Famous for its promenades, piers, and Pleasure Beach, Blackpool is still one of the nation's favourite seaside resorts. And with over 6 miles of golden sandy beaches it is not surprising. Situated on the South Shore, Holy Trinity is one of over 20 churches waiting to greet you. Built in the sand hills in the 1880s, it replaced a previous church that was only 50 years old, having been destroyed when wind damage caused it to collapse.
The UKs first seaside resorts developed in the 18th century for the aristocracy who frequented them for health and recreation. We have chosen ten of our favourite seaside getaways. All have delightful churches nestling in their narrow lanes, or braving the elements on windswept clifftops. All are woven into the fabric of the resort, all offer a retreat from the midday sun, all provide a place to relax and take time out and all have a story to tell.
Set well back from the harbour, at the upper end of High Street, lies St Laurence, the 'old' parish church of Ramsgate. Its most famous visitor was undoubtedly Queen Victoria who worshipped there when staying in Ramsgate as a child. The east window, with stained glass depicting St Augustine's arrival in Kent, was inserted in memory of Queen Victoria's connection with the church.
Reached by a stone causeway, used by pilgrims in the Middle Ages, this iconic rocky island just off Cornwall is crowned by a medieval church and castle. Standing strong and serene through the ages, the chapel at the Mount’s summit dates back to the 12th century. 500 year old alabaster carvings of biblical scenes and a 15th century granite Lantern Cross now shelter in the safety of the priory walls.
Rows of pretty town houses in pinks, blues, greens and creams line the harbourside at Tenby, and above them all rises the spire of the parish church of St Mary. Serving Tenby for over 800 years, the church has a delightful "waggon roof." Try and spot the fishes and mermaids hidden in the chancel ceiling bosses that connect the church to Tenby's fishing heritage.
Cromer was developed into a significant resort by the late Victorians, when healthy breezes were sought rather than sun drenched sands. Today, Cromer is famous for its crabbing industry with fishing boats, launched from the beach in season, tending to hundreds of crab pots. The church dominates the town and it has the tallest tower in Norfolk. Stained glass windows commemorate members of the town's lifeboat crew and depict lifeboats as well as the resort's lighthouse and buckets and spades.
In about 1138 Geoffrey of Monmouth’s History of the Kings of Britain contains the earliest written mention of Tintagel, Cornwall, in the tale of how Arthur was conceived there by Uther Pendragon, King of Britain, and Queen Igerna (Igraine). Geoffrey described its dramatic physical setting, evidently appreciating its romantic nature.
Scarborough is the original seaside resort; stunning scenery, glorious beaches, loads to see and do; is it any wonder that people have been flocking to Scarborough for nearly 400 years now? Anne Bronte died in Scarborough on 28th May 1849 aged just 29 years. She is buried in St Mary's church graveyard; a place she loved and a place she portrayed in her novel Agnes Grey.
Known as the 'coast with the most', there are 7 miles of unspoilt coastline and Blue Flag beaches to enjoy outdoor pursuits. Should the good old British weather set in, there are museums, amusements and a programme of lunchtime concerts at St Peter's held over the summer months.
Brighton hit its stride as a fashionable seaside resort in the 18th century, when bathing and even drinking seawater became the leisured class’s health 'fad du jour'. Indeed, the Prince Regent himself famously took the waters there in 1783. The splendid building of St Michael & All Angels is as fashionable as the parish it serves, with stunning stained glass by William Morris and Burne Jones.
Situated on the mouth of the River Dart is one of Devon’s most popular and enchanting towns. With charming historic streets, scenic river location and surrounded by South Devon countryside you have to go a long way to find a town as pretty. Known as the Mother church of Dartmouth, St Clement's sits 350 feet above the town. The climb to visit is well worth it, the altar is unique. Dating from the reign of James I, it is made from wood and is covered in beautiful carvings.