Enjoy the coast sustainably this summer with Beach Check UK
On this bumper summer for staycations, Beach Check UK – the innovative new app which allows visitors to check the status of a beach in order to avoid congested areas – encourages beach-goers to enjoy the coast responsibly this summer.
As the pressure mounts for everyone to do their bit to combat climate change, this summer is the perfect opportunity. If you’re taking a staycation there are plenty of ways to be a responsible visitor. First, ditch the car and let the train take the strain as you head to the beach – plenty of coastal resorts boast excellent rail connections. Second, support local communities by shopping and eating independently – many of the best cafés and restaurants source local provenance.
When you’re at the beach, dispose of litter correctly and enjoy non-polluting watersports such as paddle boarding, surfing or wind surfing. When you’re swimming, make sure a friend or family member is close by. And, of course, download the free Beach Check UK app to check before travelling how busy individual beaches are!
The free-to-use app is downloadable from Google Play and the Apple App store (with no in-app purchases necessary). It is simple to use, allowing you to check individual beaches and to see a map showing red (crowded), amber (less congested) and green (uncongested) beaches, as well as to see at a glance the ability for social distancing to be maintained, the number of car park spaces and which facilities are nearby.
Take a day trip by train to the coast this summer with these suggestions from Beach Check UK:
Cultural Christchurch, Dorset
Served by South Western Railways with regular connections from London Waterloo, Christchurch boasts four fantastic beaches including the stylish beach hut-lined Mudeford Beach, Friar’s Cliff and Avon. Alight at the next stop, Pokesdown, and you’re walking distance from the Blue Flag Southbourne Beach. If you’re planning a day trip in Christchurch, highlights include Highcliffe Castle, a film location for Mr Selfridge, with excellent clifftop coastal views, the impressive medieval Priory and remains of Norman-era Christchurch Castle, as well as the restored 1930s Art Deco Regent Centre cinema, which now offers theatre, opera, concerts and dance events in the centre of town. Or why not take a mackerel fishing trip from the harbour?
Find out more: https://www.bournemouth.co.uk/christchurch/things-to-do/beaches/beach-check
Heritage Minehead, Somerset
One for the rail enthusiasts: Minehead is served by the longest standard gauge independent heritage railway in the UK, operating for 20 miles between Dunster and Bishops Lydeard, via Taunton, which is also served by regular services with GWR. Passengers currently travel by train to Dunster and on to Minehead by heritage buses. The beach and town have a range of activities, with Butlins and arcades at one end, a superb selection of excellent independent eateries and shops at the other, and it is directly at the start point of the 630-mile South West Coastal Path.
Find out more: www.mineheadbay.co.uk
Foodie Worthing, West Sussex
This West Sussex seaside town is served by Southern Rail with connections between London and elsewhere on the south coast, including Brighton. A quintessential seaside resort town, Worthing is upping its foodie credentials and is now home to two restaurants from MasterChef winner Kenny Tutt. Pitch launched two years ago and Bayside Social has recently opened, inspired by Miami’s beach clubs. There’s also a growing mobile food and drink scene along the shore, with pop-up trucks like Manuka Beach cocktail bar, The Gorilla Kitchen for wood-fired pizzas and Taco Look At Me Now, plus the new Flour Pot Bakery in Tarring, with its popular sunflower rye bread.
Find out more: www.experiencewestsussex.com
Nostalgic Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex
On the East Coastway Line with services by Southern, the tranquil seaside town of Bexhill-on-Sea is a quietly charming destination that boasts magnificent Victorian architecture, views across the bay to Eastbourne, Beachy Head, and an award-winning beach. Away from the beach, day trip highlights include the 1066 Country Walk, the Coastal Cultural Trail, the Combe Valley Countryside Park and the De La Warr Pavilion, hosting cultural events on the promenade.
Find out more: www.visit1066country.com/destinations/bexhill
Literary Broadstairs, Kent
Reach Broadstairs in just 85 minutes with Southeastern’s high-speed rail service from St. Pancras International. This timeless resort boasts two 1950s ice cream parlours, stylish eateries and charming independent shops. Charles Dickens regularly holidayed here and described it as ‘the freshest, freest place’. Broadstairs has seven beaches and bays, one for each day of the week! Viking Bay is the main beach, with children’s rides, beach huts, a surf school – and lots of sand, even at high tide.
Find out more: www.enjoybroadstairs.co.uk
The Beach Check UK app is currently available at the following coastal locations: Hayling Island, Hampshire; Camber Sands and Bexhill Beach, East Sussex; Thanet (Margate, Broadstairs, Ramsgate); Westward Ho!, Devon; West Wittering, West Sussex; Worthing, Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole (BCP); and Minehead, Somerset. More locations are being added weekly.
The National Coastal Tourism Academy is supporting BCP Council in the roll out of their app and is encouraging resorts nationwide to adopt it.
For more information, visit https://www.englandscoast.com/en/blog/beach-check-uk-app.
Notes to editors:
- Launched in July 2020, the Beach Check UK app is the brainchild of BCP Council, designed using sophisticated technology to help manage over-crowding among its busy beaches.
- Each location in which the app is operated will provide information specific to the data available. In some locations the new version will use camera feeds to determine the traffic light system across beaches and will include updates on car park availability. It is simple to use, free to download from Google Play and the Apple App Store and it allows users to check individual beaches or to see a map showing red (crowded), amber (less congested) and green (uncongested) beaches.
- App data is supplied by a mix of sources. At the start of the day, a prediction is set for each zone, based on previous data, factoring in the date and weather, to show how busy the forecast for each zone is. From mid-morning, beach management staff (seafront rangers) will update each section on a regular basis to reflect any changes in congestion observed. This is supplemented by CCTV and some footfall counters. Plans are underway to embed the app on coastal destination tourism webpages.
- The app has been funded by the government’s Local Digital Collaboration Unit at MHCLG (the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government), which includes funding the launch and maintenance of the app in its first year at no cost to local authorities. The total funding secured for this development is £160,000.
- The beaches can be searched for individually as well as seen on a wider map. Where data is not available, this will be indicated on the app; ditto if any location is temporarily closed. Options allow the consumer to change the colour codes of the beaches if required. Those who have already downloaded the app will find it updates automatically to the national version.
- Visit www.bcpcouncil.gov.uk/summerreadiness for more information.
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