Thursday, 07 February 2013
Top 12 Seaside Resorts
The British holiday is back in fashion, whether it’s our golden beaches, coastal walks or cultural pursuits.
Written by Melonie Clarke
AbersochSitting on the glorious Llyn peninsula in north Wales, which is a designated area of outstanding beauty, Abersoch is popular with both walkers and water sports enthusiasts alike. Against a backdrop of Snowdonia, it boasts beautiful scenery and great beaches. Its sailing waters are also internationally recognised, so the area hosts major sailing events. If you would like to take up surfing, windsurfing or sailing, there are schools and courses aplenty. But, if you prefer a more relaxing break, there are numerous sheltered suntraps away from the main beaches.
Achnahaird BeachForget funfairs, candyfloss or a Punch and Judy show – Achnahaird has none of these, but its sheer beauty more than makes up for it.
The crescent-shaped beach is considered to be one of the finest in Scotland, but surprisingly, it is rarely visited. Admittedly, visitors have to go prepared with a picnic, but the stunning coastline should take your mind off the absence of shops and restaurants – its sense of peace is the perfect antidote to stressful living. Just flying a kite or going for a walk along the coast takes you right back to basics so that you can enjoy all its natural beauty.
BlackpoolSituated in northwest England by the Irish Sea, Blackpool has been a popular beach destination since the mid-18th century. Most famed for its fabulous illuminations and its tower (built in 1891), it became the first municipality in the world to install electric street lighting. A visit to the top of the tower, a tram ride or a stroll along one of its three piers should be on your list of things to do; there is also a zoo and a model village nearby. Blackpool can be enjoyed all year round, but a winter visit would be best suited to enjoy its illuminations.
BournemouthThanks to the expansion of the railways in the 19th century, Bournemouth grew to be a large coastal resort. Situated on the south coast of England in Dorset, it is very popular with tourists. The awardwinning Central Gardens lead down the valley of the River Bourne through the centre of the town to the sea. The university means there is a thriving youth culture, so there are a large number of bars and restaurants, giving a huge choice when eating out. www.bournemouth.co.uk
PooleA bustling quay situated on the south coast of Dorset, Poole’s trade links with North America in the 18th century made it one of our busiest ports. And today, it runs daily cross-Channel ferries. The sea runs through the heart of this town, with the RNLI headquarters and the Royal Marines both based at the harbour. Be it history or soaking up the sun on the beach, Poole caters for all. Accommodation wise, there is a wide range of camping/caravan sites, as well as hotels and selfcatering properties.
St IvesA picture-perfect resort, St Ives has won the Best UK Seaside Town from the British Travel Awards in 2010 and 2011. The area is very popular with artists and you will be sure to find quaint galleries and craft shops where you can buy a souvenir painting of your stay. Sitting on the coast of the Celtic sea, the area was once commercially dependent on fishing. Although that is no longer so, the area is still awash with brilliant seafood restaurants. There is plenty to do in the area, including a visit to Tate St Ives, The Eden Project, St Michael’s Mount and Land’s End.
ScarboroughSituated on the North Sea coast of North Yorkshire, Scarborough is a pretty town, with attractive limestone cliffs and harbour. Its skyline is dominated by the castle – if you choose to visit this, you will be rewarded by spectacular views. Accommodation is provided in one of the many delightful hotels, B&Bs and spa hotels. The area’s most famous Grand Hotel was one of Europe’s largest when it was completed in 1867. With great beaches, a boating lake, museums and theatres, you’ll be assured of a fun-filled visit.
SouthwoldReferred to by many as the town that time forgot, the resort of Southwold in north Suffolk is an ideal holiday location. Located on the Heritage Coast, it still has a working lighthouse (tours operate daily), an award-winning pier, a busy harbour, and 300 beach huts – making it a quintessentially British seaside town.
Accommodation choices include self-catering cottages, B&Bs, and camping and caravan sites. There is plenty to see and do, such as visiting the Electric Picture Palace – opened in 2002 by Michael Palin. Named after Southwold’s first cinema, it harks back to a bygone era. The town is also home to the UK’s only Amber Museum.
TenbyWherever you stay in Tenby, you only have to look out of the window to get a stunning view of one of Pembrokeshire’s beautiful beaches. This delightful harbour town is the picturesque home to many great restaurants, pubs and shops, all linked by cobbled streets. The town’s history as a Welsh stronghold in part survives, and the original walls make a fascinating entrance to the old town. Thanks to its glorious sands, stunning coastal walks and quaint shops, Tenby has been popular with holidaymakers since the 19th century. Cruises from the harbour run daily to nearby Caldey Island.
TorquayAt the heart of the English Riviera, Torquay has been a popular Devon seaside resort since it was frequented by the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic war. For lovers of crime novels, a visit to Torquay is a must. Agatha Christie spent most of her life in the area and her fans will not be disappointed. The Agatha Christie mile consists of buildings, museums, statues and plaques in her honour. There are also gardens and stunning beaches to enjoy, together with a zoo, boat trips and water sports.
WhitbyThe busy quayside and narrow streets of Whitby are framed by a skyline dominated by the ruins of its Abbey, high on East Cliff. Situated on the East Yorkshire coast, it is a short drive from Scarborough and Filey. There is plenty to do in the area, including a visit to the annual Folk Week in August, the Esk Valley Railway, or having a browse in a and crafts centre, where you can paint your own pottery. If you’re a horror fan, visit St Mary’s Church, inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. www.visitwhitby.com
WoolacombeVoted best British beach in 2012 in the Mail On Sunday and current holder of the England for Excellence Gold Award for best family resort, Woolacombe is all you could wish for. As well as its stunning three-mile beach, the village is a hive of activity with great pubs and restaurants. Family activities range from boat trips to Lundy Island, a visit to a surf school, the Lynton and Barnstaple railway, or to riding schools.
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Q: A recent survey has revealed the Top 10 things British women would love to do but are too scared. Have you done any of the following?
Sing in public / karaoke - 10.6%
Ask for a pay rise - 6.2%
Travel or holiday alone - 27.7%
Do a naked photo-shoot - 6.2%
Get a tattoo - 3.8%
Have a bikini wax - 4.9%
Get your hair cut very short - 10.6%
Ask someone out on a date - 3.8%
Quit your job - 19%
Have cosmetic surgery - 7.3%