With so many Britons travelling abroad, many UK resorts saw visitor numbers fall, facilities decay and unemployment rise.
But despite suggestions they faced terminal decline there has been something of a revival. Growing affluence has seen more people take short breaks in the UK.
Some resorts have attracted stag and hen nights, while others have emphasised their cultural side. The Great British seaside, it seems, is welcoming a new breed of visitor.
Special thanks to English Heritage, publisher of Seaside Holidays in the Past, from which the black and white pictures come.