Brits’ holiday habits of yesteryear have been revealed by a vault of images dating back 150 years.
They show how in many ways little has changed.
For instance, staycations were popular as far back as Victorian times, with people flocking to seaside towns and bucolic villages for getaways in the 19th century. It’s a tradition being kept up today, with research by trivago.co.uk revealing that 80 per cent of Brits are planning on a bank holiday break in the UK this weekend.
And pastimes of today such as picnics, cycling, painting and fishing were all popular in previous decades. Traffic jams are nothing new, either, the images show. There are some interesting differences, of course. Holiday attire has definitely changed and one picture shows horse drawn beach huts in Blackpool – not a seaside sight these days.
The pictures, some of which date back to 1857, have been collated by Ancestry.co.uk and come from a bank of 330,000 images that belong to The Francis Frith Collection. Francis Frith was a 19th-century photographer who documented life in Britain’s cities, towns and villages and whose legacy was continued by relatives and photography enthusiasts.
The Frith Collection images are free to view at Ancestry.co.uk this weekend, but here MailOnline brings you a sneak peek…
A group of children sit aloft an elephant at London Zoological Gardens in 1913. Such activities are frowned upon today, with concerns over health, safety and animal cruelty
Bathing machines on the beach in Blackpool. The date is unspecified, however these beach huts on wheels (which were pulled into the sea by horses) were popular in Victorian times as they allowed women to completely preserve their modesty while enjoying the surf
The frustrations of Bank holiday traffic jams are nothing new, as this picture of a jam in Cornwall in 1955 shows
The fun of the seaside slot machines is laid bare in this snap of punters in Hunstanton, Norfolk, 1955
Smashing: British Tennis championships, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, 1892
By enjoying a staycation in the UK, today’s Brits have plenty in common with previous generations who would flock to seaside towns for their holidays as far back as Victorian times. On the left, a woman has fun dressing up in a grass skirt at Wick Ferry Holiday Camp in 1955. On the right two little girls take a soft toy for a dip on the beach in Sidmouth, Devon in 1924
A pageant-style competition is in full swing at Lakeside Holidays, Wokingham, Berkshire in 1960
A seaside donkey stops for a refreshing sip of cider at Clovelly, Devon, in 1960
A group of friends picnic at Box Hill, Surrey, in 1906. Picnics are ever-popular with holidaymakers in the UK, provided it doesn’t rain
A woman learns to ride her bike in Brentwood, Essex, in 1906
A group of men and boys enjoy a spot of fishing on the banks of the river in Kingston Upon Thames in 1890
In 1938 a group of holidaymakers enjoy the Louville Camp in Brixham, Devon
Three girls enjoy a group bike ride in Caister-on-Sea, near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk in 1955
A group of children pose for a photograph on a boat in Woodbridge, Suffolk, 1925
An artist’s wife admires her husband’s painting of the surroundings at Bolton Abbey in the Yorkshire Dales, 1886