The 7 Wonders of the British Seaside
1. The Grand Hotel Scarborough - As seen in the Daily Mail Online
I know we’re a little bit biased, but The Grand Hotel Scarborough takes first place in the 7 wonders, as it overlooks the picturesque harbour and south bay. Dating back to the Victorian times the hotel, located in the town centre, was built in 1863 and was the largest hotel in Europe. Recognisable from the skyline, the hotel takes pride over the famous spa town, as its size and distinctive yellow brick work overpowers the bay. Designed by architect Cuthbert Brodrick, the theme of the hotel was to represent time, with each of the four towers representing seasons. The 12 floors the months of the year, and 52 chimneys for the weeks. Originally there were also 365 bedrooms, and each bathroom included a bath with an extra set of taps so guests could also wash in fresh sea water.
Little do our guests know about the wonderful history behind our famous Grand Scarborough Hotel. This summer we invite you to stay with us, and experience the sheer beauty of it for yourself! One thing which hasn’t changed is that holiday makers love The Grand Scarborough Hotel and Britannia offer fantastic sea-view rooms for a fraction of the price. The Victorian Hotel, is both a landmark and hotel ideal for enjoying the beautiful sandy beaches, promenade walks and all that Scarborough has to offer, This Scarborough Hotel represents exactly what was meant by a ‘seaside resort’.
2. The Royal Pavilion Brighton – As seen in the Daily Mail online
If you’re a historic dreamer, in search of your next UK getaway then number 2 is perfect for you! A former royal residence, the Royal Pavilion was first a farmhouse, before being transformed in to a luxury seaside retreat for George, Prince of Wales. It is the work of designer John Nash, that can be seen today, when he redesigned and extended the oriental pavilion with its domes and minarets in 1815. The striking palace mixes the visual style of both India and China with regency grandeur, which can be seen throughout the fanciful interior, designed by Frederick Crace and painter Robert Jones. It represents its unique character for the man whom it was built, reflecting his personality but also the arts of regency England and the exoticism that was alternative to amore classic mainstream taste. To many, it is hard to believe that the building sits in the coastal town of Brighton.
However, speaking of regency style the Royal Albion Hotel in Brighton, was built only a decade after in 1826 and is traditionally decorated throughout. Offering character and style, it is situated opposite Brighton Pier, and makes a perfect location for holiday makers wanting to explore the delights of Brighton, including the Pavilion. After a day of exploring and taking in the breath taking sights of the Pavilion and perhaps a walk through the promenade oozing with pubs and eateries, why not head over to our very own Pavilion bar, and experience the royal life for yourself.
3. Blackpool tower – As seen in the Daily Mail online
The next of the seven wonders is ranked at number 3; Blackpool Tower. I think almost everyone has experienced a trip to Blackpool Tower in their childhood, complete with a trip to the illuminations and a stick of traditional rock. The 518ft tower was completed in 1894, and when it first opened 3,000 customers took the first rides to the top. Now the tower is managed by Merlin Entertainment Group, alongside other attractions across the UK, but over a century later, the view from the top of the tower (if you dare look) is breath taking and can now be enjoyed though the ‘Walk of Faith’ glass floor. Still widely recognised by the nation, The Blackpool Tower Eye was awarded the 2015 Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence, and is said to attract over 650,000 visitors a year.
Blackpool tower has helped the coastal town become one of the most popular seaside resorts in the UK and that’s why Britannia have three different Hotels in Blackpool for you to choose from, all of which have fantastic sea view rooms available! For a luxury and intimate stay we recommend the Savoy Hotel, located on the quieter North Shore. Still close enough to the main attractions that Blackpool has to offer, the hotel’s main highlight is the stunning ballroom detailed with a stained glass dome ceiling. If Location is what tempts you, then we recommend The Grand Metropole Hotel. Oozing history, the red bricked hotel was built in 1766, standing centrally at the Northern end of Blackpool’s famous promenade. The Victorian Façade has been beautifully updated, and paired with the sea front location, its ideal for a seaside getaway, boasting sandy beaches and tranquil views across the Irish Sea. Finally, if you want to stay in a castle, well The Britannia Norbeck Castle Hotel speaks for itself. As one of the largest value for money seafront hotels, the on-site amusement arcade, as well as the health club and Spa, is ideal for a fantastic seaside break away for all the family.
4. The Russell-Cotes Arts Gallery & Museum - Bournemouth
Originally called the East Cliff Hall, The Russell Cotes Arts Gallery & Museum was one of the last Victorian houses to be built in England, and was completed in 1901. Its purpose was to act as a sanctuary for Merton Russell Cotes and his wife Annie, as the dream house situated on top of the East Cliff in Bournemouth, overlooks picturesque views of the coast. The then owner of the Royal Bath Hotel, commissioned the house to be built in a small section of the hotel’s garden, hence why the Museum is conveniently located next to the Britannia Royal Bath Hotel today. Over time, the seaside villa was filled with lavish artwork from their travels across the world and they filled the walls with remarkable British art. The house encapsulates the grandeur of the Victorian era, with plush staircases and painted ceilings, creating a unique atmosphere for guests today. In 1907, Annie donated East Cliff Hall and its contents as a museum to the town of Bournemouth, along with Merton’s fine art collection, but continued living in a part of the house. After their deaths the Borough of Bournemouth took over and reopened it as the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in 1992, and today with four purpose built art galleries and Japanese gardens and the original rooms lived in by Merton and Annie, there is still so much beauty to enjoy.
Sharing much of the same beauty the Royal Bath Hotel, was the first hotel in Bournemouth and embodies the finest traditions of the upper class Victorian era. With a fantastic position on the sea front and nestled in secluded grounds, The Royal Bath Hotel is a perfect sanctuary for a weekend by the coast. The hotel offers a peaceful atmosphere, whilst giving guests the opportunity to take in the fresh Bournemouth sea air, and enjoy the stunning views of the promenade and beach. With sea-view rooms available, guests can also take advantage of the luxurious spa and health club on site.
5. Folkestone Leas Lift
Around the opening of the Victoria Pier in 1885 Folkestone’s Leas lift was installed to carry passengers between the sea front and the promenade and remarkably remains intact. The funicular railway is one of the oldest water lifts in the UK and for many, brings back childhood memories. Operating daily in summer months, amazingly it is estimated that it has already carried 50,000,000 passengers. It is a must-visit, but if it’s not for the history of our fifth wonder of the British seaside, it’s got to be for the fantastic views. Where else in the UK can you sit overlooking the English Channel, watching one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world and with the French coast as a backdrop?
The small coastal town located in the district of Shepway in Kent, is home to quaint cobbled streets, an amazing art scene and our very own Grand Burstin Hotel. With a wide selection of beautiful south facing beaches Folkestone is the perfect UK getaway, plus you’re only a 35 minute Eurotunnel trip away from Calais! Our Folkestone Hotel is ideally located on the seafront overlooking the harbour and picturesque panorama of the French coast, the décor and interior is said to resemble those of a cruise ship. Britannia offer guests a range of fantastic offers at The Grand Burstin Hotel, from day trips to France or Belgium, to our very own entertainment weekends.
6. ‘The Jewel in the Crown’ – Babbacombe Downs
Perhaps not considered a landmark as such, but a ‘jewel’ in our 7 wonders of the British seaside. The idyllic coastline and warm climate almost makes you believe you’re somewhere in the Mediterranean. Babbacombe Downs, also known as the ‘the jewel in the crown’ has the highest cliff top promenade in England, once at the top, the breath taking views of Portland Bill in Dorset can be seen. The chalky cliffs and fresh greenery of Babbacombe Downs are picturesque. The promenade filled with eateries serving fresh produce also helps make this 7th wonder an ideal alternative to an overseas holiday. Further along the jewels coast, you’ll find Babbacombe beach where you can go dolphin spotting, find seals playing offshore, all of which are certain to refresh them childhood memories of coastal family holidays!
Where do you stay when visiting you ask? Luckily for you, Britannia have got you covered. Introducing our fantastic latest acquisition The Bay Trecarn Hotel, located only a short walk away from the idyllic Babbacombe Downs. The hotel boasts a relaxed atmosphere set slightly back from the hustle and bustle of Torquay, but still close enough to visit the many attractions that Torquay and Babbacombe has to offer. For a perfect break and a chance to soak up the English Riviera Sun, book with The Britannia Bay Trecarn Hotel.
7. ‘Little Italy’ – Eastbourne
Last but certainly not least, number 7 is ‘Little Italy’ or more commonly known as Sovereign Harbour in Eastbourne. The most recent of our seven wonders, actually opened in 1993, but by all means embodies the definition of British seaside. Eastbourne’s best kept secret is home to Northern Europe’s largest marina complex boasting four linked harbours. As a development of the beach land in the seaside resort, the harbour has a range of bars, restaurants and cafes facing the stunning harbour, as well as hosting boat trips and tours. It’s hard to believe this fantastic development is in the UK. Despites its large size, fortunately the harbour remains not overly busy, making it a world away and a laid back haven from the hustle and bustle of modern urban living.
Conveniently, guests wishing to enjoy Sovereign Harbour can have peace of mind knowing that Britannia’s second latest acquisition; The Cavendish Hotel is located close by. Named after the 7th Duke of Devonshire, William Cavendish, the hotel is majestic and commands the premier sea front position. The luxury hotel faces Eastbourne’s beautiful coast, where guests can enjoy delicious food from the marine restaurant overlooking the beach. Situated on the Grand Parade you can enjoy a stroll along the promenade, as well as one of the many sea view suites.
Now we don’t want to sound like a cliché, but don’t we all take Britain’s magnificent sea side towns for granted? We just wanted to remind you of some of the great locations we have modern, value for money, coastal hotels. We hope our 7 wonders of the British Seaside has filled your imagination with lots of ideas for the rest of the summer.
For your next trip away, why not make it a Britannia one?