There’s nothing more quintessentially British than a trip to the seaside. Who didn’t spend at least one family holiday in a caravan near the sea when they were a kid? For many millennials, it wasn’t until we reached our teenage years or even adulthood that we began travelling abroad and decided that the sunnier climes of the Mediterranean outshone the likes of Skeggy and Weston-super-Mare back home.
However, with so many travel restrictions still in place this summer (thanks COVID!) the traditional seaside holiday could be set to make its long-awaited comeback in 2021.
In this blog, I share eight of the best seaside towns that England has to offer — beach holiday guaranteed, no boarding ticket or turbulence required! The list below contains the information you really want to know, like which hotels are nearest to the sea and (most importantly) the best places to buy your seaside fish & chips.
If you’re looking for a seaside experience that’s most reminiscent of your childhood, then you’ll need to book a caravan. Check out my blog Budgets, Booze & Bonding Time: 10 Reasons to Book a Caravan Holiday to find out why caravans aren’t just for young families and retired couples, but are an excellent choice for people of all ages.
Considered one of the most beautiful towns in South Devon, Salcombe offers holidaymakers golden sands and turquoise sea. The sensational views, boutique shops and fine dining make Salcombe a destination that leans more towards luxury beach break than typical seaside resort.
Known by locals as ‘sunny hunny’, Hunstanton is one of the few places on the east coast of England where the sun sets over the sea and its trademark red and white striped cliffs add a little something extra to the typical English coastline. Nearby, Old Hunstanton village serves up some excellent pub grub.
Scarborough was Britain’s first ever seaside resort and the town has a fascinating history that’s well worth exploring if you’re a bit nerdy like me, starting with the 12th century Scarborough Castle. It’s also home to the largest Open Air Theatre in Europe.
Love it or hate it, no list of seaside resorts in England would be complete without Blackpool! The ultimate destination if you want plenty of attractions, Blackpool has a multitude of entertainment venues (including the classic amusement arcades) and vibrant nightlife.
If you’re looking for a more upmarket seaside holiday, the picturesque fishing town of St Ives is an ideal choice. It has all of Cornwall’s tourist favourites — excellent surfing conditions and world-famous Cornish ice cream — in addition to a hip art and culture scene.
Did you know that beach huts originated in Bournemouth? In fact you can still rent the oldest hut in England, now more than 100 years old! Bournemouth’s seven miles of beach are perfect for sunbathing in the day, while its buzzing nightlife scene will have you partying through the night.
There’s so much character and creativity to be found in Brighton, from the seafront to the high streets. What Brighton lacks in the sandy beach department, it more than makes up for in culture and things to do. The bustling town is also renowned for its exceptional veggie and vegan food.
🏖 Sandy beaches? Yes
🌊 Seafront accommodation: The Victoria Hotel, The Lord Crewe Hotel, The Sunningdale Hotel
🐠 Highest rated fish & chip shop: Lewis’ Fish Restaurant (A little further out but worth it! 10 minute drive)
🎡 Popular tourist attractions:
Bamburgh is actually a village not a town, but it’s become an increasingly popular choice for seaside lovers wanting a peaceful holiday by the beach without the resort gimmicks. If you like hiking, Bamburgh has a variety of walking trials that are well-suited for more active and adventurous visitors.
England is home to 99 different seaside towns in total. Did your favourite make the list? Let me know in the comments.
If you’re in the mood for more staycation inspiration, go and give my rural retreats blog a read.