The top ten British seaside towns FEATURE
Feature article by BritEvents.
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Britain has a wealth of seaside towns that are ideal destinations for a day trip or a short holiday. But with so many towns offering stunning beaches, historical attractions and a variety of nightlife activities, it can be difficult to decide which of them to visit. To help you decide, here are ten of the best.
It's a long-term favourite of UK travellers because of its warm microclimate and miles of sandy beaches. With a huge variety of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs, there's plenty to keep you occupied. As well as award-winning gardens, there are also many tours that embrace the stunning coastline scenery. There's something here for all the family. If you're new to watersports, you could even take surfing lessons.
It continues to be one of the most popular seaside resorts in Britain, and it's easy to see why. Less than an hour from London by train, Brighton is crammed with things to do. Apart from the excitement of the nightlife, with plenty of clubs, bars and restaurants, it's also perfect for all the family. In the daytime, take a trip to its famous Royal Pavilion, a must-see attraction. Built for the Prince Regent, later King George IV, it's one of the most extravagant palaces you are likely to see in Britain.
Another terrific beach destination with an array of golden, sandy beaches close to the town centre. Every summer the beaches, watersports and beautiful scenery draw the crowds to Newquay, making it one of the most popular coastal destinations in Britain. With the Blue Reef Aquarium, Holywell Bay Fun Park and Newquay Zoo all in the area, it's a fantastic seaside resort for children and adults.
There's nowhere quite like Blackpool! Still one of the most visited family holiday destinations in Britain, Blackpool has lots of fun activities for the whole family. Take the tram along the promenade past the multitude of shops, restaurants and amusement arcades. Blackpool Tower and Ballroom are now iconic British attractions and should not be missed during your stay. And if you're a fan of amusement parks, you must visit the famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach, the most visited theme park in Britain.
If you prefer a quieter holiday destination, St. Ives in Cornwall is more of a traditional seaside town with pretty sea views that have inspired generations of artists. The sheltered coves and sandy beaches attract sun-worshippers and swimmers, and surfers congregate to ride the waves. Opened in 1993, the Tate St. Ives art gallery is the place to go for art-lovers, boasting an impressive collection of classic and contemporary art from around the world.
It's easy to see why people love Whitby, with its maze of alleyways and narrow streets running down to the quayside. This North Yorkshire town has been a port for more than a thousand years. Captain James Cook even learned his seafaring skills here. It was also the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula, with the dramatic Whitby Abbey looming above the town. The Whitby Gothic weekend is now one of the most popular Gothic events in the world.
With a delightful harbour, sandy beach and attractions throughout the year, Weymouth remains one of Britain's most loved seaside towns. King George III was so impressed, he bought Gloucester lodge on the seafront for his holiday home. Events throughout the year include the International Beach Kite Festival, Carnival Day, volleyball and sailing championships, and motorcycle rallies. Situated on the Jurassic Coast - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - Weymouth is perfect for long walks along the stunning coastline.
For a British family vacation, Great Yarmouth could be the ideal choice. There is so much to see and do, with a huge choice of places to eat, drink and shop. There are miles of sandy beaches for those seeking a traditional English beach experience, but there are also plenty of secluded areas, if that's more your style. With theme parks, museums, theatres, casinos and racing tracks, there are attractions to suit all tastes.
This lively Scottish university town is famous for its golf courses, but there's plenty here for all the family. St. Andrews Botanic Gardens are internationally acclaimed and have been called a 'hidden gem' of Scotland. With a gorgeous beach, quaint little shops and tearooms, and historical sites, it's a perfect retreat from the bustle of city life.
Fast becoming known as the cultural centre of Cornwall, Penzance is the ideal place for a relaxing break by the sea. With a quaint harbour, stunning beaches, historic architecture, art galleries, and many shops, restaurants and bars, many view the town as the perfect English seaside retreat. There's enough to savour in Penzance alone, but it would also be a great base from which to explore the rest of Cornwall.
With so many undiscovered treasures within our own shores, there seems little reason to travel abroad, especially when the weather is good. Everyone has a favourite British seaside town. Which one is yours?