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We’re no strangers to rainy weather in the UK. However, when you’re trying to plan an amazing staycation it can certainly complicate your plans! 

We analysed Met Office data from the past 30 years and found that on average the UK gets 159 days of rainfall ≥1mm. This means that you’re likely to experience rain during your UK staycation, which can be disheartening especially if you’ve already booked a seaside getaway.

However, on average, seaside towns are drier than the rest of the UK, with analysis showing they get an average of 75mm of rainfall a month, compared to 97mm for the rest of the country.

We’ve also teamed up with former BBC weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans to help us create a rainy day guide to seaside towns, to show that you can still enjoy the seaside in the rain!

Our guide on what to do when it rains at the seaside also covers the top 20 seaside towns that get the most rain, how Brits really feel about rain during their holiday and most importantly the best things to do when it rains at the seaside!

Weather the storm one day at a time by reading on to find our rainy day guide to seaside towns…

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Rainiest Seaside Locations in the UK

Rainy Day Activities in Seaside Towns

Don’t worry if you’ve booked a holiday at the seaside and it looks like rain is on the horizon!

We’ve completed research on how Brits feel about rain during their staycation and have also teamed up with former BBC weather presenter Owain Wyn Evans to bring you the best activities to do during your seaside break!

"I’ve partnered with Sykes Holiday Cottages to look into the rainiest seaside locations in the UK and delve into why a wet staycation can be just as memorable – and even just as enjoyable – as a dry one.

Growing up around the gorgeous rolling hills and dramatic coastline of West Wales, rainy days were a huge staple in my childhood and it’s no surprise to me that many of the locations in the top 20 rainiest seaside towns are based in Wales – hello Cardiff, Tenby, and Milford Haven!

However, despite the wet weather we were often faced with, our family never shied away from a rainy day... and some activities proved to be even better with a few rain drops.

If you face wet weather on your holiday, there are a number of ways to still have a jam-packed itinerary. In fact, three quarters of Brits (72%) have said they don’t let the rain get in the way of a good staycation and over half (61%) say it wouldn’t be a British holiday if it didn’t rain!

From sightseeing to spending quality time with family and friends, below I’ve shared my favourite things to do if the rain hits while on a staycation."

See how many activities you can tick off during a rainy day at the seaside:

1. Rainy walk along the pier or seafront

Family with children running on the beach alongside the sea, with rugged, grassy cliffs in the background

Kicking off our list of things to do when it rains at the seaside is a rainy walk along the pier or seafront. These walks are incredibly picturesque even in the rain, enjoy the sound of raindrops dancing around you while you admire the waves lapping at the shore.

Plus, the weather means that the usually busy seafront will be calm, allowing you to breathe in the refreshing sea air on a serene walk.

Don’t just take our word for it though, with 37% of Brits saying that strolls along the pier are in their top three list of activities to do in the rain. 38% of Brits even have funny stories of getting caught in downpours!

If you have booked a holiday in one of the rainiest seaside towns then you’ve got lots of seafront walks to look forward to. Enjoy meandering along the shores of Aultbea in Scotland, while marvelling at the views across to the Isle of Ewe or take the mile-long stroll along St Bees beach in Cumbria.

You can even delight in walks along Blackpool‘s famous piers which are lined with fun attractions, the world-famous big wheel and countless food vendors!

2. Spending an afternoon in a beachfront café

Open book and a blue cup and saucer placed on a table in front of a rainy window

The next way you can spend a rainy day at the beach is by whiling away the afternoon in a beachfront café.

When the rain begins, find solace in a café where you can still soak up the atmosphere of the coast while staying dry! If you’re lucky you might find a beachfront café overlooking the sea, perfect for admiring the waves crashing against the shore while the rain dances on the water.

Just because it’s raining doesn’t mean you can’t tick things off your holiday to do list, and most likely to be on there is reading a book. 

Breaks away offer a chance to quieten your mind and escape the jobs that keep your day-to-day life busy, so if you’re facing wet weather, it’s an ideal time to grab a coffee, a slice of cake and read that book that’s been on your TBR list forever while the world goes by. 

Plus, you’ll be in good company as 34% of Brits have rainy day plans in their back pocket and 51% of them would choose to visit a restaurant or café.

The rainiest seaside towns are brimming with beachfront cafés that you can enjoy during the wet weather. If you’re holidaying in Tenby, in Pembrokeshire, you can admire views across the beach from Seaview Cafe or Caffè Vista. Whereas in Bude, Cornwall you can take shelter at Life’s a Beach or Crooklets Beach Cafe which overlooks the golden sand of Crooklets Beach.

Whether you’re looking to sit quietly with your book, chat with your loved ones about your holiday adventures or mingle with locals who might be able to suggest some hidden seaside gems, beachfront cafés are a must-visit!

3. Test your luck at the seafront arcades

Male female couple both smiling, playing an arcade game together, wearing winter clothes

One of the best things about visiting the seaside is trying your luck at the seafront arcades. This is no different in the rain! If anything, it’s more fun as you aren’t worried about wasting precious moments in the sun.

Seafront arcades are a haven for the whole family! Test your skill on the claw machine where cuddly toys are often up for grabs or try to knock down of coins on the 2p machines; there may even be a prize or two in there.

You can also spend the whole day collecting tickets from iconic games including Whack-a-Mole, basketball shooting,  pinball and air hockey! You can then redeem these tickets for a range of fab prizes.

These fun-filled arcades are often the best place to capture the memories of your rainy day at the seaside thanks to photo booths. Squeeze in and choose your poses before receiving your memento that will undoubtedly make its way onto the fridge!

The rainiest seaside locations in the UK are home to some great examples of seafront arcades. In Tenby, you can delight in 2p machines at Serendipity Games Centre. While in Mumbles which overlooks Swansea Bay, the iconic Mumbles Pier houses a treasure trove of attractions. Choose from air hockey, Mario Kart, 2p machines and a selection of video games.

Continue the amusement back at your holiday accommodation and dust off your favourite puzzles and board games to stay dry. We all know an entire evening (and even rolling into the next day) can be dedicated to Monopoly once it gets going. 

Not only can digging out some games be a great way to reconnect with friends and family, they can also help you switch off from work or any other stresses from your daily life. 

4. Staying dry at the local pub

Waitress serving a table, handing a man food at a pub

Visiting your destination’s local pub can be a great way to stay dry or shake off the rain after getting caught in a downpour and often an easy way to meet some of the locals. 

From trying a locally brewed ale to tucking into a homemade meal or regional cuisine, our country is filled with delightful pubs and inns, and the seafront is no different. Pubs in the UK are famously friendly and are suitable for the whole family during the day.

Don’t just take our word for it though, 43% of Brits would also agree that going to a local pub is among the top activities to do during the wet weather.

The rainiest seaside locations in the UK are no strangers to great pubs either. In Portrush, Northern Ireland you can choose from countless seafront pubs including The Harbour Bar, The Station Bar and The Quays Bar and Gastro Pub.

While in Aberporth you can refuel at The Ship Bar and Grill and in Bude, Cornwall you can visit The Deck, The Coachman’s Bar and Grill or The Carriers Inn.

If the rain gets too much, you’re sure to find a great establishment nearby to stay dry in.

5. Indulge in fish and chips

Fish and chips served in a tray in the foreground with grey coastal scenery in the background

Unsurprisingly, we’ve left the best activity until last. Completing our guide to the best things to do during a rainy day at the seaside is indulging in fish and chips!

If you’ve ever visited the seaside, you’ll know that the mouth-watering smell of fish and chips is carried by the sea breeze, inviting everyone to delight in this tasty meal. When it rains, it’s no different! You can still enjoy crispy battered fish and salty chips in this weather; if anything, it tastes better as it warms the soul while filling you up.

Fish and Chips have been a staple for Brits since it was wildly popularised in the 19th century. It will come as no surprise that us Brits won’t let a bit of wet weather stand between us and this delicious dish with 30% agreeing that they would still indulge in the dish when it is raining.

If you’ve booked a holiday at one of the rainiest locations in the UK, then you can be sure to have a wealth of fish and chips options. In Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute you can grab fish and chips from Lido, in Cardiff from Holmesdale Fish Bar, and in Slapton, Devon from the Queens Arms.

Rainiest Seaside Towns Map with Activities

Click the icon in the top left corner of the map below, scroll down and select the boxes to view seafront walks, cafes, arcades and more activities in the top 20 rainiest seaside towns in the UK. 

If our rainy day guide to seaside towns has inspired you to book a staycation, check out our full list of cottages in the UK. Or browse our guide to the best things to do when it rains

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