Personal Finance

Statistics Celebrating the British Connection to the Sea

From fish & chips to seaside holidays to coastal walking, Brits flock to the sea and all it has to offer. Learn more about how people in the UK connect to the ocean for food, travel, sport and leisure.
Infographic showing UK and Ocean statistics

Seaside Holidays, Sport and Leisure

Nearly a quarter of all holidays in Great Britain involve the seaside. Brits head to seaside simply to spend time at the beach or engage in watersports. For example, according to the Watersports Participation Survey conducted by Arkenford and the Royal Yatch Association, 31.8% of Brits engaged in some form of watersports in 2018 (e.g., surfing, sea fishing and outdoor swimming).

The two most popular seaside activities were leisure time at the beach and coastal walking, which were enjoyed by over 10 million and 7.5 million adults, respectively, in 2018.

Those is Wales are especially fond of coastal holidays, where 40% of all trips were to the seaside. In contrast, 23% of trips in England and 16% of trips in Scotland had a coastal destination.

Eating Fish

As much as Brits like their sausages and cakes, you might say they like fish even more. According to the Office of National Statistics the average household spent £150 on fish to feed their families in 2018, more than they spent on sausages and cakes—combined. (They spent £47 on sausages and £83 on cakes & puddings.)

According to the National Association of Fish Friers, 22% of people visit fish and chip shops every week and the average man, woman and child eats fish & chips 6 times each year.

Renewable Energy

Currently, Scotland is able to generate 21% of its renewable energy from hydroelectric dams. However, the UK as a whole doesn't yet get much energy from water, due to the expense and lack of technology to harness wave and tidal energy. However, there is significant potential for the UK. For example, the government claims that wave and tidal stream energy has the potential to meet 20% of our current electricity demands.

The UK is at a distinct advantage due to its island location in this regard. The Renewable Energy Association reported that 50% of European tidal stream and 30% of European wave resources lie within UK waters.

Olympic Glory

Great Britain has won the most gold medals in sailing, which reflects its history as a great naval power and the country where competitive sailing developed. In total, GB sailors have won 58 Olympic sailing medals including 28 golds.

Great Britain also excels in rowing, winning a total of 68 Olympic rowing medals, 31 of which were gold. Go Team GB!

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


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