Seaside paddles dominate childhood memories

butlins skegness beach

Skegness beach at Butlins

High-tech gadgets, extreme sports and breathtaking scenery – according to British holidaymakers young and old there is one thing that beats the lot…a paddle at the seaside.

Research by Butlins comparing childhood holiday memories of today’s parents to those enjoyed by their children reveals that the simple things are the most memorable for both generations.

From Southend to Skegness, half (47%) of adults and more than a quarter (28%) of children rank dipping their toe in British waters their most memorable childhood holiday moment.

The research among 2000 adults and children also shows just how the family holiday dynamic has changed.

While more than half of children today (55%) associate their best holiday memories with activities they’ve enjoyed with parents and siblings, just 15% of adults, who were children twenty or thirty years ago, can remember a holiday full of time spent with mum and dad.  For today’s parents, happiest childhood holiday memories involved playing freely outside (41%), meeting-up with extended family (22%) and making friends with other children (20%).

Butlins for family holidays

Children of the 70s and 80s say they got bored easily on holiday, with just 3% being given the chance to try new activities and sports. Now, nearly one in five (18%) holidaying children are getting stuck into activities and games with mum and dad, which suggests that intergenerational bonds have become even more of a focal point decades on.

Butlins Director of Happiness, Mark Hunter, says: “Our research shows that we are – and always have been – a nation of holidaymakers who are content by the simplest of things. With so many holiday activities and experiences to choose from these days, it’s fantastic to see that a paddle at the great British seaside continues to be the source of Britain’s most enduring and treasured memories.

“What is heartening is that parents seem to be passing on their happy times by the seaside to their own children – and now with families spending so much more time together whilst on their breaks those happy memories will last even longer.”

The Butlins research also reveals:

    • 32% of adults have no record of their childhood holidays
    • Smartphones are the most popular memory recorder for 39% of today’s young generation, with more than a third (39%) of 13-16 year olds posting their snaps on Facebook
    • Despite the trend in digital photo-sharing, more than three quarters of a million children in the UK created physical scrapbooks this summer

Families can now create their very own animated album using Butlins Facebook Adventure Album app, making it ever easier to record and share

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