Sunday 13 February 2011

The Holiday Code

An unspoiled beach
is an empty beach -
empty of everybody but you.

Want to know the classy places to holiday? Learn the newspaper travel section code:

Unspoiled: no tourists ie common people.
Hordes: tourists
Tourists: low-rent travellers
Sleepy fishing village: tourists don’t go there
Coach parties: common trippers
Travellers: our children with backpacks
Visitors: us

Break” for holiday is very Teale. Howard Weybridge “recharges the batteries”. Stow-Crats and Upwards have a “bolthole” in Norfolk or the West Country (ie quite a large holiday cottage/house). They call visitors they don’t know “grockles”. Eileen Weybridge doesn’t want to stay at a “showy” resort - she wants to go somewhere that caters for the “discerning”.

“Of course, our coasts quite bristle with seaside towns, but they’re places people can’t go to because everybody goes there!” Blanche’s Letters, Punch, 1914 (Blanche was a raging snob, and referred to everybody outside her own little set as “les autres”.)

I don’t like beaches, or swimming pools, pretty whitewashed villages, bougainvillea, sightseeing, calamari, the sound of crickets. I don’t like camping, waterproof clothing, being outside - any of that. I don’t like France, Italy, Spain or Scotland - especially Scotland.
Sam Wollaston Guardian June 4, 2008

For every Frinton there is a Clacton.
Frinton is the buttoned-up, manicured seaside resort in Essex that for many years banned pubs and fish and chips. Clacton is the nearby free and easy resort with fish and chips, pubs, caravan parks and self-built chalets (in Jaywick).

Groups tend to go on holiday to the same places. In Jane Austen’s day Brighton became London-by-Sea…

Shaldon: Iping by Sea (immaculate gardens, a bowling club, a lot of St George flags)

Totnes: Stoke Newington by Sea (Tai Chi and Yoga retreats)

Rock, Polzeath, Salcombe, Burnham Thorpe, Downham Market: Chelsea and Fulham by Sea (where the well-heeled relax)

Great Yarmouth, Clacton: Finsbury Park by Sea (whole council estates go on holiday together)

Walberswick: Primrose Hill-by-Sea (the intellectual aristocracy)

St Ives and Kyrenia: North London-by-Sea

Kassiopi known as Kensington on Sea

More holiday hell here. And here, here, here and here. And here.

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