The return of the great British holiday
One positive outcome of the economic recession has been the 'staycation', with more British people choosing to holiday at home rather than travel abroad. In 2009, 60% of Britons took their holidays in the UK, a figure doubled from the year before.
As well as more traditional areas like the Scottish highlands and south west England, perhaps less obvious places including Essex and Northumberland saw a dramatic increase in holidaymakers. One tour operator admitted they struggled to find enough beds to meet the demand.
'People are discovering things and places about their own country that they didn't know about', said a proud employee.
Little hut - big money!
The British seaside is booming and owning your own small slice of the beach has never been more appealing. While many are content with their windbreak and towels, others are willing to pay handsomely for their own beach hut. There are 20,000 beach hut owners in Britain and thousands more on waiting lists up and down the country.
A hut in Dorset recently went on sale for £270,000. The ‘chalet’ measures about 4m by 5m and unlike most beach huts has running water, drainage, electricity and can be lived in all year round.
People have been known to camp out in freezing conditions when a rare chance to purchase one comes up. When 58 new huts were built in Bournemouth more than 400 beach lovers registered their interest in buying one.
Britain’s coasts are renowned for bracing sea air in summer and howling wintry gales. Those same winds build some of the most appealing of our seaside features - sand dunes. Sand is blown up from wide sandy beaches and deposited just inland.
While often providing a sheltered spot for sunbathing, the real purpose of dunes is as nature’s protecting blanket for our coasts. They are a first line of defence against erosion at high tides and during storms, helped by the anchoring effects of the long twining roots of Marram grass.