0  of 16
In pictures: The English seaside
  • "Certain seaside towns have just about everything. Blackpool has more than everything: three piers, miles of hotels, and the iconic tower."

  • Mr Punch and his wife have been entertaining the English holidaymaker since 1662, and he's still going strong.

  • At 335ft long, Cleethorpes Pier is one of the shortest in the UK. This, year, it was sold to a venture partnership for more than £400,000.

  • "Lifts, trams, railways, funiculars, call them what you will, are a marvellous way to get from up there to down here and from down here to up there."

  • "Everyone loves a fishing boat - especially it it's wooden and being freshly painted by an old tar... along with the decline of deep-sea fishine, there has been a gradual disappearance of local fish shops, the transformations of fishermen's stroes and net shops into holiday homes, the construction of yachting marinas and the filling of harbours with pleasure craft."

  • "Arcades, pleasure domes, sideshows, ghosts and ghouls, crazy houses, laughing clowns, a peppering of the surreal, the unusual and the bizarre."

  • "Once one of the icons of the seaside amusement park, the old-style helter-skelters are fast disappearing. Only around three or four seaside helter skelters remain."

  • One of the Britain's many quirky places to stay, this romantic little place comes complete with its own drawbridge.

  • "Busy beaches are for kids to play on and for mum and dad to read the newspaper."

  • "George Bernard Shaw once wrote: "'Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable, that nobody has ever ventured  to describe a whole day in heaven., though plenty of people have described a day a the seaside.'"

  • "Lighthouses have gradually become less important to navigation with advances in global positioning technology. Automation has led to the loss of the lighthouse keeper, although someone must still be on hand to change the bulbs."

  • People have been taking in the sea air and enjoying the pleasures of the North Pier since it opened to the public in 1863.

  • The English Seaside by Peter Williams will be published on 27 May 2013, price: £14.99.

  • "What can be the origin of the beach hut? Some suggest that "bathing machines" were re-used as changing rooms and then developed into picnic and sun rooms... If you like to sit in a musty, damp box full of yesterday's furniture and smelling of butane gas, listening to the rain on the roof and doing that wretched jigsaw with the missing piece, then this is for you."