Seaside Entertainment

Nick talks about the popularity of seaside resorts and the activities people enjoy doing there.

Do the Preparation task first. Then watch the video. Next go to Task and do the activity. If you need help, you can read the Transcript at any time.


Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • What do you like about towns by the sea/ What do you dislike?
  • Do you think the type of activities which are popular now are the same as those popular 100 years ago? Why/ Why not?
  • Do you like computer games? Why/ Why not?

Now, watch the video to find out more about seaside entertainment.



Nick: Seaside towns like Blackpool and here in Southend are home to entertainments like sandcastle building, donkey rides, eating fish and chips and ice cream.

These towns are famous for their piers. This pier is more than two kilometres long. It’s the longest pleasure pier in the world. There’s even a train to take you to the other end. 

A hundred years ago the pier was an important part of seaside entertainment. Visitors could walk out across the sea and feel like they were on a ship. It was a thrilling experience. It doesn’t feel very scary now.


These days the pier is still home to traditional shows like Punch and Judy, a puppet show about Mr. Punch and his adventures. Mr. Punch is often naughty.

Martin Scott Price has been performing in Blackpool for thirty-five years.

Martin: In my show, I do have a very frightening crocodile. Mr Punch is a very naughty boy at times. And then Judy comes along, she has the sausages for tea and unfortunately the crocodile comes along and steals them and he drops them on the floor, sometimes you know. And the children go to put them back and - my gosh - he nearly eats their fingers and they go running away. Aw, my favourite character sadly is not Mr Punch, it’s the crocodile! Ha ha ha. I love children, especially to eat. Ha ha ha.

Nick: Parents and children seem to like traditional entertainment. But not all visitors want to see a show or go to the beach.

What about modern attractions? Amusement arcades like this one feature virtual entertainment.


Young lady: I like being on a dance mat because it’s fun, and it’s good exercise and I like dancing to the music.

Young man: I like to come and play in the arcades because it’s good fun. I like to try and beat my friends at the games.

Young man 2: I like playing driving games because they’re fun, fast and exciting.


Young people seem to enjoy arcade games. But can playing on a computer actually make someone better at sport? Dr Matthew Taylor is a Sports Scientist at the University of Essex. His work looks at how playing on a computer can affect physical activity.

Nick: Can playing these computer games increase real sports skills?

Dr. Taylor: Research has shown this not to be the case. It’s not going to improve your football skills or your tennis skills, for example. But it will improve your hand-eye coordination. 

Nick: Can playing a computer game improve other skills?

Matthew: Formula one racing drivers practice on computer simulators to learn different tracks and also surgeons may increase their surgical skills by playing computer games. 

Nick: So do they improve physical ability in any way?

Matthew: The more active video games will improve your physical fitness but it’s no real substitute for the real thing. And also you must remember that you shouldn’t play these games for too long.


One hundred years on and the seaside is still a popular place for entertainment and enjoyment.  In the past it was a simple walk on the pier - these days it’s virtual games and amusement arcades.

But you can’t come to the seaside without trying a stick of rock.

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Submitted by Bruno2020 on Tue, 21/07/2020 - 00:18

I dream about one day I will live in a quiet house by the sea.

Submitted by fidaasiddig on Thu, 10/10/2019 - 14:31

feature virtual entertainment. What does feature mean

Submitted by nikoslado on Sat, 07/09/2019 - 18:51

What unbelievable pictures and big differences between England and other countries.In my country- Greece e.g.-you could never fancy that ''riding donkeys'',''watching muppet show'',or ''playing arcades'',could be ''seaside entertaiments''.So, in order to answer correctly the task 1, I had to forget completely all we've been doing during the summers.Very interesting! Best wishes to all of you, nikoslado

Submitted by Adriancatanescu on Wed, 13/09/2017 - 12:17

Hello everyone I'm back after 1 month break,today I feel full of energy and I hope I'll be a better learner.I like the cities that are close to the sea those City can provide habitats for people that they are live there and in the same time they give opportunity to people to have a nice holiday there. I think people who live beside the seaside are more peaceful and clear in thinking, here is less stress than in other cities.I like living close to the sea, I really enjoy the feeling that it's giving you energy and a nice way to relax and power to work every day. But as well it's a ,,but''. In some period of the year it might be wind blows a lot eve for a few weeks, and there are no people ok holiday there and the city is empty,the rains are very hard. But a good thing it is that you can see the sea in all of periods of the year with all its beautifules if you live here.

Submitted by Ephesus on Sun, 27/08/2017 - 17:20

In my opinion the towns lying by the sea are more advantages than other cities located inland the countries. You can come and visit a sea shore city by bus, train, by flight as well additional way via Boat and regular cruises. each cities also offer a healty salty oxygene which comes well to our respiration system. On the other hand a beach city offer provides various holiday, beach, tons of accommodition options with a good yield for its habitants. Of course city must be offer a usefull local airport, huge bus station and a port to embark boats and cruises. When you have that facilities commercial life brings a lot profit for residents on the city. Dislikes are in summer periods beach cities attractiveness calls huge amount of tourists, too much traffic, fully booking hotels and its rooms, a crowded streets.

Submitted by STEPHANE ROTH on Wed, 05/04/2017 - 21:10

Hi teachers !!! When do we have to say 'like to' and 'like + ing'. In that case 'like being' and 'like to come and play' ? Thank you

Hello Stephane,

Both forms can be used to talk about enjoying activities in general (i.e. 'I like to go out for breakfast' and 'I like going out for breakfast' mean the same thing), but the infinitive form is preferred for talking about choices or habits (e.g. 'I like to go out for breakfast on Sunday mornings'. 

As for 'like to come and play', it's difficult to say for without knowing the context. Could it be a habit, for example? Or after the verb 'would', it could be an invitation.

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by STEPHANE ROTH on Tue, 04/04/2017 - 21:21

What I like about towns by the sea, it's merely the sea !!! Boat activities, windsurfing, swimming, beach volley.... You feel always on holiday. But I dislike when there are too much people. It's stifling. I think the big difference between now and 100 years ago, it's technology, mainly in theme parks which are close to the sea. But I think people did the same things on the beach. I like computer games but they take too much time, so I don't play any more.