Building sandcastles and eating fish and chips still top of the list for UK seaside visitors


Walking along the pier and building sandcastles have emerged as the most popular family seaside pastimes in a survey comparing now to 30 years ago.

Some 70% of people walked along a pier and 69% built sandcastles on their last UK beach holiday, compared with 83% and 91% in the 1980s, respectively.

The archetypal British seaside holiday used to include sticky-fingered children chewing on endless sticks of rock while riding donkeys on the beach.

Parents looked on from behind their windbreakers while scrabbling around in their beach bags for 2p coins to use in the arcade.

A beach scene, a stick of rock, 2p machines

After a long day on the sand, and looking a little pinker than when they arrived, the whole family ambled to the fish and chip shop for a mid-afternoon meal.

But how many of these traditional activities are still in use by British holiday makers?

The survey asked 2,000 parents who have taken their children aged five to 16 on a UK seaside holiday within the last year to list the activities they have done, and compared the results with a survey conducted 30 years ago.

Playing in the penny arcade also scored highly at 66%.

fish and chips

The OnePoll survey, commissioned by Beach Retreats, found that participation in all of the activities listed had fallen overall over the last 30 years, but some fell more than others.

Donkey rides were the hardest hit, dropping from 64% of holidaymakers indulging in one 30 years ago to 18% today. Fruit-picking also suffered, with only 4% of people partaking in the delicious activity.

Eating jellied eels, somewhat predictably, was the least popular choice, with 2% of people indulging in the delicacy.

A row of blue beach huts

SNAPPA holidays