Psychologists confirm that we really do like to be beside the seaside

Psychologists confirm that we really do like to be beside the seasideGetty

A new study indicates that spending time by the sea really does help to improve our mood and boost emotional wellbeing.

A study of 2,750 people aged from eight to 80 collected by Natural England was analysed by researchers at the universities of Exeter and Plymouth.

The Daily Mail reports that the findings showed that people of all ages reported positive feelings after a visit to the seaside, countryside or open spaces in towns - but trips to the sea had the greatest impact.

Today, Dr Matthew White, of the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall, will tell experts attending the British Psychological Society's annual meeting in London that feeling good beside the seaside may be "hard-wired" into people's brains.

He even believes that a trip to the coast could benefit health, as there is mounting evidence that positive feelings can protect against illness.

He says that trips to the sea "led to the highest positive feelings, with more people feeling refreshed and calm" than those who spend time in the countryside or parks.

It's not known whether this happens because we find the sound of the waves soothing or because we are so often expressed to the idea that spending time by the sea is a good thing.

Click on the image below to see TripAdvisor's best beaches in the world...

The best beaches in the world (according to Tripadvisor)
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Psychologists confirm that we really do like to be beside the seaside

The only beach in Europe to make Tripadvisor's top 15, Olu Deniz stands out for its remarkable setting. This secluded sandy bay sitting on a blue lagoon is a national reserve: building is prohibited here, ensuring its natural beauty is preserved (that is, as long you can ignore the crowds of tourists that flock here every year).

Stay at The Beyaz Yunus, with its oasis of gardens and beachside terraces.

This beach features in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest pleasure beach in the world - but there's plenty of room to escape: you'll find mile upon mile of glorious protected beach and dunes to hide in. Perfect for surfing dudes, this is where you'll find the world famous east Coast Surfing Championships.

Nestled on the coast of the Yucatan, Playa del Carmen offers seven miles of beautiful beach. It's the quieter neighbour of it's popular bigger brother, Cancun (and we think it's far nicer). You still get the pristine sand and crystal clear Caribbean, but prices tend to be more reasonable and the atmosphere more relaxed.

Stay at: The beachfront Viceroy Riviera Maya for classic luxury, award-winning food and a holistic spa.

The Grand Strand - as the Myrtle Beach area is commonly known - stretches for 60 miles along the South Carolina coast. It's a long-established holiday hotspot, bursting with endless shopping opps, golf courses, amusement parks and watersports.
Stay at: Myrtle Beach Marriott for amazing ocean views. Visit

One of the largest resort areas of the Caribbean, Varadero sits on a long peninsula, boasting more than 20km of white sandy beaches - and this beautiful gem also offers a host of other attractions, including a chain  of islands formed on the surface of coral reefs.

This is one of the most popular beach and party destinations in the world. Enough said.

Punta Cana offers all the dreamy fun you'd expect on a Caribbean holiday: horse riding on the beach, snorkelling and parasailing. Don't miss a trip to the South American village of Altos de Chavon, and take a speedboat to the beautiful Isla Saona.
Stay at: Tortuga Bay - a collection of 15 luxurious beachfront villas decorated by none other than Oscar de la Renta. Visit

Sitting on the northeast corner of Mexico's Caribbean coast, Cancun has been developed into the country's number one beach holiday spot over the past 20 years. With 14 miles of white sand, there's plenty of space - and it's home to all sorts of Mayan archaeological wonders, amazing diving opportunities and a buzzing nightlife scene.

Boracay is seven miles of Pacific Island heaven, where the order of the day is unwind relax. If you do fancy getting out of your hammock (but why would you?), check out the curious Bat Caves.
Stay at: Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa, a stunning hotel situated on a hillside overlooking the sea, boasting secluded beach spots and its own 'spa village'. Visit

Located in Pinellas County on the west coast of Florida,  St Pete has long been considered among the county's finest beaches. Holidaymakers single it out for its white sand, warm gulf waters, year-round sunshine and southern hospitality. Perfect for dolphin watching, bat trips, shelling and watersports.

Negril is famed for its natural beauty and laid back lifestyle, and nowhere is this more evident than on the world-famous Seven Mile Beach. Here you'll find one of the island's top resorts and the longest continuous stretch of sand in Jamaica, offering visitors a range of activities from snorkelling and cliff jumping to enjoying the reggae beats and cocktails at Rick's Cafe.
Stay at: Sandals Negril Beach Resort and Spa, a chic hotel on Seven Mile Beach, offering a host of watersports, six restaurants and a relaxing spa. Go to

This beautiful old Mayan city, with ruins that sit on 39ft tall cliffs along the east coast of the Yucatan Peninsula on the Caribbean Sea is  perfect for a bit of historical discovery as well as kicking back on the beach.
Stay at: A four-bedroom villa on the beach featuring an open design communal living area and a large seaside terrace. Sleeps 13, from £1,562 per week. Visit

The number of visitors from the UK to Aruba has risen by more than 60 per cent in the past two years, attracted by the island's pristine white powder sandy beaches and the idyllic turquoise sea. The seven-mile strip of Palm and Eagle Beach offers wide shaded huts and quiet retreats as well as busy sunbathing and buzzing beach bars.
Stay at: Westin Resort Aruba. Visit

Taking the number one position, this unspoilt beauty spot is deserving of Tripadvisor's top title. Representing everything a dream holiday can offer, with uncrowded beaches and a unique natural beauty, this is also one of the top ten best scuba diving destinations in the world.

Stay at: Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa is located in exotic Grace Bay in Providenciales. Visit

Swaying palm trees, soft sand, vibrant personalities, jetsetter hangouts and rainforest walks: Hawaii is a dream destination for beach bums. Stay at: the Hotel Hana Maui and Honua Spa, a secluded oceanfront hotel designed for romantics in search of total peace and quiet (there aren't even any tellies in the rooms!). When you’re not sun soaking or pampering yourself at the spa, optional activities include horse riding along the beach, snorkelling and yoga. 

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