Away from it all surveys the history of leisure away from home, covering the spas and watering places that rich people frequented from Tudor times onwards, and the seaside holiday towns that grew up in Victorian times when the railway system enabled ordinary working people to spend time away from home enjoying themselves.
It explores the curative use of water from Roman times, through the Middle Ages in places like Bath and Buxton and after the Reformation, when the medical profession fostered the growth of new spas, such as Harrogate, and then examines the subsequent popularity of hydrotherapy, which created significant growth in such towns as Ilkley and Matlock.
The development of the British seaside during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – the heyday of popular holidaymaking – directly resulted from the growth of the railway network. The lecture includes such major resorts as Blackpool, Brighton, Great Yarmouth and Scarborough, showing the unique quality of seaside structures such as piers, winter gardens and fairgrounds.
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