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A seaside resort is a resort located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.

History of the seaside resort

The coast has always been a recreational environment, although until the mid-nineteenth century, such recreation was a luxury only for the wealthy. Even in Roman times, the town of Baiaemarker, by the Tyrrhenian Seamarker in Italymarker, was a resort for those who were sufficiently prosperous. During the early nineteenth century, the Prince Regent popularized Brightonmarker, on the south coast of Englandmarker, as a fashionable alternative to the wealthy spa towns such as Cheltenhammarker. Later, Queen Victoria's long-standing patronage of the Isle of Wightmarker and Ramsgatemarker in Kentmarker ensured the seaside residence was a highly fashionable possession for those wealthy enough to afford more than one home. Nowadays, many beach resorts are available as far afield as Goamarker in India. It was in the mid-nineteenth century that it became popular for people from less privileged classes to take holidays at seaside resorts. Improvements in transport brought about by the industrial revolution enabled people to take vacations away from home, and led to the growth of coastal towns as seaside resorts.

British seaside resorts

Llandudno Pier


As the nineteenth century progressed, British working class day-trippers travelled on organized trips such as railway excursions, or by steamer, for which long piers were erected so that the ships bringing the trade could berth.

The popularization of the seaside resort during this period was nowhere more pronounced than in Blackpoolmarker. Blackpool catered for workers from across industrial Northern England, who packed its beaches and promenade. Other northern towns (for example Scarboroughmarker, Southportmarker, Bridlingtonmarker, Morecambemarker and Skegnessmarker) shared in the success of this new concept, especially from trade during Wakes weeks. The concept spread rapidly to other British coastal towns including several on the coast of North Walesmarker and notably Rhylmarker, and Llandudnomarker, the largest resort in Walesmarker and known as "The Queen of the Welsh Resorts", a title first implied as early as 1864.

Some resorts, especially those more southerly such as Bournemouthmarker and Brightonmarker, were built as new towns or extended by local landowners to appeal to wealthier vacationers. The south coast has many seaside towns, the most being in Sussex which has the title 'Sussex by the Sea.'

From the last quarter of the twentieth century, the popularity of the British seaside resort has declined for the same reason that it first flourished: advancements in transport. The greater accessibility of foreign holiday destinations, through package holidays and, more recently, European low-cost airlines, affords people the freedom to holiday abroad. Despite the loyalty of returning holiday-makers, resorts such as Blackpool have struggled to compete against the favorable weather of Southern European alternatives. Now, many symbols of the traditional British resort (holiday camps, end-of-the-pier shows and saucy postcard) are regarded by some as drab and outdated; the skies are imagined to be overcast (although British summers from the late 1980s onwards have often been warmer and sunnier than at any other time in living memory) and the beach windswept. This is not always true; for example Broadstairsmarker in Kentmarker has retained much of its old world charm with Punch and Judy and donkey rides and still remains popular being only one hour from the M25marker.

Many seaside towns have turned to other entertainment industries, and some of them have a good deal of nightlife. The cinemas and theatres often remain to become host to a number of pubs, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. Most of their entertainment facilities cater to local people and the beaches still remain popular during the summer months. Although international tourism turned people away from British seaside towns, it also brought in foreign travel and as a result, many seaside towns offer foreign language schools, the students of which often return to vacation and sometimes to settle.

A lot of people can also afford more time off and 'second holidays' and short breaks which still attract a lot of people to British seaside towns and a lot of young people and students are able to take short holidays and to discover the town's nightlife. A lot of seaside towns boast large shopping centres which also attract people from a wide area and a lot of day trippers still come to the coastal towns but on a more local scale than during the 19th century.

A lot of coastal towns are also popular retirement hotspots and many older people take short breaks in the autumn months.

In contrast, the fortunes of Brightonmarker, which has neither holiday camps nor end-of-the-pier shows, have grown considerably, and, because of this, the resort is repeatedly held up as the model of a modern resort. However, unlike the Golden Miles of other British resorts, the sea is not Brighton's primary attraction: rather it is a backdrop against which is set an attitude of broad-minded cosmopolitan hedonism. The resulting sense of uniqueness has, coupled with the city's proximity to London, led to Brighton's restoration as a fashionable resort and the dwelling-place of the affluent.

Other English coastal towns have successfully sought to project a sense of their unique character. In particular, Southwoldmarker on the Suffolk coast is an active yet peaceful retirement haven with an emphasis on calmness, quiet countryside and jazz. Weymouth, Dorsetmarker offers itself as 'the gateway to the Jurassic Coast', Britain's only natural World Heritage Site. Newquaymarker in Cornwallmarker offers itself as the 'surfing capital of Britain', hosting international surfing events on its shores.

Torbaymarker in South Devonmarker is known is also known as the English Rivieramarker. Consisting of the towns of Torquaymarker, Paigntonmarker with its pier and Brixhammarker, the bay has 20 beaches and coves along its coastline, ranging from small secluded coves to the larger promenade style seafronts of Torquay's Torre Abbey Sands and Paignton Sands.

Northern Irelandmarker has a number of seaside resorts, such as Portrushmarker, situated on the north coast, with its two beaches and a world-famous golf course. Royal Portrush Golf Clubmarker. Other Northern Irish seaside resorts are Newcastlemarker, located on the east coast at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, Portstewartmarker, and Bangormarker. Bangor Marina is one of the largest in Ireland and the marina has on occasion been awarded the "Blue Flag" for attention to environmental issues.

Irish seaside resorts

Irish Riviera

The "Irish Riviera" features the seaside resorts of Youghalmarker, Ardmore, Dungarvanmarker, Cobhmarker and Ballycottonmarker, all set close to the south coast of Ireland. Youghal has been a favoured holiday destination for over 100 years, situated on the banks of the Blackwater river as it reaches the sea. Youghal is well known for its beaches, having been, until 2008, the only town in the Republic of Irelandmarker with two beaches awarded EU Blue Flag status. Dungarvan is a seaside market town beneath the mountains in the centre of the Irish south coast. Kinsalemarker is often described as a food lover's and yachting town, with a diverse range of restaurants, as well as a large and active creative community with numerous art galleries and record and book shops.

County Clare

Lahinchmarker is a seaside resort, popular because of its long beach, golf links, promenade, and Seaworld (a leisure complex). Lahinch is also popular with surfers. Ballyvaughanmarker is a village and small port on the southern shores of Galway Baymarker.

American seaside resorts

American seaside resorts developed along the New England coast in the late 19th century with the Mid-Atlantic region developing slightly later. Southern seaside resorts did not develop until the 1890s. In Florida, the community of Cocoanut (now Coconut) Grove began development as a resort town in the 1880s with the building of the Bayview House (aka Peacock Inn) which closed in 1902. Visitors to the greater Miami area then flocked to Camp Biscayne (in Coconut Grove), the Royal Palm Hotel and other resort hotels in Miami, and in smaller numbers to the keys, particularly to Long Key where the Long Key Fishing Camp was particularly active in the 1910s.

Some examples of well known and sought after American seaside resort towns are:



Ukrainian seaside resorts

Some examples of Ukrainianmarker seaside resort towns are:

See also



References

  1. Ivor Wynne Jones. Llandudno Queen of Welsh Resorts (chapter 3 page 19) referring to the Liverpool Mercury
  2. Ranked as the third best course outside the United States by Golf Digest in 2007 [1]


Further reading

  • — Geoghegan looks at the economy of British seaside resorts and considers a possible resurgence in their popularity.
  • — Walton looks at the Victorian traditions that underpin British seaside holidays.


External links




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