gates which date from the 13th Century. There’s an arched road, and some streets have a Mediterranean feel with pastel colored houses. The harbor is a pleasant place to while a few hours, as is meandering through the shops that line the narrow streets.



Newquay Newquay in Cornwall (there’s one in Wales and on the Isle of Wight) offers visitors 7 fabulous beaches. It is distinctive from other British seaside towns because this is the country’s surf capital. The Atlantic coast produces surf of a quality sufficient for international competitions to be held at Fistral Beach. The surfing community work hard and want to play hard. Newquay’s nightlife, as well its proximity to so many of the terrific attractions of Cornwall, makes this a hugely popular destination for boarders and non-borders alike.



Whitby I bet you never imagined that one of our British seaside towns could lay claim to be the birthplace of Count Dracula? Delightful Whitby is in fact where Bram stoker penned the most famous of all gothic novels. The town was also the birthplace of Captain James Cook – the man who discovered Australia. Far up on the north east coast of England, Whitby has narrow streets that lead down to the quay that has been a safe harbor for a fishing fleet for more than a century. Set on a glorious coastline, Whitby doesn’t have the amusements of other British seaside towns, it is far more genteel, but they say you get the best seafood here.


Southend on Sea

Southend on Sea This town grew out of Georgian Londoners’ needs to escape the smog and pollution of the city for some bracing sea air. Lying in the Thames Estuary, it was easily reached for days trips and a walk on the prom or the pier. The Pier at Southend is in fact the longest in the world and is more than 1.3 miles in length. There’s a mini railway that runs as a funicular from the clifftop and then along the pier. The seafront amusement park claims 50 rides and there’s also an aquarium. The town is a popular destination for Mod rallies, when hundreds of scooters and their riders gather in a scene straight out of Quadrophenia.

As you can see, traditional doesn’t mean same when it come to British seaside towns. Whilst there are some bog standard characteristics, each has its own, often quirky, identity.

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Don't forget Blakeney! As a British person, I can vouch for its beauty, privacy and coziness. Blakeney hotel is wonderful too. It's in Norfolk, if anyone's interested :)

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