Blackpool beach has topped a best beach poll. The age-old seaside favourite picked up the accolade in a Holiday Feelings Barometer by Post Office Travel Services.
More than 2,000 people contributed to the Post Office poll that sought to establish which beaches brought back the happiest memories and which are the current favourites. Between them they named more than 200 beaches in the UK and worldwide.
Despite the introduction of package holidays to more sunny destinations, back in the 20th century the most popular beaches were exclusively UK ones. Only 12 per cent of those surveyed named a foreign beach as their favourite.
Instead traditional resorts like Scarborough, Skegness, Bournemouth, Great Yarmouth and Margate brought back some of the happiest memories because.
As the century drew to a close, the surfers’ paradise of Newquay was fast growing in popularity and fashionable Brighton had become the south’s most popular beach resort.
These days six out of ten holidaymakers (61 per cent) say overseas beaches are their favourites. Spanish resorts take up three of the seven top 20 places held by beaches abroad – with Benidorm and Majorca getting the highest ratings. Further afield, the Maldives, Sydney’s Bondi Beach and Miami Beach also scored heavily.
|Childhood beach favourites||Today’s top beaches|
|1. Blackpool||1. Blackpool|
|2. Brighton||2. Benidorm|
|3. Scarborough||3. Majorca|
|4. Bournemouth||4. Brighton|
|5. Skegness||5. Bournemouth|
|6. Newquay||6. Algarve|
|7. Great Yarmouth||7. Scarborough|
|8. Southend||8. Weymouth|
|9. Margate||9. Tenerife|
|10. Bridlington||10. Great Yarmouth|
|11. Weston-super-Mare||11. Tenby|
|12. Southport||12. Skegness|
|13. Weymouth||13. Newquay|
|14. Rhyl||14. Maldives|
|15. Filey||15. St Ives|
|16. Whitby||16. Camber Sands|
|17. Clacton||17. Bondi, Sydney|
|18. St Ives||18. Torquay|
|19. Woolacombe||19. Llandudno|
|20. Torquay||20. Miami|
However, 13 of today’s 20 best-rated beaches are still UK ones. Aside from number one beach Blackpool, which is well ahead of its nearest rival, Benidorm, in the popularity stakes with 30 per cent more votes, south coast Brighton and Bournemouth also remain firm favourites. New entrants to the top 20 beaches now include Tenby, Camber Sands and Llandudno.
Pete Markey of Post Office Travel said: “Although some beaches have stood the test of time, there have been seismic shifts in tastes in the past 60 years. Nowhere matches Blackpool for beach appeal but today’s holidaymakers are travelling further afield to find new favourites. It’s fascinating to see Bondi Beach in the top 20 alongside St Ives and Skegness!
“Our research also showed that if they could turn back time most people say their happiest memories are of buckets and spades, sandcastles and paddling in the sea. These simple pleasures are as popular today as they were in the last century but today’s kids also expect their holiday to include money-guzzling water rides at the beach and in water parks.”