It is not until the late 19th century and the expansion of the UK railway network, following the Industrial Revolution, that seaside resorts started to boom. It is typically the case of Northern seaside towns like Blackpool, Scarborough and Bridlington that saw day-trippers from northern mill towns such as Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester fill their guesthouses, stroll along their promenades, and have picnic on their beaches. This trend did not just stop at Northern towns it also spread south to towns like Brighton, Bournemouth and Newquay. These seaside towns are still popular amongst day trippers nowadays, particularly during the summer holiday period.
Located in the North West of England, Blackpool lies on the Irish Sea coast. It rose to popularity with the expansion of the UK railway network when mill workers from surrounding towns like Manchester and Liverpool came there to spend Wake Week, which was a week during which all the cotton mills would close.
It later developed into a prized summer break destination that reputedly still has more hotels and B&B beds than the whole of Portugal. Like many other Northern seaside towns, Blackpool remains popular for its beach, its promenade and its amusement arcades. This is particularly the case during the summer holiday period when it becomes a popular destinations amongst families.
Further, down the Irish Sea coast, on the other side of the river Mersey there lies Llandudno. Like many other UK seaside resorts, its rise to popularity came during the 19th century with the development of the railway network. Llandudno is also the largest seaside resort in Wales and is thus dubbed as the "Queen of the Welsh Resorts". Another reason for this nickname is the town's reputation for its Victorian Extravaganza. Llandudno is also famous for being mentioned in Lewis Caroll's novel “Alice In Wonderland” as a place where the "real Alice" and her family regularly spent their summer holidays in their holiday home.
On the English side of the Severn Bridge, on the North Atlantic coast of Cornwall lies Newquay. Often dubbed as the "Blackpool of the West Country", Newquay is renowned for its party culture as it is particularly popular amongst hen and stag party organizers. However, unlike Blackpool and other more "traditional" seaside resorts, Newquay was established in sections throughout the 20th century. Its rise to popularity came during the late 1960's thanks to the favorable surfing conditions it offers. Newquay has therefore become a popular surfing spot; particularly during the summer holiday period when the population rises from 22,000 to 100,000.
Located on the English Channel Coast, Bournemouth is another town that rose to popularity thanks to ideal surfing conditions. It was founded in 1810 and first became recognized as a town in 1870. Its proximity to the Jurassic Coast and Poole Bay has turned Bournemouth into a prized summer holiday destination.
Further along the coast, located in East-Sussex, lies Brighton. It first rose to popularity amongst day-trippers with the arrival of the railway in 1841, who were able to travel down from London for a short summer break. The seafront, which offers a wide variety of restaurants, bars and beaches, is particularly popular during the school summer holidays due to its proximity to London.
Brighton is also famous for its West Pier, which is one of the only Grade I listed piers in the UK; however, it has been awaiting renovation work since 1975 because of continual setbacks that include the two fires that further damaged the pier in 2003.
By James H Hunt