Lidos flourished in the 1930s and by the 1940s were an integral part of an English holiday, so if you’re a war-time baby, pack your trunks or skirted swimsuit and head for the Jubilee Pool in Penzance. The Grade II Listed art deco lido is the largest open-air sea-water tidal swimming pool still in use in the UK, open from the end of May until September.
Road trip! Car ownership more than doubled in the 1950s, making the road trip the king of English holidays, long before US college students coined the phrase. Your first family car might have been a Morris Minor, but why not upgrade to an Austin Healy for your trip down memory lane? Classic Car Experience, based in Bath for scenic drives to The Cotswolds and Somerset, has a range of models available to hire for a day, weekend or longer.
Oh, we did like to be beside the seaside in the 60s. After being closed during the war, followed by extensive repair work in the 50s, our piers were finally back to their former glory and people went in their droves. Take a stroll along Skegness Pier where you’ll still find the traditional seaside attractions, including hook-a-duck and a children’s carousel.
After Woodstock in 1969, the 70s saw the arrival of the music festivals that are such a core part of our summers today. If you were at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival – widely acknowledged as the largest musical event of its time, with even more attendees than Woodstock – then recapture your vibe at this year’s festival. Bruce Springsteen – a 70s icon – and the E-Street band have been confirmed as part of the line-up.
Thanks to John Hughes and the Brat Pack, children of the 80s were fully submerged in American culture. Have your very own Emilio Estevez or Molly Ringwald moment at The Breakfast Club. All four of the London cafes pay homage to the 80s with polaroids, troll dolls and neon signs galore, along with memorabilia from Strawberry Shortcake, He-Man and Fraggle Rock.
The 90s, with Britpop and Cool Britannia, meant that holidays at home were cooler than ever and the city of Manchester was at the heart of the action, spawning music heavyweights such as the Stone Roses, The Smiths, New Order and Oasis, among others. The Hacienda might have sadly gone, but you can relive your explore this side of the city taking a Manchester Music Tour, which takes in some of the city’s most famous musical landmarks.