Britain's best classic seaside attractions

The UK coastline is famed for its classic seaside resorts, each with its own vintage attractions. Here's our top 10 – from boats and big wheels to trains and ice cream.

Published: July 6th, 2017 at 4:11 pm
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For many, a seaside holiday in Britain would not be complete without visiting a vintage attraction. From Margate's Dreamland to the Anstruther Fish Bar in Fife, here's our top 10 classic seaside attractions.

1. Boat Trip – Tenby, Pembrokeshire

The multi-coloured Georgian seafront buildings, green cliff sides and sandy beaches of Tenby are best experienced from the vantage point of the Atlantic Ocean. Take a short fishing trip or wildlife cruise out from this historic harbour town or experience total peace on a day trip to Caldey Island.

For more information, visit the website

2. Big Wheel – Blackpool, Lancashire

The smell of candyfloss, chips and toffee-apples, and the hum of the arcade machines drift away as you rise up on the Big Wheel on Blackpool’s Central Pier. Although past its best, the vintage attraction is a nod to a golden age of seaside holidays.

3. Mini Golf – Bridlington, Yorkshire

Mini golf is a great leveller; one unlucky shot and even the most skilled of golfers can be beaten in a stroke by the youngest member of the family. Bridlington has not one but three mini golf courses, including the indoor pirate-themed Treasure Island Mini Golf on the Esplanade.

For more information, visit the website

4. Tunnels Beaches – Ilfracombe, Devon

Walk through a network of hand-carved Victorian tunnels to unique private beaches and a tidal bathing pool. The secluded cove boasts wide coastal views out to Lundy Island, along with countless rock pools for young aqua-explorers.

Find out more about Tunnels Beaches

5. Steam and Jazz – Whitehead, County Antrim

Young passengers will love the short trips on board a real-life Thomas the Tank Engine at the Whitehead Railway Museum. On selected evenings during the summer, the trains head along the coast as live jazz bands perform at every station.

For more information, visit the website

6. Sea life park – Weymouth, Dorset

This seaside town was established as a resort after George III came to convalesce here in 1789. At the end of Weymouth’s grand esplanade is the Sea Life Adventure Park, a huge indoor aquarium. Wander along glass walkways with sharks, sea turtles and clownfish swimming by your side.

7. Fusciardi's Ice Cream – Eastbourne, Sussex

This small family-run parlour serves some of the best ice cream in the country. With 18 flavours and 24 sundaes to choose from, along with its coastal views over the channel, it is the perfect way to round off a summer’s afternoon.

Find out more about Fusciardi's Ice Cream

8. Old Thatch Teashop – Shanklin, Isle of Wight

Shanklin is possibly Isle of Wight's most idyllic seaside resort. The picturesque village is filled with thatched pubs, sweetshops and traditional tea rooms. Stop by at the Old Thatch Teashop for elevenses and then head out on the coast path. Looking down the steep cliffs you will see the magnificent white sandy beach set up against the backdrop of the dramatic sandstone cliffs.

For more information visit the website

9. Dreamland – Margate, Kent

For an afternoon of good old fashioned fun, step through the doors of Margate's vintage amusement park. After an 11-year campaign, Dreamland – first opening in the 1860's – finally re-opened in 2015. The park features traditional rides, including a Grade II listed scenic railway rollercoaster.

For more information visit the website

10. Anstruther Fish Bar – Anstruther, Fife

Make it a traditional English seaside experience and try some of the best fish and chips that Britain has to offer. Anstruther Fish Bar and restaurant has a family history of fishing, which can be traced back to the 1700's. You can either eat in, or sit outside and enjoy the views of the Scottish harbour.

For more information, visit the website


Images: Getty, Alamy


Dave Hamilton is an author, freelance writer, tutor, photographer, forager and explorer of historic sites and natural places.


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