Blackpool named favourite UK seaside resort by Which?

Image caption,
Blackpool's tower and fairground attractions are major tourist draws

Blackpool is the UK's favourite seaside resort, according to research by consumer organisation Which?.

The Lancashire town, known for stag and hen parties as well as its Pleasure Beach, famous tower and illuminations, was all-time favourite in the survey.

Some 6.7% of 4,217 adults surveyed preferred it, ahead of Brighton in Sussex, which had 5.9% of the vote.

Whitby, in North Yorks, was placed third. Its near-neighbour Scarborough came fifth behind Bournemouth, Dorset.

Face-to-face interviews were conducted randomly with adults across the UK. To vote, respondents had to have visited a UK resort within the previous five years.

They were asked which was their all-time favourite resort and what they liked about it. One described Blackpool's annual winter illuminations as "simply breathtaking".

Brighton received high praise for its promenade, pier and proximity to open countryside.

The scenery and surrounding countryside of resorts in Yorkshire were the main draw, while Bournemouth was most popular for its beaches.

The survey also found 40% of UK adults took a trip to the seaside in 2009, although 20% said they would be more likely to visit a UK resort in 2010 than previously.

Rochelle Turner, head of research for Which? Holiday, said: "Millions of Brits will be taking holidays at home this year. It's certainly one way to ensure you don't fall victim to volcanic ash.

"While Blackpool may not be able to guarantee the weather, with its host of theatres, fairgrounds and every conceivable promenade entertainment, it's easy to see why the granddaddy of seaside towns still manages to draw the crowds."

It will come as a boost to Blackpool after a VisitEngland survey last year reported that the number of annual visitors to the town had dropped to 1.38m in 2008 from 1.87m the previous year.

Despite this, it was still sixth on the tourism agency's list of the top 10 most-visited English towns and cities.

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