Echoing many nineteenth-century guides, Walvin (1978, p.13) stated: ‘It goes without saying that the most obvious attraction of seaside towns is the sea itself, with its invigorating climate and breezes, coastline vistas and its sharp contrast to inland urban life.’ If obvious, these aspects of the seaside’s appeal rarely receive detailed treatment from historians. Although shifts have occurred in the way the ideal seaside holiday has been conceived, the notion that it was immeasurably good for health has proved enduring. And the environmental roots for such beliefs have changed little: scenic setting, climate, scope for physical exercise and, of increasing importance from the late 1920s, opportunities for sunbathing, together with the dramatic contrast the coast offered with the polluted conditions and unforgiving rhythms of normal workaday existence.