Issue 2: The British Seaside

In this issue we explore the British seaside. Specifically the impressive coastlines, the history and traditions of going to the beach as well as activities you can enjoy to make the most of what the British seaside has to offer.

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Dan: Hi, welcome to the British Culture Club, a Online magazine, podcast, and videos exploring British culture. If you're planning to live, work or study in the UK, if you're working with British companies we'll help explain some of the mysteries of British culture, the customs and the English language.

If you're a regular listener, you'll know that there is a text version of this podcast that accompanies the audio. You'll find the link to the British Culture Club home page in the show notes, head over to our home page and you'll find the online magazine for this episode, as well as the podcast where you can read the text as you listen.

Hi everyone, in this episode, we're going to be talking about the British seaside.

We have a number of different interviews in this episode, talking to people with families and young people about the seaside - their memories of the seaside as children and what they do when they go now.

We'll start off with Rosanna talking to Jayne.


Rosanna: Hi everyone. So this week's issue is the British seaside. My colleague Jane is at the seaside currently. And she's going to tell us a little bit more about where she is at the moment.

Jayne: Hi Rosanna. Yep. I'm here in Salcombe, which is a small fishing village in South Devon in the Southwest of England.

It's about three hours from London.

Rosanna: Lovely. And the weather is looking excellent for anyone that thinks we don't get sunshine.

Jayne: It's about 22 degrees here today, which is perfect for the British seaside.

Rosanna: Fantastic. So let's get started with some questions. Could you tell me in three words or more, how would you describe the British seaside?

Jayne: Okay. For me, the British seaside is ice creams, definitely ice creams. It is sand in your sandwiches when you're eating your picnic on the beach. And it's enjoying the beach, whatever the weather, because sometimes we do have to take our raincoats and our umbrellas, but we still have lots of fun.

Rosanna: That's very true.

Whatever the weather we enjoy our time at the sea side.

And why do you think people enjoy visiting the seaside apart from what you mentioned?

Jayne: I think it's the change of scene. I think, For me, the sea, the fresh air, the blue skies, the breeze, all of that contributes to a real feel of being on holiday.

And I think that's what people enjoy.

Rosanna: Yeah. I think people really like feeling like they've escaped their normal routine and the seaside always helps to give that feeling that you're on holiday, even if it is a little bit rainy. So what activities would you recommend someone could do a seaside if they're visiting?

Jayne: Okay. So for me, the perfect beach day is to pack up your picnic. Take picnic blanket. You've got to take a bucket and spade and you definitely need a ball and you go, and you, you sit on the beach, you have your sandwiches, you watch the world go by and then you play a game of catch or beach cricket or beach rounders.

And if you're very lucky, you might even end with a barbecue on the beach at the end of the day.

Rosanna: Lovely, very nice.

Jayne: Oh, and don't forget the ice cream

Rosanna: Ice cream is very important, isn't it? Wherever you might be at the seaside, whatever the weather you've got to have your ice cream. So you're in Salcombe like we mentioned earlier, tell us a little bit more about the town there and what you can do there and how you experienced it as a, as a local.

Jayne: Yeah, sure. So this is a Victorian fishing village. So the main industry is still the fishing boats actually. Salcombe is very famous for its crab. So the fishing boats go out daily and catch the crab. Because it's so beautiful, it's become a tourist destination. You can see that we've got sparkling water there.

So we do all the water sports: sailing, surfing, paddle boarding, canoeing, windsurfing, even some water skiing. And we also got the sandy beaches. So that's where you can play and make your sand castles and dig holes. We always say, "are you digging to Australia?" if you dig a really deep hole. And I don't know if you can see, but we've got beautiful coastline and out to the ocean.

I don't know if you could see it there. So there are some stunning walks, and you can just go and see the sea, breathe it in. And also don't forget, the fish and chip shops. You can't come here and not visit the fish and chip shop.

Rosanna: Exactly, exactly, fish and chips are our iconic national dish. Wherever you are, but even taste even better at the seaside.

Jayne: We always think they taste better when they're served in newspaper and you can hear the seagulls, but you have to watch those seagulls because they can steal your chips, even when you're eating them.

Rosanna: That is a top tip to watch out for those seagulls. Well, thank you so much. And we're all convinced we want to come down there now, but are there any other seaside towns you would recommend that people should visit?

Jayne: Yeah. Sure. So for those of you who love surfing, I suggest you go to the North Cornwall coast for the waves. Those of you got interested in geology and dinosaurs. I love a visit to the Jurassic coast along Dorset, where you can walk along the shingle beach, not the sand and look for fossils. And if you're more into arcades and amusement parks then I would head to Western-Super-Mare, or even further north, Southport or Blackpool, that would be my top tips.

Rosanna: Well, those are great tips, Jayne, thank you so much for joining us from the beautiful seaside there, and we encourage anyone and everyone to visit the British seaside because it truly is beautiful. Thank you so much, everyone.


Dan: So that was. Jayne talking about how she and her family spend time at the seaside.

I've got a group of young people with me here today, who going to tell us about their experience of the seaside as a child and their most recent experience of the seaside.


Amy: I remember going to the seaside for a school trip when I was younger. We went to Bude, in Cornwall, and I remember learning to surf. I was very bad at it, but it was still fun. And also eating a huge amount of fudge. Yeah, and so much so that I felt sick.

Dan: And what about your most recent experience? When did you last go to the seaside?

Amy: I last went to seaside last week, actually. I went to Pembrokeshire in Wales. It's really nice, really vast expanses of sandy beaches, big cliffs, Yeah.

Dan: So how did you spend your time there?

Amy: Just walking along beaches on the top of cliffs, being battered by the wind, did some rock pooling, kind of looking in, prodding anemonies. yeah.

Dan: Fantastic. What about other people?

Chris: One of my, memories as a child going to the beach would be playing in the sand. So building sandcastles and digging holes and burying each other until you can just see your head left out at the top. Also on the beach, on lots of beaches, you've got, donkey rides. Well, I don't really know why, because as an adult, no, you think it doesn't look fun at all, but as children used to love riding the donkeys along the beach, and we used to love doing that when we were younger.

Dan: And what about your most recent experience?

Chris: About a month ago, I went to Lyme Regis, which is on the Jurassic coast. Which it is again lots of sandy beaches, long strips of sandy beaches.

Dan: Did you find it the fossils?

Chris: No, I was going to say, it's renowned for fossils , but we didn't find it. I did actually look, but I didn't find any, but we just walked along the cliffs there, really nice views and then we laid on the sand and just, just read our books. It was already nice day .

Dan: Fantastic. Fantastic. So, good memories of the seaside as you were children and still going there.

Chris: Yes.

Ellen: Some of my favorite memories from the seaside are visiting the piers. So I used to go with my grandma to Brighton pier and we used to play in the arcades, which would always be really fun.

Other things that are nostalgic. Another one of my favorite things to do at the seaside is to eat all the traditional foods like fish and chips and I always love having a 99er with a flake, which is a Mister Whippy ice cream, with a Cadbury's flake on top.

My most recent memory of the seaside was only a few weeks ago. I went to Sandbanks, which is in Bournemouth. It's a very well known beach in the UK . It was an extremely hot day, which means in the UK, every single person has the same idea - everyone wants to go to the beach - so the traffic is always really bad and the cars are queued up in the car parks, but we still had a really fun day.

Dan: And what did you do?

Ellen: We didn't do very much. We just lay the sun, had a picnic on the beach. Walked down the sea front.

Dan: So it sounds a nice relaxing day.

Ellen: Yes, it really was.


Dan: In this episode we've talked to Jayne, who was staying at the seaside on holiday and we've talked to a number of people about how they remember the seaside from their childhood and how they'd like going to the seaside now

Please go over to the website and read the magazine article and you'll find some fantastic photos and articles about the British Seaside.

See you next time


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Follow the link to the British Culture Club homepage, in the show notes below, to find out more.

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