Beside the Seaside: the architecture of British coastal resorts

Scarborough: South Bay (1975)

Beside the Seaside surveys the history of 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, and highlights the rich architectural heritage of the heyday of the British holiday industry.

Holidaymakers from workaday British inland towns expected to experience luxurious, exotic surroundings, even if the weather was disappointing, so designers ransacked the vocabulary of architectural and decorative styles – rococo, oriental, gothic – in an exuberant display of cast iron, faience, plaster and paint.

The presentation 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.

For background information about this topic, please click here.