1. ITV Report

Beach holiday Brits swap seaside activities for smartphones

Fewer beach holidays involve building sandcastles according to survey Photo: ITV West Country

Traditional beach holiday activities are dying out according to a survey of British families.

A study involving 2,000 families explored old and new holiday pastimes and found that donkey rides and watching Punch and Judy are becoming less popular.

Staycations have become more popular following Brexit Credit: ITV West Country

Meanwhile Brits insist that mobile phones are increasingly important for their holiday enjoyment.

The research, by holiday lettings company Beach Retreats, found that:

would not be able to fully enjoy a seaside holiday without their mobile phone
think taking a phone to the beach is more important than a towel.

And while the average family takes 81 photos whilst on holiday, only 30% of Brits send a postcard while they're away.

Perhaps it's because everyone's busy uploading their snaps to social media - on average there'll be 3 holiday Facebook updates to friends and family.

Smartphones more important than towels on the beach!? Credit: PA Images

The survey asked people to compare the things they do while on beach holidays now to what they did as children.

While 54 per cent of parents enjoyed Punch and Judy shows as children, just 16 per cent of families experience them in modern times.

Eating sticks of rock, donkey rides and using deck chairs have also seen a big drop in popularity.

How could anyone resist this adorable donkey? Credit: ITV West Country


  • Walked along a pier - now 70% - was 83%
  • Built sand castles - now 69% - was 91%
  • Played in a penny arcade - now 66% - was 77%
  • Dig holes in the sand - now 61% - was 83%
  • Walking along a promenade - now 58% - was 74%
  • Ate fish and chips wrapped in newspaper - now 50% - was 74%
  • Ate a stick of rock - now 38% - was 79%
  • Sat in a deck chair - now 32% - was 68%
  • Went on a donkey ride - now 18% - was 64%
  • Going on a helter skelter - now 17% - was 42%
  • Watched a Punch and Judy show - now 16% - was 54%
How about a ferris wheel ride? Credit: ITV West Country

One thing technology can never compete with is a good old sea breeze - almost three quarters (73%) of people say the sea air is what they love most about the seaside.

You can almost taste the salt and vinegar! Credit: PA Images

Some traditions have remained - building sandcastles and tucking into fish and chips haven’t yet lost their charm!