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Wish you were here! Postcards from the traditional British seaside holiday.

4 April 2017

WithHost Unusual HQ being based by the sea – Leigh-on-Sea to be exact, voted ‘Britain’sHappiest Place to Live’ by Rightmove in 2016 – you could argue that we’rebiased when we say there’s nothing like the traditional British seaside break.
Butthere really isn’t… is there?  Most of us have fond associations with the UKcoastline, with vivid memories of knotted hankies and ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hats, garishsticks of rock you feared you might lose your teeth to, striped deckchairs,rows upon rows of colourful beach huts, cawing seagulls swooping to steal a saltychip or two, and later on washing sandy feet with plastic bucketfuls ofseawater before heading home again.
(We betyou reminisced slightly there for a moment…didn’t you!)
Beforeair travel became as popular as it is now, the British seaside break was a firmstaycation staple, with places like Blackpool – one of the very first Britishresorts – immensely popular with hard-grafting industrial workers taking amuch-needed holiday. 
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The iconic art deco corkscrew at the entrance to Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Theconcept soon spread as more and more people decided they quite liked the grittytexture of sand in their picnic sandwiches while breathing in fresh sea air,and throughout the nineteenth century long piers were constructed to berthboatloads of day trippers in search of a bracing beachside break. 
Over theyears, despite seeming very similar on the surface, each UK resort hasgradually developed a personality all of its very own.  Brighton, for example, is the undisputednumber one for crazy cool kitsch, while Eastbourne’s reputation is a lotquieter and more elegantly understated, famously favoured by the oldergeneration.
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Brighton Pier, naturally!
Llandudno,‘Queen of the Welsh Resorts’ in the late nineteenth century, has a grand anddistinguished history, while Glaswegians would catch a ferry “doon the watter”to resorts lining the Firth of Clyde, which – surprisingly given Scotland’sreputation for bad weather! – actually benefits from the Gulf Stream direct fromAmerica, offering far more sunny days than you might imagine.
Essex’svery own Southend-on-Sea is infamous, not just for its incredibly long pleasurepier, but for being featured on TV, with the cast of ‘EastEnders’ visitingon-screen many times back in the Eighties.
(Weremember one of our favourite fish and chip shops used to display a signoutside that proclaimed, “if our fish andchips are good enough for the ‘EastEnders’ then they’re good enough for YOU”– and who were we to argue?)
Thesedays, of course, Southend Pier is a staple cooking location for the likes ofJamie Oliver and his famous friends – finally giving Brighton a run for itsmoney in the coolness stakes!
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A bird’s eye view at sunset, Southend-on-Sea
Whereveryou decide to spend some coastal time, for most British people the traditionalseaside holiday holds an affectionate place in our hearts. Even if headingabroad is the more favoured option these days, building castles out of Spanishsand, we’ll always remember our very first brush with the British coastline.
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Margate beach with Dreamland in the distance
Ourcharity partner, the Family Holiday Association, understands the restorativeand fun-filled benefits of a British seaside break more than most – which iswhy they’ve helped tens of thousands of families take trips there. 
With somany families otherwise having to miss out on a holiday due to illness, povertyor bereavement, the Family Holiday Association provide a genuine lifeline,rightly considering a holiday as one of life’s necessities rather than aluxury.  Read more about their work andphilosophy.
And ifyou’re looking to recreate some much-loved, old-fashioned seaside memoriesyourself…or maybe even upgrade the beachside luxury a little…then our SeasideBreaks and Beach Huts and Houses categories, with an unusual something foreveryone, are guaranteed to make you smile.
Happyholidays – and don’t forget to send usa postcard!
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Carousel on Brighton seafront

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