Living by the Sea in Britain:
I have lived by both the sea, at different sides of the country, as well as both inland rural and urban locations including in Greater London. Each place offered a different lifestyle with both benefits and drawbacks. No place is perfect unless you have enough money to make it in to exactly what you want - in life we have to accept extras like neighbours, traffic, noise, and more.
Living by the sea can be a great experience and of course this starts with having the beach in close proximity. It will very much depend exactly where you are on the coastline to what lifestyle you can expect - The coastline length around mainland Great Britain is 11,072.76 miles.
Budgets will vary across the coastline of Britain from highly demanded quaint fishing villages to the full of nightlife famous holiday destinations. All have their pros and cons, quality of beaches, values, facilities and more.
Seaside towns across Britain were once the holiday destination for millions every year, trains packed full of excited families leaving for a week or two away from the smoky working towns for the sandy and or pebble beaches of the likes of Blackpool, Skegness, Brighton, Clacton-on-Sea, Weymouth, Margate and more.
These seaside towns prospered on the tourism with countless bed and breakfast / hotels, amusements arcades, bars, theatres, piers, restaurants and more so to entertain the masses during the holiday seasons. Millions spent by tourists every year meant these famous holiday destinations were popular retirement destinations as councils were able to keep them looking shiny and new for their visitors... Then came the cheap package tours to Spain and things changes from the 1960's onwards.
As people desired the sun from abroad and with the ease of transport and economical prices, those who once frequented the seaside towns of Britain were instead laying their towels on the beaches of Spain, France and Italy. As we progressed through the 1970's to 80's and beyond the numbers dropped drastically (especially younger families with children) that visited those once famous British seaside towns and they suffered. Businesses slowly closed, bed and breakfasts changed over to homing those on benefits and the general upkeep, that was once maintained with deep pockets, was getting little to no attention.
The 1990's and beyond it was more or less the end of the seaside towns as main holiday attractions with many having to settle for the weekend tourists or worse, the stag dos and hen parties. The atmosphere deteriorated and the noise levels rose as the respect levels fell. Where once there would be donkey rides on the beach and Punch and Judy shows there were now tattoo parlours and strip clubs - Holiday makers in guests houses were replaced with House of Multiple Occupants (HMO's) with their unemployed tenants.
Some seaside towns managed to stay afloat such as Brighton, though some parts are somewhat run down, as it become a well known destination for the LGBT community and hosts the UK's biggest Pride Festival. It also lays claim to having one of the most expensive roads for real estate in the UK (Roedean Crescent).
Other seaside towns / villages never relied on tourism and thus survived the down turn discussed above, instead maintaining a relatively steady increase in price with the popularity of retiring to the sea side in a quieter locations growing. Nowadays, with the likes of AirBNB and real estate investors, some of the traditional cottages by the sea / harbours have show up in value.
As we entered the twentieth century and between 2010 and 2020 the once dead and buried seaside towns who had received bad press for many years were suddenly seeing a small revival. Many of these seaside towns contained countless large bed and breakfasts that started to appeal to younger families, those 6 bedroom detached guest houses with sea views were once again appealing and this time as for being a main residence.
With London being just 1.5 hours away by train some of the more famous run down seaside towns were now suddenly getting buyers from London which surged immensely following covid19 and enforced lockdowns - Why live in a 1 bedroom flat in London when you could swap it for a 6 bedroom house by the sea? The great thing about these towns by the sea is that they were serviced by the railways so each today has direct routes to London and across Britain also to other main industrial towns.
Title image: Pixabay