Seaside locals share ‘dark side’ of UK hotspots – from St Ives to Skegness

Thousands of Brits will soon descend on the nation’s beaches and seaside towns as the weather warms up. We’ve got some cracking white sand beaches, impressive bays and pretty harbours from Cornwall and Devon to Scotland.

However, while many of us will be seeking out Britain’s prettiest beaches, locals living in popular beachside towns have been complaining.

Many say even the top ranked seaside towns have dark sides. Whether it’s because of over tourism, an underside of drug use, run down services or second home owners they’re fed up.

READ MORE: Tourists slam Britain's 'worst seaside town' as 'ASBO hellhole infested with chavs'

This week, Laura Mills, 25, told the Sun that Worthing – recently named the UK’s best seaside town – was a “dump”. She explained there were bored teenagers running rampant, a lack of businesses and even stabbings.

She explained: “People think it’s so amazing, and once upon a time it was. There’s been a lot of recent stabbings and community unrest, the town is filthy, with shops closed or boarded up. Worthing is not this seaside jewel it is meant to be.”

Laura added the department stores had closed down, the new Nando’s had its windows smashed in and homeless people sleep rough around the once gorgeous town. Plus, she commented on “soulless flats” and aid it was “grubby”.

The seaside local isn’t the only person to complain about her once great seaside locale. Rebecca Quick, who has lived in St Ives for 50 years, says rude tourists and empty second homes are proving to be issues for the local community.

When asked how St Ives changed, she said: "I might be so bold as to suggest it is the second home owners who have done this. To them, St Ives is this little, idyllic place they visit every few months. They don't see the poverty.

"They don't notice the houses that remain empty all winter. They don't experience the abject rudeness the locals suffer from these entitled visitors. They don't feel the hit of a maximum council tax rise of 5% while there are huge cuts in services."

Rebecca said she was "happy to shine a light on the darker side of life in St Ives" having grown frustrated with the way the town had changed over the past five decades. She claims the sense of community has been lost, landlords have bought up all the home and house prices skyrocketed.

She added: “These days some streets in town are completely unoccupied during the winter months because the houses have all been bought as second homes and holiday lets.

"The youngsters have nowhere to live and no real hope of owning their own home anywhere near St Ives and their families because what properties do come up for sale are priced too high for any first time buyer to aspire to.

"Tourists are an important part of the Cornish economy but they are not the be all and end all."

Meanwhile, Locals in Cawsand and Kingsand, Cornwall, have similar gripes. The posh seaside village is apparently a "ghost town" thanks to second home owners.

Barista Kathleen Rixon, 28, told CornwallLive: "It does go from this hustly and bustly Cornish town to a very quiet sombre place which is sometimes great. Some people love it. I, however, hate it, and I think it’s out of touch.

“We can’t afford to buy houses here because it’s so expensive because of the second home industry. I would really like to see more people move here and live here and stay during the winter, and become more of a community for the whole year, not just the summer season."

Anna Morrish, who lived close by to Skegness and its beaches, spoke to Daily Star about where the town has gone wrong.

Anna said: "I used to live 30 mins away and visited often. The downfalls would be that it's a little outdated and the nightlife isn't great. It's a tad rough around the edges.

"Locals call it Skeg-Vegas. I’ve only been out there a few times and I would avoid it now. It doesn't feel as safe as some areas or inclusive.

"I would say safety and the food isn't great. Even on the beach… I once was walking along the beach and got stuck in quicksand. There's plenty of attractions, but they're looking a tad run down and dated. They do well to keep the area clean, but it's like stepping back in time."


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