Seaside Resorts, which followed the bestselling Unwrecked England, was a celebration of the British seaside resort, and saw Candida Lycett Green travel to fifty of the best across England and Wales – from Broadstairs to Bridlington, Southwold to Swanage, Torquay to Tenby. In the spirit of her father, Sir John Betjeman, she captured their essence and revealed the physical beauty, bright and breezy architecture – and humour.


Click here to view an index of all “Seaside Resorts” posts

“Candida Lycett Green’s Seaside Resorts is a celebration of her 50 British favourites and a perfect Christmas present to suit man, woman or child. Who better to be a judge of coastal quality? … Somehow the essence of each resort is conjured so vividly you wish you were there. Architectural highlights and literary connections for each resort are noted but learning is worn lightly and comic insights abound.”

Mary KillenThe Lady, 11 November 2011.

“What a wonderful book … It’s impossible to flip the pages of this lavish top 50 selection of recreational gems without being tempted towards the closest railway station.”

Nicholas Crane, five star review in Countryfile magazine. December 2011.



“Are you going to Brid or Scar?” asked my neighbour on the train as it drew out of York Station. “Brid,” I replied. “Grand!” she said.

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Aberdovey, Merionethshire

Voluptuously wooded hills rise high and steep behind Aberdovy, protecting the town from the north wind. In consequence its gardens are luxurious, its winters mild, its fat hydrangeas brick pink and its magnolia grandiflora flowers as big as pint-sized teacups

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Spend just one day in Scarborough and you slip into a good mood. Its natural setting is grand and spectacular, its flamboyant architecture uplifting. Added to that, Yorkshire people are friendlier than most. In the Crown Spa Hotel, perched high as an eagle’s nest above South Bay, an old gentleman suddenly turned to his group of friends and said, “I am having a grand time.”

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A native of Eastbourne told me that on returning from a time away, the first view of the town from the Downs to Beachy Head never failed to bring a lump to her throat. As a non-native I had the same feeling.

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St Leonards on Sea

St Leonards is majestic. The well-to-do from Bexhill may not venture here, but it is their loss. The resort has now merged with Hastings (there was once space and a grand gateway between the two), but St Leonards remains a place apart. It is what Hove is to Brighton.

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Broadstairs, Kent

On May 29th 1974 the Broadstairs and St Peter’s Mail reported on its front page that the charms of Broadstairs had at last reached the stars: ‘The actor Gregory Peck has promised to visit the town next time he is in England.’ But Peck never kept his promise and today Broadstairs remains in comfortable obscurity, sandwiched between its large, rumbustious neighbours Ramsgate and Margate.

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Bexhill on Sea

There is a well-behaved air about Bexhill which is surprising since, at the turn of the century, it was the first resort in Britain to promote mixed bathing. This caused shock waves at the time but it helped to advertise the brand new resort …

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