Fri. Apr 12th, 2024
seaside resorts in the uk

10 most popular seaside resorts in the UK

When it comes to a perfect holiday, there’s nothing quite like the charm of a seaside resort. The UK is home to some of the most picturesque coastal destinations, offering a blend of stunning landscapes, vibrant communities, and a plethora of activities. Whether you’re seeking a relaxing beach retreat or an action-packed coastal adventure, the following list highlights the 10 most popular seaside resorts in the UK.

1. Brighton, East Sussex

seaside resorts in the uk

Known for its iconic pier, vibrant nightlife, and pebble beaches, Brighton is a seaside gem that attracts visitors year-round. Explore the bohemian atmosphere of the Lanes, indulge in fresh seafood, or take a leisurely stroll along the promenade.

Brighton is a vibrant and popular seaside town located on the south coast of England, in the county of East Sussex. It is known for its diverse and bohemian atmosphere, historic architecture, and lively cultural scene.

Key features of Brighton include:

Beaches: Brighton has a pebble beach that stretches along the coastline. The Brighton Palace Pier is a prominent landmark and a popular spot for amusements and entertainment.

The Royal Pavilion: This extravagant and unique palace was built in the 18th century for the Prince Regent, who later became King George IV. It is renowned for its Indo-Saracenic architecture and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.

Lanes and North Laine: The Lanes are a maze of narrow streets and alleys lined with shops, boutiques, and cafes. North Laine is another area known for its eclectic mix of independent shops, vintage stores, and vibrant street art.

Cultural and Arts Scene: Brighton has a thriving arts and cultural scene with numerous theaters, galleries, and music venues. The Brighton Dome, a multi-arts venue, hosts a variety of performances and events.

Nightlife: The city is well-known for its lively nightlife. There are numerous pubs, bars, and clubs catering to a diverse range of tastes.

Festivals: Brighton hosts various festivals throughout the year, including the Brighton Festival, which is one of the largest arts festivals in England.

Preston Park: This large public park provides a green escape with lawns, gardens, and recreational facilities. It is also home to the annual Brighton Pride festival.

Education: Brighton is home to the University of Brighton and the University of Sussex, contributing to the city’s youthful and dynamic atmosphere.

2. Bournemouth, Dorset

seaside resorts in the uk

Bournemouth boasts golden sandy beaches and a lively atmosphere. Enjoy water sports, visit the Victorian gardens, or experience the famous Bournemouth Air Festival. The town’s vibrant nightlife and cultural events make it a top choice for diverse interests.


Bournemouth is a coastal resort town located on the south coast of England, in the county of Dorset. It is known for its sandy beaches, vibrant nightlife, and a variety of recreational activities. 

Here are some key features of Bournemouth:

Beaches: Bournemouth boasts several miles of sandy beaches, including the Blue Flag-awarded Bournemouth Beach. The promenade is lined with seaside attractions, restaurants, and cafes.

Bournemouth Pier: The town’s iconic pier is a popular attraction featuring amusements, entertainment, and scenic views of the coastline. Visitors can enjoy various activities, including rides and arcade games.

Lower Gardens: Bournemouth has beautiful public gardens known as the Lower Gardens, located close to the town center. These gardens feature floral displays, walkways, and recreational spaces.

Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum: Housed in a Victorian villa, this museum displays a diverse collection of art and artifacts, including paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts.

Town Centre: Bournemouth’s town center offers a mix of shopping options, restaurants, and entertainment venues. The pedestrianized area is known for its shops, cafes, and vibrant street performances.

Nightlife: Bournemouth has a lively nightlife with numerous bars, pubs, and clubs. The town attracts both locals and tourists with its diverse range of entertainment options.

Events and Festivals: Bournemouth hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including the Bournemouth Air Festival, an annual air show that takes place over the seafront.

Bournemouth International Centre (BIC): This large conference and entertainment venue hosts concerts, conferences, and exhibitions, contributing to the town’s cultural scene.

Outdoor Activities: The surrounding area offers opportunities for outdoor activities, including walks along the Jurassic Coast, water sports, and exploring the nearby New Forest National Park.

3. Scarborough, North Yorkshire

seaside resorts in the uk

With a rich history and two beautiful bays, Scarborough offers a classic British seaside experience. Relax on the sandy beaches, explore the medieval castle, and don’t miss the Sea Life Sanctuary for a family-friendly adventure.

Scarborough is a seaside resort town located on the east coast of England, in the county of North Yorkshire. It is a popular destination with a rich history, scenic coastline, and a range of attractions

Here are some key features of Scarborough:

Scarborough Castle: Dominating the town’s skyline, Scarborough Castle is a medieval fortress with a history dating back to the 12th century. It offers panoramic views of the coastline and town.


South Bay and North Bay: Scarborough is divided into two bays. South Bay is the busier and more traditional side with amusement arcades, fish and chip shops, and entertainment options. North Bay is quieter and features attractions like Peasholm Park and the Sea Life Sanctuary.

Peasholm Park: This Japanese-themed park in North Bay is known for its picturesque gardens, boating lake, and naval battles reenacted with model boats during the summer months.

Spa Complex: The Scarborough Spa is a Victorian complex that includes a grand concert hall and spa facilities. It hosts a variety of events, including concerts, shows, and conferences.

Stephen Joseph Theatre: Named after the playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn, who served as its artistic director, this theatre is known for its diverse range of productions, including plays, musicals, and comedy shows.

The Rotunda Museum: This museum, located in a distinctive circular building, showcases Scarborough’s geological history and features fossils and artifacts.

Scarborough Fair: The town is famous for the ballad “Scarborough Fair,” and each September, it hosts the Scarborough Fair Festival, celebrating this cultural heritage.

Seafront Promenade: A scenic promenade runs along the coastline, providing picturesque views of the sea. Visitors can enjoy walks, ice cream, and the traditional seaside atmosphere.

Cayton Bay and Filey: Nearby beaches like Cayton Bay and the charming town of Filey offer additional options for coastal exploration.

4. Newquay, Cornwall

seaside resorts in the uk

A haven for surf enthusiasts, Newquay’s beaches are renowned for their excellent waves. Beyond surfing, visitors can enjoy coastal walks, explore the vibrant town center, and discover the breathtaking scenery of the nearby cliffs.
Newquay is a popular seaside town and resort located on the north coast of Cornwall, England. Known for its stunning beaches, vibrant surf culture, and coastal scenery, Newquay attracts visitors from around the UK and beyond.

Here are some key features of Newquay:

Surfing: Newquay is renowned as one of the UK’s premier surfing destinations. Fistral Beach, in particular, is famous for its consistent surf and hosts international surfing competitions. The town has a thriving surf culture, with numerous surf schools offering lessons for all skill levels.

Beaches: In addition to Fistral Beach, Newquay boasts several other beautiful beaches, including Towan Beach, Great Western Beach, and Lusty Glaze. These sandy stretches are popular for sunbathing, swimming, and various water sports.

Newquay Zoo: The town is home to Newquay Zoo, a family-friendly attraction that houses a diverse range of animals, including lions, lemurs, and penguins. The zoo is committed to conservation efforts and education.

South West Coast Path: The South West Coast Path, which runs along the coastline, provides scenic walks with breathtaking views of the sea and cliffs. The paths around Newquay offer opportunities for hiking and exploring the coastal landscape.

Nightlife: Newquay has a lively nightlife scene with numerous bars, pubs, and clubs. During the summer months, the town attracts a younger crowd looking to enjoy the vibrant social atmosphere.

Towan Headland and the Island: Connected to the mainland by a suspension bridge, Towan Headland features a distinctive rock formation known as the Island. It offers panoramic views of the surrounding beaches and coastline.

Blue Reef Aquarium: This aquarium showcases marine life from the local area and around the world. Visitors can explore exhibits featuring sharks, turtles, and colorful coral reefs.

Events and Festivals: Newquay hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, including surf competitions, music festivals, and the Newquay Fish Festival celebrating the town’s maritime heritage.

Pubs and Restaurants: The town offers a variety of dining options, from traditional Cornish pasties to seafood restaurants serving fresh catches from the sea.

5. Blackpool, Lancashire

seaside resorts in the uk

Famous for its iconic tower and amusement-filled Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is a classic choice for a family holiday. The illuminated promenade, lively entertainment, and the Blackpool Zoo make it a dynamic destination for all ages.

Blackpool is a seaside town and popular resort destination located on the northwest coast of England, in the county of Lancashire. Known for its iconic seafront, amusement parks, and entertainment venues, Blackpool has a rich history as a traditional British seaside resort.


Here are some key features of Blackpool:

Blackpool Pleasure Beach: This amusement park is one of the most well-known attractions in Blackpool, featuring a variety of rides, roller coasters, and live entertainment. The Big One, one of the tallest roller coasters in the UK, is a prominent feature of the park.

Blackpool Tower: Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Blackpool Tower is a historic landmark that includes a viewing platform with panoramic views, a ballroom, and the Tower Circus, known for its family-friendly performances.

Blackpool Illuminations: Running annually from late August to early November, the Blackpool Illuminations is a famous light show along the Promenade. The town is adorned with illuminated displays, creating a spectacular nighttime experience.

The Golden Mile: This stretch of the Promenade is known as the Golden Mile and is lined with attractions, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It’s a hub of activity and a central part of the town’s tourism.

Blackpool Beach: The sandy beach along the coastline provides a traditional seaside experience, with donkey rides, amusement arcades, and opportunities for sunbathing and paddleboarding.

Winter Gardens: The Winter Gardens complex is a venue for conferences, exhibitions, and live performances. It includes the Empress Ballroom, the Opera House, and the Pavilion Theatre.

Stanley Park: A large public park with gardens, a lake, and sports facilities, Stanley Park provides a green space for relaxation and outdoor activities.

Sandcastle Waterpark: This indoor waterpark is one of the largest in the UK, featuring water slides, a wave pool, and other attractions for family fun.

6. Weymouth, Dorset

seaside resorts in the uk

Weymouth’s Georgian seafront, complemented by a pristine sandy beach, creates a picturesque setting. Enjoy traditional fish and chips, explore the historic harbor, or take a stroll along the esplanade for stunning views of the Jurassic Coast.

Weymouth is a charming seaside town located on the south coast of England, in the county of Dorset. Known for its picturesque harbor, sandy beach, and historic architecture, Weymouth is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

Here are some key features of Weymouth:

Weymouth Beach: The town boasts a beautiful sandy beach that stretches along the shoreline. The beach is known for its family-friendly atmosphere, shallow waters, and various water sports activities.

Weymouth Harbour: The historic harbor is a focal point of the town, featuring colorful houses, fishing boats, and a lively atmosphere. Visitors can enjoy boat trips, fishing excursions, and waterfront dining.

Nothe Fort: This Victorian-era fort provides panoramic views of Weymouth Bay and the surrounding area. It offers a glimpse into Weymouth’s military history and hosts events and exhibitions.


Jurassic Skyline: A revolving viewing tower, the Jurassic Skyline offers breathtaking views of Weymouth and the Jurassic Coast. On a clear day, you can see as far as the Isle of Portland and the English Channel.

Weymouth Sea Life Adventure Park: This family-friendly attraction features marine life exhibits, interactive displays, and a Jurassic-themed underwater tunnel. It provides an educational and entertaining experience for visitors of all ages.

Sandsfoot Castle: A 16th-century castle ruin located on the Rodwell Trail, Sandsfoot Castle offers historical intrigue and scenic views of Portland Harbour.

Greenhill Gardens: A pleasant public garden overlooking the sea, Greenhill Gardens provides a peaceful retreat with flower beds, walkways, and views of the coastline.

Abbotsbury Swannery: Located a short drive from Weymouth, this is the only managed colony of nesting mute swans in the world. Visitors can observe swans and their cygnets in a natural environment.

Fossil Forest: On the Isle of Portland, a short distance from Weymouth, the Fossil Forest showcases ancient petrified tree stumps that date back to the Jurassic period.

Weymouth Pavilion: This venue hosts a variety of events, including concerts, theater productions, and community gatherings, contributing to the town’s cultural scene.

7. Whitby, North Yorkshire

seaside resorts in the uk

This historic fishing town combines cobbled streets and a bustling harbor with the wild beauty of the North York Moors. Whitby is famous for its Gothic abbey, Captain Cook connections, and its association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Whitby is a picturesque coastal town located in North Yorkshire, England. It is known for its rich history, charming character, and stunning seaside setting. 

Here are some key features of Whitby:

Whitby Abbey: Dominating the town’s skyline, Whitby Abbey is a historic ruin that dates back to the 7th century. It inspired Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” and offers panoramic views of the town and coastline.

Whitby Harbour: The bustling harbor is a central hub of activity, with fishing boats, pleasure cruises, and a lively atmosphere. The harbor is lined with seafood restaurants, cafes, and shops.

199 Steps: Leading up from the harbor to Whitby Abbey, the 199 Steps are a famous and scenic staircase. Climbing the steps provides stunning views of the town and the sea.

Captain Cook Memorial Museum: Housed in the former home of Captain James Cook, the museum celebrates the life and achievements of the famous explorer. It contains exhibits related to his voyages and discoveries.

St. Mary’s Church: Located on the East Cliff, St. Mary’s Church is an iconic landmark with a churchyard that offers spectacular views of Whitby and the surrounding area.

Whitby Jet: The town is known for its association with Whitby Jet, a black gemstone that became popular during the Victorian era. Jet jewelry is still crafted and sold in the town today.

Whitby Museum: This museum showcases the natural and cultural history of the area, featuring exhibits on fossils, maritime history, and local folklore.

Whitby Regatta: The Whitby Regatta is an annual event featuring a variety of maritime activities, including rowing races, a grand parade, fireworks, and other entertainment.

Cobbled Streets: Whitby’s narrow cobbled streets add to its charm, lined with traditional fisherman’s cottages, independent shops, and cafes.

Fishing and Seafood: Whitby has a long history as a fishing port, and visitors can enjoy fresh seafood in the many fish and chip shops and seafood restaurants along the harbor.

8. St. Ives, Cornwall

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A haven for artists and nature lovers, St. Ives boasts beautiful beaches, a thriving arts scene, and charming cobbled streets. Explore the Tate St Ives, enjoy local seafood, and take in the breathtaking views from the South West Coast Path.

St. Ives is a charming coastal town located in Cornwall, England. Known for its stunning beaches, artistic community, and picturesque harbor, St. Ives is a popular destination for tourists and artists alike. 

Here are some key features of St. Ives:

Porthmeor Beach: This sandy beach is popular for surfing and sunbathing. It also offers fantastic views of the Atlantic Ocean and is backed by the Tate St Ives art gallery.

Tate St Ives: The Tate St Ives is an art gallery that showcases modern and contemporary art, with a focus on artists inspired by the Cornish landscape. The building itself has won architectural awards and overlooks Porthmeor Beach.

Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden: Dedicated to the work of the renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth, this museum and sculpture garden provide insight into her life and artistic vision. Visitors can explore her studio and admire her sculptures set in a beautiful garden.

St. Ives Harbour: The picturesque harbor is surrounded by narrow cobbled streets, traditional fishermen’s cottages, and a variety of shops, galleries, and cafes. It’s a delightful place to stroll and soak in the atmosphere.

Porthminster Beach: Another beautiful sandy beach, Porthminster is known for its calm waters and is ideal for swimming and family outings. The beach is overlooked by the manicured Porthminster Park.

The Island: Connected to the mainland by a causeway, The Island provides panoramic views of St. Ives Bay. The chapel on The Island is a prominent feature and adds to the town’s scenic charm.

St. Nicholas Chapel: Situated on The Island, St. Nicholas Chapel offers stunning views of the coastline and is a peaceful spot for reflection.

Leach Pottery: Founded by renowned potter Bernard Leach, the Leach Pottery is a historic studio where visitors can learn about the art of pottery and view exhibitions.

Southwest Coast Path: St. Ives is located along the Southwest Coast Path, offering breathtaking walks along the rugged coastline with panoramic views of the sea.

9. Southend-on-Sea, Essex

seaside resorts in the uk

As one of the closest seaside resorts to London, Southend-on-Sea offers a traditional pier, amusement parks, and a long sandy beach. The vibrant atmosphere, along with the world’s longest pleasure pier, makes it a popular day trip destination.

Southend-on-Sea is a coastal town in Essex, England, located on the Thames Estuary. It is known for its long pier, traditional seafront, and various entertainment options.

Here are some key features of Southend-on-Sea:

Southend Pier: One of the town’s most iconic landmarks, Southend Pier is the longest pleasure pier in the world, extending into the Thames Estuary. Visitors can take a train or walk along the pier to enjoy scenic views of the coastline.

Seafront Attractions: Southend’s seafront offers a classic British seaside experience with amusement arcades, fish and chip shops, and traditional seaside attractions.


Adventure Island: An amusement park located on the seafront, Adventure Island features a variety of rides, roller coasters, and family-friendly attractions.

Southend Beach: The town boasts a long stretch of sandy beach, providing opportunities for sunbathing, beach games, and seaside activities.

Southend Cliff Lift: Connecting the seafront to the cliff gardens, the Southend Cliff Lift is a funicular railway that offers a scenic and convenient way to reach the elevated gardens.

Cliff Gardens: The elevated gardens along the cliffs provide a peaceful escape with well-maintained green spaces and panoramic views of the estuary.

10. Llandudno, Conwy County Borough

seaside resorts in the uk

Nestled between the Great Orme and Little Orme, Llandudno is a Victorian-era seaside resort with a charming promenade and elegant architecture. Take a tram to the summit, explore the Great Orme Country Park, and relax on the award-winning North Shore beach.


Llandudno is a picturesque seaside town located in Conwy County Borough, Wales. Known for its Victorian architecture, scenic promenade, and the Great Orme headland, Llandudno is a popular destination for tourists. 

Here are some key features of Llandudno:

Great Orme: A massive limestone headland, the Great Orme offers stunning views of the town, sea, and surrounding landscape. Visitors can reach the summit by tramway or cable car, and there are walking paths for those who prefer a more active ascent.

Llandudno Pier: One of the longest piers in Wales, Llandudno Pier is a Victorian-era structure that extends out into the Irish Sea. It features traditional seaside attractions, including arcades, shops, and amusement rides.

Promenade: Llandudno’s seafront promenade is a beautiful stretch along the bay, offering scenic views and a pleasant place for a stroll. The promenade is lined with hotels, shops, and cafes.

The Grand Hotel: A prominent Victorian hotel located on the seafront, The Grand Hotel is an iconic landmark known for its architecture and historical significance.


Happy Valley Gardens: Situated on the lower slopes of the Great Orme, Happy Valley Gardens is a landscaped park with gardens, walking paths, and sculptures. It provides a peaceful retreat with panoramic views of Llandudno Bay.

Llandudno Cable Car: Connecting Happy Valley to the summit of the Great Orme, the cable car offers a scenic and leisurely way to reach the top, providing breathtaking views along the way.

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