The study1, conducted by Park Leisure, the luxury holiday park operator, asked 2,000 adults for their best memories of domestic holidays and eating fish and chips at the beach took the top spot. More than half (52%) of Brits said a seaside trip to a chippy was a happy memory from their youth.
Many Brits remember coastal trips fondly, as paddling in the sea (47%) and exploring rock pools (29%) also rank highly. Other beach activities, such as going crabbing (16%) or having a ride on a donkey (14%), also brought back good memories.
For lots of families, childhood holidays often involved staying in a caravan, and almost two in five (39%) Brits are nostalgic for this style of vacation.
Interestingly, out of all the age groups, Gen Z (18-24-year-olds) rank caravan holidays the highest amongst their childhood memories (third favourite), showing how their appeal remains as great as ever.
The nation’s top 10 favourite memories of holidays in the UK are:
1. Eating fish and chips at the beach – 52%
2. Paddling in the sea – 47%
3. Going for walks – 44%
4. Playing in amusement arcades at the seaside – 41%
5. Staying in a caravan – 39%
6. Picnics – 32%
7. Exploring rock pools – 29%
8. Playing games with family and friends – 26%
9. Making new friends – 20%
10. Barbeques – 17%
Favourite holiday memories vary across the UK, with people in some cities recalling times where they learnt new skills. More than one in seven (15%) Mancunians learnt to ride a bike while on a UK break, slightly more than Londoners (13%), while people in Cardiff (19%) and Sheffield (16%) remember being taught how to fly a kite.
Lisa Williams, director of marketing and holiday sales at Park Leisure, said: “Many of us look back on childhood holidays with great affection, and it’s been lovely reflecting on all these happy memories.
“It was great to see that every generation had similar favourites, which shows that traditional holiday activities, like rock pooling, walking and picnics, are still going strong!
“Many people will have explored new corners of the UK over the last year or so, and hopefully families will now continue to holiday on our own shores, so the next generations can enjoy similar memories in the future.”