Holiday by the sea: A nautical navigation through the UK’s greatest seaside properties.

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The notion of a holiday has not always been accessible to all. Before we had the luxury of frequent planes, trains and automobiles, only the very richest could afford to go away. But during the Nineteenth Century, the British seaside holiday emerged- and so Britain entered the age of leisurely pursuits. The Victorians saw the advantages of a seaside holiday, promoting the health benefits of visiting the sea, as well as its easy accessibility and cost effectiveness. Today, the seaside holiday is as popular as ever, and it has every reason to be.


With a huge variety of beautiful beaches and coastal locations only a pebble’s throw away, we should really make the most of our local scenery. The list is almost endless, but here are a few of the best hubs for finding coastal locations in theUK;


Cornwall is a pretty obvious one, but it’s obvious for a reason. There is a certain charm about a Cornwall coastline that you cannot find on the hot, crowded beach of a foreign resort. Whether you want sandy scenery or a pebbled setting, you don’t have to travel too far around Cornwall to find a bit of both. Bedruthen Steps in North Cornwall is breathtaking, with a dramatic descent on to the beach, whilst at Crackington Haven orTalland Bay you can stroll along the smooth sand or explore the rock pools. Alternatively, Mousehole, Polperro and Looe are examples of lovely port towns, where you can dangle your legs off the harbour whilst enjoying some fresh cod and chips. For your next holiday, think about staying in a Cornwall cottage!


Wales, unlike Cornwall, may not be the first place you think of in terms of beautiful sunny UK beaches, but its coastal scenery provides some fierce competition for the West Country. The Gower Peninsula is particularly stunning. Only a short distance from Cardiff by car, you can reach expansive stretches of pure, untainted beach. A holiday in Wales is great for a coastal adventure. 


The beaches of Devon are very similar to those in Cornwall, but no less mentionable. Devon’s beaches represent the true nature of the British coast. Rugged, rustic and dramatic, beaches like Croyde Bay and Mouthwell Sands are worth visiting, whilst Mill Bay and Thurlestone are beautiful sandy beaches; all providing a perfect location to enjoy the air, and a traditional British sea view. A coastal holiday in Devon is a great way to escape the humdrum. 


Like Wales, Scotland is probably not your first port of call for a nautical adventure, but it does have some beautiful coastal scenery. From Luskentyre Beach to the coastline of St. Andrews, Scottish coastal locations display a less conventional, more romantic notion of the seaside holiday. The crisp, clear water is a beautiful sight, and the absence of beach huts or sky high temperatures should not put you off, but a holiday in Scotland should instead provide an interesting alternative to a UK holiday.


Last but by no means least in this short list of examples is Brighton. Brighton arguably represents the true nature of a British seaside holiday. Long pebbled beach, funfair, pier, and ice-cream, all get a big ‘check’.  Whilst the above can offer some peaceful serenity and beautiful views, it is important to remember that the British beach environment can also provide its entertainments, and these are not in short supply on a seaside holiday to Brighton.


In general, the UK seaside holiday market has a lot to offer, and this is something that should be remembered next time you’re looking for either a short break or a longer getaway. The British sea view is right outside our windows; why not enjoy it?

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Emma Kay has 14 articles online

Emma Kay writes about travel destinations and tips for

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Holiday by the sea: A nautical navigation through the UK’s greatest seaside properties.

This article was published on 2012/01/13