Take a break from the modern world and pack your bags for Nostalgia-on-Sea. From tucking into saveloys with your feet in the sand to giving puppet Punch a piece of your mind, our itinerary ‘inspo’ is the perfect starting point when planning your next Great British getaway.
Get fish and chips on the beach
You haven't had a proper Great British holiday without visiting a seaside chippy. Fish and chips and the beach go together like a bucket and spade, so splash on the vinegar and breathe it all in, sea air included. If you want the best in the land, head to Hornsea near Hull, home of Whitehead’s Fish & Chips, officially 2023’s Fish & Chip Takeaway of the Year. Best Western Lairgate Hotel is a short drive away, so all you’ll have to worry about is keeping unwelcome beaks away from your al fresco lunch.
Play Pooh Sticks like Winnie
Made famous by a honey-loving bear, Pooh Sticks can be played almost anywhere with a bridge and flowing water. Simply pick your stick, drop it into the drink and see who wins the race to your imaginary finish line on the other side. There’s nowhere better to try your hand at the game then at Pooh Sticks Bridge, in Ashdown Forest, East Sussex, the inspiration behind the Winnie the Pooh stories. Book the Rose and Crown Hotel, Sure Hotel Collection by Best Western nearby for a taste of timeless comfort.
Find amusement at the arcades
Virtual reality headsets, stepping in time to music on dance mats, when did arcades get so complicated? For a trip down a less digital and more mechanical memory lane, there’s no shortage of amusements perched on piers that take entertainment back to the old school. Williamson’s Old Penny Arcade in Great Yarmouth is home to the most retro amusements of them all, including vintage strength testers, fortune tellers and one-armed bandits all operated using old pennies. Simply swap your cash for coins and you’re ready to play. Just don’t forget to book your room at Best Western Plus, The Connaught Hotel & Spa.
Try a round of Crazy Golf
Less ‘golf gone wild’ and more ‘golf with mini windmills’, crazy golf courses have been a seaside staple for what seems like forever. Separate the Tiger Woods from the Tiger wannabes in a game where the whole family can get involved. One of the best spots to pick up a putter is at Pirates Bay Golf in Paignton, Devon. Here,18 holes line a course littered with ship-shaped obstacles and even exploding cannons. The Best Western, The Dartmouth Hotel Golf & Spa, is just over a half an hour drive away.
Build a sandcastle
Nothing says back to beach basics like building a sandcastle. Finding the best shaped bucket, mixing the sand and water for the perfect construction consistency, we’ve all been there before. Castle-building-pros know that it’s all about the little touches to bring the fortress to life: a moat around the base of the building, a bridge if you’re feeling brave, and for those that plan ahead, a flag to finish it all. With a name like Main Sands, Margate’s family-friendly beach is surely the best place to get building and just moments away from the Best Western Plus Dover Marina Hotel & Spa.
Sample the local ice cream
We can’t promise it won’t melt or that the local wildlife will leave you in peace but enjoying a 99 while on a deckchair should definitely be on your to do list. Some of the greatest ice cream can be found east of Edinburgh, where S Luca Ice Cream has been serving soft scoop using the same recipe since 1908. Keep an eye out for their distinctive retro vans on North Berwick Seafront, or pick up a cone from the diner-style café in Musselburgh just moments from the Best Western Kings Manor Hotel.
Ride retro rollercoasters
White knuckle rides aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they’ve been a seaside essential for some time now. It doesn’t matter if you’re the type to sit at the front of the carriage arms flung in the air or someone who clings on for dear life somewhere in the middle, experiencing the twists and turns of fairground rides is a vital part of the Great British getaway. If it’s an authentic old school thrill you’re after, the Big Dipper at Blackpool Pleasure Beach is a must-ride. The wooden coaster has been putting holidaymakers in a spin since 1923 and the Best Western Carlton Hotel is a few minutes’ drive away.
See a Punch and Judy Show
For a traditional Great British holiday with all the puppet trimmings, a Punch & Judy show is a must. The best seats in the house are on the beach, so find your spot on the sand and let loose with the little ones as you scream and shout on the shore. The hand puppet world’s most famous couple have been putting on performances since 1904 at Swanage Beach, a short drive away from the Best Western Plus, The Connaught Hotel & Spa. Good-old fashioned fun with no strings attached – ‘that’s the way to do it!’