In the course of exploring humanity’s evolving relationship with the English shore over the last two hundred years, to bring coherence to a contextually diverse field the discussion has focused on issues connected with health and the environment. From the Georgian period, people rushed to the seaside in the belief that it would do them good. The huge popularity of the coastal holiday, together with the urbanization of the seaboard, placed great pressures on these amenities. Already evident in several locations in the late nineteenth century, by the third quarter of the twentieth century the environmental deterioration of the coast had become quite acute. Eventually, public pressures to reverse this trend grew and intensified.