Summers past: why the British do like to be beside the seaside

By Vanessa Thorpe

Seagulls, ice-cream, chips and pebbles. Britons' love for their beaches is captured in a new photography exhibition

In pictures: The Great British Seaside

Over many decades the distinctive British beach experience – pebbles, wind, deckchairs, seagulls and chips – has come close to a national badge of pride for a stoic nation. This spring the salt-lashed island story of that love of our shoreline is to be celebrated through the work of four photographers: Martin Parr, Tony Ray-Jones, David Hurn and Simon Roberts.

From 23 March to 30 September the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, south-east London, will look at the key elements of a visit to the beach and show how our many coastal resorts have altered over the years.

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