Bournemouth has officially been crowned the UK’s best seaside town

Researchers used a variety of factors including hours of sunlight, average temperature, family friendliness, cost of an ice cream and number of Instagram hashtags to score Britain’s best loved costal resorts – with Bournemouth coming out top.

Family favourite Brighton came second and Torquay came third with Weymouth and Blackpool coming fourth and fifth respectively.

Over 80 per cent of Brits say clean and sandy beaches are the most important element for the ideal UK beach holiday

As well as revealing the best seaside destination in the country, the study by also revealed the key elements to the ideal seaside holiday, according to the nation.

Unsurprisingly, the beaches were most important to us with 85 percent of the nation saying clean, sandy beaches are the most important element for the ideal UK beach holiday.

According to the study child-friendly places to grab a bit to eat and fun activities also made the list (70 percent) as did great fish and chips (also 70 percent).  A decent number of hours of sunshine (65 percent), loos near the beach (62 percent) and good parking (60 percent) were also must-haves.

Image Bank – Getty

Good grub is essential to a happy holiday[/caption]

The top 10 was rounded off by amusement arcades (48 percent), a pier (48 percent) rock pools (42 percent) and Mr Whippy ice cream (40 percent).  The more traditional pleasures of donkey rides (21 percent), a Punch and Judy show (eight percent) and sticks of rock (15 percent) also made the list.

Two thirds of the 2000 Brits polled (66 percent) said they preferred their seaside towns to be quiet and calm rather than busy and bustling.  The research found that 76 percent of Brits say that a day out at the seaside is one of the best things you can do as a family.


And there is a lot to do when you’re there, with building sandcastles topping the list of the best beach pastimes (78 percent), followed by scoffing fish and chips (75 percent) and collecting shells and stones (73 percent).

Having an ice cream on the beach (72 percent), tucking into a picnic (65 percent) and simply listening to the sound of the sea (65 percent) were also on the list.

Lisa O’Keeffe, Senior Brand & Content Manager for, which commissioned the study, said: “Going to the seaside is a staple part of British childhood, and as the research shows, it’s still a firm favourite for families.

“With the rise of staycations in recent years and the need to make family time really count, there’s a real demand for British towns to compete with overseas haunts.

“We may not be able to guarantee the weather, but with so many other reasons to visit, from days out and beautiful beaches, to affordable ice cream, UK seaside holidays are set to be part of a family’s summer plans for many years to come.”

Proving that our coastline is a key part of our national identity, the study found that over two thirds (69 percent) of Brits believe a trip to the seaside is part of the fabric of Britain.

Nearly two thirds (64 percent) say that the seaside reminds them of their own childhoods – no surprise as 98 percent of us went to the seaside as children.  And a quarter of us (25 percent) claim seaside trips were the highlights of their whole childhood.

No surprise then that 93 percent of people want their kids to have similarly happy memories of the beach in Britain.  Even as adults, around half of us (51 percent) say that our best holidays have been at the beach in Britain.

And move over Marbella, as 42 percent of us prefer British beach resorts to anywhere they’ve been abroad. And that number looks to increase as 89 percent of us believe that British seaside resorts have improved in the last ten years.

In fact, 88 percent of us would actually like to MOVE to the seaside. Though on average we are prepared to travel at least 50 minutes to get to the beach.

A whopping 42 per cent of us admit to preferring British beach resorts to anywhere we’ve been abroad

The Nation's Best Beaches

  1. Bournemouth – Dorset

  2. Brighton – Sussex

  3. Torquay – Devon

  4. Weymouth – Dorset

  5. Blackpool – Lancashire

  6. St Ives – Cornwall

  7. Newquay – Cornwall

  8. Paignton – Devon

  9. Whitby – North Yorkshire

  10. Bognor Regis – West Sussex

  11. Weston Super Mare – Somerset and Bristol

  12. Bude – Cornwall

  13. Southend-on-Sea – Essex

  14. Skegness – Lincolnshire

  15. Hastings – East Sussex

  16. Tenby – Pembrokshire

  17.  Llandudno – Conwy

  18. Padstow – Cornwall

  19. Woolacombe – Devon

  20. Exmouth – Devon

  21. Shanklin – The Isle of Wight

  22. Dawlish – Devon

  23. Robin Hood’s Bay – Yorkshire

  24. Margate – Kent

  25. Southwold – Suffolk

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