Katy Holland: Pack the bucket and spade. It's time for a traditional seaside break

Are we there yet? The traditional bucket-and-spade holiday is fast becoming a relic

Whatever happened to the good old British seaside break? According to the latest research, the traditional bucket-and-spade holiday is fast becoming a relic, something we did in The Olden Days, before flying and flopping was invented.

A survey carried out by the hotel chain Premier Inn has found that 59 per cent of children have never actually built a sandcastle on a British beach, and 66 per cent have never eaten fish and chips by the sea.

Add to that the absence of kite-flying, crazy golf, sticks of rock and sandwiches with real sand in them and it seems this generation is missing out on some real pleasures and great memories.

So, it's time to make amends. Caravans and kiss-me-quick hats may not be your cup of tea, but there are plenty of ways to expose your little treasures to the simple pleasures of the British seaside in comfort and style.

For a nostalgia-inspiring cottage by the sea, try Coastal Retreats (0191-285 1272; coastalretreats.co.uk). This company will always deliver the goods. Its selection of family-friendly hideaways on the Northumberland coast offers top-notch accommodation that has been designed especially with children in mind.

Coastal Retreats cottages all offer access to long, quiet stretches of sand for the kids to dig in all day, and there are rock pools to explore and fish and chip shops galore.

And for a British seaside hotel with a modern twist, check out the St Moritz in Trebetherick (01208 862242; stmoritz-hotel.co.uk), near Rock in Cornwall. This seaside retreat offers families a breath of sea air with a Cowshed Spa thrown in. (After all, who doesn't need pampering after a hard day's sandcastle building?)

Just pack the buckets and spades, fork out for a 99 ice cream or two, and do your bit to revive a quaint old British tradition.

k.holland@independent.co.uk

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