History of the British seaside

Health resorts

Coastal towns were popularised as health resorts in the 18th century, with many patients being prescribed a trip to the seaside.  The sick flocked to the coast to immerse themselves in seawater, thought to be a cure for various health complaints. 

Family holidays

The tradition of the British seaside holiday began in the 1840s, with families visiting purpose-built coastal resorts such as Blackpool and Southend for entertainment in music halls, theatres and gardens. 


Brighton is one of Britain’s popular seaside destinations, providing the South-East with a weekend playground an hour’s train ride from London.  It rose to popularity in the 1780s, when the Prince Regent George IV introduced it to socialites as an alternative to the serious world of London.   The Prince Regent’s influence on Brighton is still apparent today, as the commissioner of the grand Royal Pavilion and namesake of the Regency style of architecture that decorates Brighton. 

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