Are seaside trips too expensive? Worrying decline in days out at the beach

Over half of Brits haven't had a day trip to the UK coast in the past year

Mother and sons walking on beach

Days out at beaches across Britain are in decline, according to new research. A report by National Trust revealed a worrying 20 per cent decline in UK seaside trips over the last 10 years.

Only 42 per cent of people have visited the British coast for a day out in 2015, compared with 62 per cent in 2005, meaning over half the nation (58 per cent) have not had a single day trip to the beach in the last 12 months.

More: Guess which UK beach has been voted better than Bondi

The study of 9,000 people over a 10-year period detailed a steady decline in the nation's connections to the coast despite 88 per cent of UK adults saying they regard the coast as a national treasure.

Only 14 per cent of 18-24 year-olds said their happiest childhood memory is being by the sea, which is half the national average (29 per cent). This rises to 38 per cent among 55+ year-olds.

Two people on deckchairs and seagulls

Coastal value in the older generations saw 94 per cent of those aged 55+ agreeing that it is important that all parents give their children the opportunity to experience the UK's coast or seaside. 88 per cent of people with children in their household also agreed, and this fell to 77 per cent agreement among those aged 18-24.

The biggest barrier stopping people hitting the shores more often has been revealed as not having enough spare time to get to the coast (29 per cent). Additional reasons credited to the decline are UK coasts being too busy when the weather is nice (23 per cent), too expensive (18 per cent), not having easy access to transport (17 per cent) and preferring to go abroad than holiday on Britain's coast (14 per cent).

Dr Philip Long, Head of Tourism at Bournemouth University, says: "The steep decline in visitor numbers to the British coast over the past 10 years is disturbing for me, and a number of possible inter-related causes may underlie this.

"Cost barriers are of course a concern with families, also another factor may be the increase in recent years of many British cities becoming attractive places to visit with some, such as Sheffield, recreating a seaside resort with an 'Urban Beach' in the city centre."

Have you been to the British seaside in the past year? If not, what has stopped you from visiting? Leave a comment and tell us below.

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Top 25 beaches in the UK (TripAdvisor)

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