Sand dunes, Winterton beach, Norfolk. Best virtual English seaside experiences. Copyright Gretta Schifano.
Outdoors and Active, Take Me There

A Virtual English seaside trip

Whether you’re splashing in the waves or rock-pooling on the beach, eating an ice cream or building a sandcastle, nothing compares to a trip to the English seaside. But if you don’t live by the coast, and you’re not able to travel, you can still experience the best of England’s top seaside spots online. Here’s our pick of the top virtual English seaside experiences.

Build a sandcastle in Dover

All you need to build a simple sandcastle is sand, water and a bucket and spade – so if you’re on a sandy beach, it’s kind of obligatory to make one! In this video for English Heritage at Dover Castle, Jamie Wardley of sandcastle experts ‘Sand in Your Eye’ shares his top tips on how to build the perfect sandcastle:

Eat fish & chips in Scarborough

Every English seaside resort has at least one chippy, and enjoying takeaway fish and chips, seasoned with salt and vinegar and wrapped in paper, is an essential seaside tradition for many. Scarborough in North Yorkshire claims to be Britain’s first seaside resort, and is home to several fish-and-chip shops. The town’s Harbour View Cafe, where regulars include the local fishermen, is a favourite of author Kevin Rushby. In this video Kevin visits the Harbour View Cafe to find out what makes a good chippy:

Enjoy an Ice cream in Blackpool

Blackpool offers a traditional kind of seaside holiday and is famous for its tower, its three piers and its Pleasure Beach amusement park. The resort is also home to one of the country’s best ice cream parlours, family-run Notarianni Ice Cream. Their vanilla ice cream is freshly made every day with local farm milk, using a secret recipe which Luigi Notarianni brought from southern Italy over 70 years ago. You can see how the ice cream is made at Notarianni’s in this video:

Go rock pooling in Newlyn

Rock pooling is a great way to get a close look at a wide range of sea creatures. This short video from the Natural History Museum shows you the essentials of how to go rock pooling :

You can follow a rock pooling excursion and see crabs, fish, sea stars and other marine life in this video from Newlyn, Cornwall:

A marine biologist shares some of the creatures that you can find when you go rock-pooling in the UK in this video:

Hunt for fossils in Charmouth

The coast around Charmouth and Lyme Regis in Dorset is famous for its fossils. Fossils wash down from the cliffs here and can be found amongst the gravel and shingle on the beach. You can watch a video of a fossil-hunting trip to Charmouth beach here:

Listen to the waves in Cornwall

The sound of the sea is so calming and relaxing that some people even use it to help them go to sleep. You can watch and listen to ocean waves breaking gently on a rocky Cornish beach here:

Play on the pier in Brighton

The Victorians built pleasure piers around Britain’s coast, and many still remain today. Grade II listed Brighton Palace Pier is home to a variety of attractions, including a large amusement area with roller coasters and a helter-skelter. Millions of people visit Brighton pier every year, and you can go on a virtual tour of it here:

Relax in a beach hut in Hampshire

Brightly coloured wooden beach huts are one of the best things about the English seaside. First used in Edwardian times to help bathers to protect their privacy when getting changed, beach huts are now so popular that in some places they sell for tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. If you don’t have your own beach hut you can rent one by the day, week or season. Watch this video from Millie’s Beach Huts explaining what a beach hut is:

In this video you can see some very luxurious beach huts on Calshot Beach, overlooking the Isle of Wight:

Splash in the sea in Morecambe

One of the most fun things to do at the beach (as long as the sea’s not rough) is paddling in shallow water and jumping in the waves. This video of children enjoying the waves at the beach in Morecambe is great:

Walk along the beach in Poole

The beautiful golden sands of Sandbanks beach in Dorset are on a small peninsula at the mouth of Poole Harbour. Sandbanks is known as the UK’s most expensive coastal property location. You can go on a virtual walk along Sandbanks beach here:

Your favourite seaside experience

What’s your favourite thing to do at the seaside? Let us know if we’ve missed it, and we’ll see if we can find a virtual version online. If you prefer your beaches to be tropical, check out our post on how to enjoy the world’s best beaches from home.

Image copyright Gretta Schifano

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