Research document on Victorian holidays and beach etiquette

One of a set of photographs featuring a mother and son on the beach. In the background of this pre-First World War seaside scene is St Leonards Pier.

The Victorians invented the seaside holiday, seaside decorum – and seaside debauchery.  Even Queen Victoria was an enthusiastic paddler and promenade-stroller, although she swam in the privacy of a bathing machine.  In her diary on the 30th July 1847 she wrote: “Drove down to the beach with my maid and I went into the bathing machine, where I undressed and bathed in the sea (for the first time in my life). I thought it delightful until I put my head under water.

Hastings Pier Charity Volunteer