In the late 18th century, the British upper classes started the fashion for seaside holidays. The middle classes soon followed as did the working classes once they had the opportunity to do so, around the beginning of the 20th century. It became normal for families to spend a week or two each year at one of the many seaside resorts that had begun to spring up to cater for this new mass market. These seaside towns quickly developed certain characteristics that are now regarded as typical of the 'traditional' British holiday resort. Stereotypically, daytime entertainment centres around the beach where children make sandcastles, eat ice-creams and candyfloss and enjoy donkey rides.

In recent years foreign package tours have impinged upon the traditional British seaside holiday. Despite this, these resorts survive by adjusting to the demands of the visiting tourists. The beach is still traditionally the place to be on a hot sunny day.

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