After a scorching July many group organisers will already have their eye on where to visit next summer. Good news – hotel chain Best Western GB has uncovered the most popular coastal destinations.
According to the hotel group’s booking figures for this summer, compared to last, 5% more Brits opted to stay closer to home and make the most of the weather for a British seaside break.
Home to the famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach, this seaside town in 10th place has a reputation for being group-friendly as well as value-for-money. With plenty of coach parking as well as a new set-down point, ideally located for dropping off groups heading to the Grand Theatre or The Blackpool Tower, there’s plenty to include in your itinerary.
Top tip: Beat the crowds with a heritage tour of the Winter Gardens giving access to areas normally off limits to the public.
Famous for its striped cliffs and unique sunsets as well as being the only west-facing resort on the East Coast, Norfolk’s Hunstanton has been a popular choice for decades. The town’s Esplanade Gardens can be followed using the Horticultural Trail and there are some lovely quaint cottages and traditional pubs to explore.
Top tip: Head to the ‘lookout’ viewing platform in the heritage gardens for some memorable holiday snaps.
8. Isle of Arran
Often described as ‘Scotland in miniature’, the Isle of Arran is a great spot to escape busy modern life. From an ever-changing coastline, caves and striking mountains, there’s two car ferry services serving the island.
Top tip: Keep an eye out for flurry red squirrels in the trees at Brodick Castle and Country Gardens.
Long overshadowed by its much larger neighbour, Brighton, Hove has recently come to popularity for its subtler charms. Best appreciated on foot, you can walk along the beachfront and see ‘Millionaire’s Row’, a line of mansions that have housed the likes of Paul McCartney and Adele. Further along are the unique Hove Lawns, popular in summer for picnicking.
Top tip: The seagulls, despite their size, are only after your chips.
The UK capital of surfing, this Cornish location is a well-established favourite for seaside holidays, guaranteed to surpass expectations every year. With 12 sandy beaches to choose from, Newquay is perfect for exploring. Group-friendly attractions include the Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre which welcomes pre-booked coach and group visits.
Top tip: Eat overlooking the ocean by heading to Watergate Bay where a cluster of restaurants sit on the coastline.
Kentish seaside towns are back in fashion and Folkestone is quickly blossoming from its underdog status, named the fifth most popular seaside location in the UK. The town’s regeneration, together with its growing art scene, has maintained its British seaside charm whilst boasting the UK’s largest outdoor contemporary art exhibition, Folkestone Artworks.
Top tip: Visit the bays of the East Cliffs for a view across the White Cliffs of Dover.
Elegant Victorian townhouses line the seafront of Eastbourne including the UK’s highest chalk sea cliff, Beachy Head. Head to the Pier for fantastic views of the English Channel as well as a variety of ships, a chippy, and space for fishing.
Top tip: Enjoy afternoon tea at the Eastbourne Pier Victorian Tea Rooms, which is able to seat up to 70 guests.
In third place is one of the country’s most picturesque seaside locations. Portsmouth’s characterful Historic Dockyards are interspersed with waterfront dining and if it’s views you’re after, the Emirates Spinnaker Tower offers panoramas of the coastline and city.
Top tip: The Portsmouth Historic Dockyard offer groups exclusive behind the scenes tours of the HMS Warrior, Royal Navy Submarine Museum and more.
It’s no surprise that this family-friendly seaside resort is the second most popular in the UK. With one of the few remaining traditional Punch and Judy shows, there’s plenty for all ages from the historic harbour to fresh seafood and the SEA LIFE Adventure Park.
Top tip: See what’s on in advance at the Weymouth Pavilion for a night of by-the-sea entertainment and theatre.
Named the UK’s most popular seaside destination, groups continue to head to Bournemouth for unspoiled coastline, Victorian gardens and a choice of accommodation. Whether it’s lounging in a deckchair, strolling along the jetties or launching yourself off the world’s first pier to shore zip line, there’s never a dull moment.
Top tip: Coach parking is available near the town centre at Queens Road Coach Park and Kings Coach Park, whilst coach drop off points are located close to the beach at Bournemouth Pier.
Best Western Hotels has a host of hotels across the UK with various group offers. And they’ll be at the Group Leisure & Travel Show on Thursday, 10th October at the Marshall Arena, Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, so swing by their stand to find out more.
Want even more inspiration on where to go next year? You’ll find it at the 2019 Group Leisure & Travel Show on Thursday 10th October at the Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes.
Register now for your free entry to this year’s exhibition.
Want to exhibit at the GLT Show? Contact Sharon Yandell on 01908 613323 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.