Seaside holiday guide

...UK seaside holidays are back!

After a spell out of favour, British seaside holidays are popular again, and a recent high profile award has provided yet another boost for the flourishing UK holiday industry.

St Ives, one of the jewels in Cornwall’s crown, has been voted in the top 10 best European beach destinations in the prestigious Travellers Choice 2011 list compiled by TripAdvisor, coming 6th - ahead of perennial foreign favourites such as Majorca and Sicily.

Users of the travel review site also compiled their top 10 British seaside destinations, with St Ives topping the table. Newquay (2nd), Padstow (8th), Bournemouth, Weymouth and Swanage in Dorset (3rd, 4th and 10th respectively) and Woolacombe in Devon (7th) made it a red letter day for the south west.

We tend to take things closer to home for granted, but the UK has always been able to boast peerless coastal scenery — cliffs and coves, rock pools, and seemingly endless stretches of untouched sand.

There are more Blue Flag beaches than ever, and restaurateurs, hoteliers and accommodation owners are excelling themselves in providing increasingly high standards of service to match and even exceed our expectations.

The renewed interest in UK seaside holidays really shouldn’t come as a surprise. In times of airline strikes, volcanic ash, poor exchange rates and other foreign holiday-related stress, the ease of access is undeniably a factor. You’re never much more than 80 miles from the nearest coast, but the appeal runs much deeper than that – Britain boasts some genuinely stunning coastal resorts, in all shapes and sizes, quiet, lively or somewhere in between.

You can do the traditional bucket & spade family holiday, go for the quiet and quaint fishing village option, join the lazy sunbathers in a deserted cove or enjoy a thrill-a-minute surfing holiday.

While those south west resorts featured in the TripAdvisor list are rightfully lauded, there is more to the British seaside holiday than Cornwall, Devon and Dorset. Those mainstays speak for themselves, boasting stacks of Blue Flag rated beaches, top-ranked accommodation and heaps more.

But a whole host of other resorts, be it up in the wilds of Northumberland or rejuvenated Blackpool, offer their own unique take on the British beach holiday.

No passports, no jostling for position at the departure gate, no turbulence – just pack up the car, strap the kids in the back and away you go. You could be on the beach in just a couple of hours.

Sean Cummins

April 2011


Last Updated: 28 Apr 2015