Blackpool has beaten off stiff competition to rate as UK holidaymakers’ best-loved beach – both for today’s beach-goers and those who took beach holidays as children over the past 60 years. Despite the growing popularity of overseas destinations, the Holiday Feelings Barometer from Post Office Travel Services found that Blackpool is still the all-time beach favourite today – easily beating Benidorm and other European hotspots.
Over 2,000 people contributed to a 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 of their extensive sandy stretches and sandcastle-building potential.
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 over three-in-five holidaymakers (61 per cent) say overseas beaches are their favourites. Spanish resorts take up three of 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 score heavily.
|Childhood beach favourites||Today’s top beaches|
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, Marketing Director 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.”
Packing their bags is the trigger for giving half of holidaymakers the holiday feeling - although almost as many women get in the mood by selecting or buying their holiday wardrobe – 46 per cent compared with only 24 per cent of men – and by talking about it to friends and family (32 per cent versus 21 per cent of men). Over a third (37 per cent) of those surveyed say they get the holiday feeling once they have bought their travel cash.
Pete Markey said: “Some of the more practical preparations can help people get the Holiday Feeling and also ensure that holidays go smoothly too. We advise people to check passport validity in plenty of time, organise travel insurance, and buy currency in advance to avoid getting stung with poor rates and commission charges at the airport or overseas.”
The Post Office offers a one-stop shop for holiday essentials. In addition to its market-leading foreign exchange service, which offers up to 70 currencies, the Post Office provides ‘Check and Send’ passport services and award-winning comprehensive travel insurance.
About the Post Office
The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.
The Post Office serves over 17 million customers a week and a third of small businesses. Some 99.7% of the total population live within three miles of a post office and over 97% live with one mile of a post office. For many rural communities, the post office is the only retail outlet. Post Offices branches remain highly valued and trusted, and are the focal point of many communities. For more information, visit http://www.postoffice.co.uk/.
Please note the Press Office team can only deal with enquiries from the media. Unfortunately they do not have access to customer information so can not help with customer enquiries.
If you have an enquiry regarding any Post Office product or service please visit postoffice.co.uk or call 0845 611 2970 Local call rates apply. Call costs may vary depending on your service provider. Calls may be monitored or recorded for training and compliance purposes.