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Whitby’s cobbled streets and sandy beaches with its traditional donkey rides, amusement arcades and fish and chip shops give the feeling of a classical English coastal resort. But behind this exterior lies a Gothic heart. After all this is where Bram Stoker found his inspiration for his novel Dracula. Taken with the atmosphere of the town, Whitby Abbey and the church with its tombstones this quaint little town has become a Goths dream.
One of the most famous coastal areas in Britain is Devon, put on the map for its clotted cream, cider, and picture postcard thatched cottages. The coastline of Devon is wonderfully rocky giving rise to beautiful coastline views and cliff edges. Paths can lead to hidden coves, wide open beaches and outstanding landscapes.
Situated on the Kingsbridge estuary, Salcombe was once a fishing and ship building town.
With invasions, pirates and slavery common place the main settlements were built away from the sea. Also, with its pretty harbour and bobbing fishing boats, wealthy visitors became attracted to the area and from the late 1700’s large houses began to spring up on the various view points along the cliffs.
The arrival of the railway at Kingsbridge in 1893 made Salcombe more accessible and the town gradually developed as an exclusive holiday resort for those who enjoyed the idyllic sandy beaches, crystal waters and rugged cliffs.
Brighton began as a small Saxon village with farmers living above the cliff and fishermen living below the cliff. The settlement grew to become a small town which was invaded and burnt down by the French in 1514 and again in 1545.
Brighton recovered and in 1750 following a book written by Doctor Richard Russell which he claimed that bathing in seawater was good for a person's health, the aristocracy began to visit.
In 1783 the Prince Regent later to become King George IV took up dwellings overlooking a fashionable promenade and as a result the town grew.
The first theater opened in North Street in 1774 and two Assembly Rooms had been built for dancing and playing cards.
An extravagant man with a passion for fashion, the arts, architecture King George IV commissioned John Nash to begin the transformation of the Marine Pavilion from modest villa into the magnificent oriental palace to enable him to host large social events and for entertaining.
This palace still dominates the heart of Brighton.
Once a small fishing village Margate became one of the original Victorian seaside towns it was abandoned by the holiday makers in 1990's however it is enjoying a renaissance as a magnate for artists.
Margate boasts the oldest pleasure park in the country Dreamland formerly known as "The Hall by the Sea and the Pier". the Theatre Royal and Winter gardens date back to the heyday of the Victorian era.
Every year millions of tourists flock to Cornwall to see its miles of coastline, clifftop and countryside views.
One of Cornwall’s most beautiful sights has to be St. Ives. Famous for its surf beaches and art scene it is tucked in a large curve of coastline offering stunning views from the cliffs.
The heart of St. Ives takes you back to a time when fishing was its main industry with a maze of cobbled streets and fisherman’s cottages
The origin of St Ives is attributed in legend to the arrival of the Irish Saint Ia of Cornwall, in the 5th century
The seaside town of St Ives grew out of the pilchard fishing and tin mining industries Although the harbour is still used for fishing this has since given way to tourism as the main industry.
This initially came about after the extension of the railway in 1877 Although seen as a haven for artists since the 1920’s, the opening of the Tate Ives Gallery and the Barbara Hepworth Museum, at St Ives, has cemented this area as a flourishing art scene.
Known for one of the best beach resorts due to its famous Golden Mile, Blackpool experienced its boom as a holiday destination after the branch line for the railway was opened in 1846
Blackpool gets its name from a historic drainage channel that ran over a peat bog which caused the water to turn black as it ran into the Irish Sea.
The region did not come to note until Henry Banks, often considered to be the "Father of Blackpool" purchased the Lane Ends estate, including in 1819 and built the first holiday cottages.
The wakes weeks closures practiced by the Lancashire cotton mill owners created the main market for Blackpool and the area developed as a holiday destination for the working classes which it is still regarded today.
Blackpool is the only English seaside resort to have three peers, all supporting a traditional range of amusements, live music and dancing. Since being built in 1868, today Central Pier is very much a family entertainment complex and South Pier, built in 1893, houses big thrill rides and its own fun fair.
Blackpool Tower Blackpool Tower is an iconic symbol of the North West of England. Built between 1891-1894, the tower is 518 foot high and is a grade one listed building. It was inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris and used as a leisure and entertainment venue.
The circus of the tower sits at the base surrounded by the four large legs of the tower itself. There are daily performances, which harking back to an earlier era.
From the top of the tower on a clear day you can see the Lake District, the Isle of Man and North Wales.
Famous for its white cliffs, and known as the lock and key of England, Dover is the second busiest cruise port in the UK, Right back since roman times Dover has been seen as an important harbour and a stone fort was built to protect it.
During the invasion of 1066 the Normans sacked Dover then burned it to the ground. The town was attacked again by the French in 1295
In the Middle Ages Dover was one of the Cinque Ports, who were required to provided ships and crews for the king. Many fishermen lived in Dover and merchant ships carried cargoes to and from France.
By the 18th century Dover was known for its shipbuilding leather and rope making industries as well as fishing and from the 1820’s Dover boomed as a cross channel port with steam ships carrying passengers across the Channel.
In 1875 Captain Webb became the first person to swim the Channel from Dover to France and on 25 July 1909 Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) flew from northern France and landed at Northall Meadow by Dover Castle.
Outside of the hustle and bustle of the centre of Dover there is still and unspoilt coastline to be had. Along with the iconic white cliffs, Dover’s coastline has been voted Britain’s favorite.
The white cliffs are a majestic and welcoming sight to millions of travellers crossing the English Channel and are considered one of England's most magnificent natural features.
The Jurassic Coastline is one of Dorset’s most popular attractions due to its miles of glorious coastal paths where you can find some truly beautiful views along the South West Coast Path.
It is a fossil hunter’s paradise with many fossils uncovered each year from the eroding cliffs and scattered fragments along the beaches making this a perfect pastime for both children and adults; who knows what you will find. Durdle Door, Golden Cap, and the Hooken landscape are a few of the popular places of interest.
The town once known for its fishing and smuggling is now an historic seaside resort situated at the mouth of the river Lym.
The town boasts a small artificial harbour or Cobb which dates from Edward I. It received its first Royal Charter from the King in 1284 to become Lyme ‘Regis’
Lyme’s existence depended upon the Cobb due to its exposure to south-westerly gales with the Cobb acting as both a harbour and a breakwater. Because of The Cobb, Lyme Regis became a shipbuilding centre and important port: and was once larger than the port of Liverpool.
Jane Austen stayed here in 1804, and several scenes from both ‘Persuasion’, and ‘Northanger Abbey’ are set in the area.
Lyme Regis is situated at the heart of the Jurassic Coast, so called because of the wealth of fossils found along the coastline.
The steep narrow streets of Lyme reflect its long history and the Georgian architecture is contemporary with its prosperity in the 18th century when sea bathing became fashionable.
Lyme Regis has recently been given World Heritage Coast status, putting it on a par with The Grand Canyon in America and The Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
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