Best of British: Seaside Entertainment
The British seaside has a long and colourful history. Starting from the early Victorian era, we Brits basically invented the seaside holiday, as well as the many seaside town attractions that you’ll still find at seaside towns today.
According to the BBC, the British seaside is the earliest example of holidays being introduced to the masses, as cheap and cheerful seaside entertainment allowed to working classes to take a holiday for the first time in history.
These days, the British seaside is back and thriving better than ever, with records numbers of local and international visitors now flocking to our once-declining seaside towns. The attractions of these destinations are numerous; the beautiful beaches, relaxed pace of life, classic British food and most importantly, great entertainment options. From the traditional to the avant-garde, the entertainment scenes in the best British seaside towns are thriving. Here are some of the best.
Some seaside traditions are classics that are strictly not to be messed with. A trip to the seaside is likely to be accompanied by a rush of nostalgia and a release of your inner child, with the best seaside towns in the country being all too happy to provide that. Any good beach town has a decent pleasure pier, a long pier filled with rides, game stalls and vendors selling hot dogs and candy floss. The best in the country can be found at the Welsh town of Llandudno, where the sprawling Llandudno Pierjuts out a whopping 3000 feet into the sea.
Another classic bit of seaside entertainment is a Punch and Judy show. The classic puppet entertainment show can be found at spots all over the UK, but the funniest and most true to form show can be found at the Brighton Beach Punch & Judy at Brighton, which is undoubtedly the most camp and hilarious puppet show around. There are few things that scream seaside town more than a classic game of bingo, preferably over a couple of drinks. Bingo is truly a great British pastime, which continues to be enjoyed by both young and old today. Hit up the Buzz Bingo in Clacton-on-Sea for the best experience. Don’t forget to brush up on your bingo lingo beforehand.
You’ll want to finish off your day at the beach with a delicious stick of rock. If you’re lucky enough to be in Norfolk, you’ll find the world’s best stick of rock right here at Docwra’s Rock Factory in Great Yarmouth.
With younger and more international crowds again flocking to the British seaside, there’s no shortage of more alternative forms of entertainment. The Under the Pier experience in Southwold in Suffolk probably takes the crown for the most eccentric and original arcade in the world. You have to see it to believe it. Beach towns are also an increasingly popular destination for fans of cutting-edge modern art. For the best of it head to the newly opened Tate Gallery in St Ives, to see the highlights of modern European Art. To catch a show, your best option is always to bag a ticket for the steel-and-glass Royal Pavilion in Southend, Essex.
The great British seaside is truly in a state of flux. The increasingly bold, daring and extravagant entertainment options available in these destinations is a sign of hope for the future, as they continue to celebrate their originality.