​Do young people love to be beside the seaside?

The National Trust’s new report on trips to the coast has grabbed the headlines – apparently we’re falling out of love with our pebble beaches and sandy strands.

News coverage has focused on the drop off in visits by young people, aged 18 to 24, and yet the study of 9,000 people showed an overwhelming sense of pride and affection with our shores. What’s been less well documented is that 81 per cent of those surveyed agreed that the coastline makes this country a better place to live and 22 per cent – that’s more than one in five – dream of the coast in everyday life.

As I live in a seaside town bursting with more than 20,000 students, a thriving nightlife and packed events programme, it’s hard to believe young people don’t want to be beside the seaside. But we need to find out.

The NCTA is commissioning research to discover what the perceptions and holiday buying patterns are of this group. Are they really less connected to the coast than their parents?

The National Trust is an important custodian of our coastline, caring for 775 miles of it, from the White Cliffs of Dover to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. And the charity wants to tap into the nation’s love of the coast, launching Shellsphere, which brings the sounds, smells and taste of the sea to major cities across the UK.

With urban beaches springing up in London, Paris and beyond, sitting in a deckchair, ice-cream in hand, feeling the sand between your toes remains top of many people’s summer wish-list.

We’re blessed with more than 19,000 miles of stunning coastline with space and styles for everyone. It’s August - time to soak up the seaside.

By Sheron Crossman