Forget fish and chips, candy floss and ‘kiss-me-quick’ hats, when it comes to our favourite seaside attractions, the pier is the UK’s favourite according to a survey.
The poll, commissioned ahead of British Beach Week (23 to 31 July) by holiday letting agency cottages4you, looked into what we love about the seaside and how nostalgic we are about the traditional British beach holiday.
Nearly half of those questioned (42%) said piers when asked to name a quintessentially British seaside attraction, beating amusement arcades (21%), donkey rides (15%) and beach huts (14%). With the numbers of piers reduced by half in the last century, many damaged by fire or neglect, the Victorian structures obviously hold a fond place in British hearts.
Top five icons of British seaside
- Amusement arcade
- Donkey rides
- Beach huts
- Theme park
Despite feeling nostalgic for traditional seaside resorts, when it comes to choosing a holiday destination, it seems modern families prioritise sandy beaches (34%) and beautiful views (32%), with only three per cent choosing a location because it has a pier.
However, two thirds of those surveyed have made a nostalgic return in the past five years to a seaside destination they used to visit as a child. Almost half (46%) said it was the same on revisiting, while a third were pleasantly surprised at the changes.
Nick Rudge at cottages4you said, “Going to the seaside in the UK has always had a unique appeal and with 80 per cent of our respondents planning a trip this year, British Beach Week is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all the UK coastline has to offer. Whether you want the traditional resort with pier, donkey rides and candy floss, or a relaxing break in a remote bay, there is something for everyone.”
Richard Mcilwain from Keep Britain Tidy, which rewards beaches with Blue Flag and Quality Coast Awards, said, “With so many of us planning a holiday at home this summer, protecting our beaches has never been so important. Our awards scheme helps holidaymakers choose the right beach for them, safe in the knowledge that they can enjoy the delightful and dramatic coastline which surrounds us.”