Resorts and Ports European Seaside Towns since 1700 Edited by: Peter Borsay, John K. Walton

Paperback - 240 pages
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14 Oct 2011
Tourism and Cultural Change
Channel View Publications
234 x 156


Histories of seaports and coastal resorts have usually been kept in separate compartments. This book brings them together and looks at how resort development affected historic ports during the rise and development of the seaside holiday in Europe from the 18th century to the 20th, and what the attributes of ports (fishing, harbour crafts, the whiff of the exotic, fishermen’s homes and families) contributed to the attractions of resorts. Case-studies drawn from across Europe, from Wales and the Netherlands to Norway, Latvia and Spain, bring original perspectives to bear on these histories and relationships, and consider their influence on seaside heritage and regeneration at a time when coastal settlements are increasingly using their past to secure their future. The book will interest academics in tourism studies, history, geography and cultural studies, as well as provide essential information and analysis for policy-makers in coastal regeneration.


This excellent edited collection by Borsay and Walton tackles an important and under-researched theme in urban history; the resort-port relationship. Its detailed case studies, drawn from across Britain and Europe and spanning three centuries, explore the tensions between seaside tourism and commercial and industrial development – making clear that these were not mutually exclusive activities. This is a ‘must read’ volume for anyone interested in the history of seaside towns and coastal regeneration.

- Stephen Mosley, Leeds Metropolitan University, UK

These are carefully researched studies of seaside resorts without the airbrush of nostalgia. The book shows how industry and seaside fun competed for space through three hundred years. I thoroughly enjoyed stories of how the heritage industry has continuously reimagined and marketed the coastal landscape.

- Poul Holm, Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

We used to think that seaside resorts and ports were quite distinct operations, which would necessarily hinder each other. The papers collected in this volume open our eyes to a much more diverse, complicated and interesting relationship. A must-read for those interested in the history of the sea and the coast, tourism, or urban development.

- Lex Heerma van Voss, Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands, The Hague

The book is of value not just to specialist historians of port towns and of tourism, but to urban historians in general, in that it showcases the diverse range of approaches which are available to us, and encourages us to think carefully about the typological categories that we employ.

- Matt Neale, University of Leicester, UK in the Journal of Urban History (2012), Volume 39/4

Resorts and Ports is a book with a range of insightful contributions. The majority are recommendable, not so much for the intemal problem-oriented purpose of the book, but rather for the range of interesting port and maritime histories and perspectives, that develop out of the authors' deep knowledge of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentiethcentury seaside tourism and its connections to other coastal and maritime businesses.

- Soren Byskov, The Fisheries and Maritime Museum and Centre for Maritime and Regional Studies, Esbjerg, Denmark in International Journal of Maritime History

Author Biography:

Peter Borsay is a Professor in the Department of History and Welsh History at Aberystwyth University and has published widely in the areas of British urban and leisure history since the 18th century, including the history of spas and seaside resorts.

John K. Walton is an IKERBASQUE Research Professor in the Department of Contemporary History, University of the Basque Country UPV/ EHU, Bilbao. He has published extensively and internationally on tourism and identity, especially with regard to coastal towns, and edits the Journal of Tourism History.

Readership Level:

Postgraduate, Research / Professional

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