Promenades and piers, arcades and amusement parks, ice cream and sunscreen... delight in Penhaligon’s guide to the best of the British Seaside.

Penhaligon's On Sea Juniper Sling

The summer holidays are in full swing and Penhaligon’s is here to make one’s day even brighter (yes, that is indeed possible). Whilst our heart (and nose) belongs in London, there’s always a yearning for the British seaside come blue skies and sunny days. Could it be nostalgia for simpler times, when one’s troubles were solved by slow strolls and sharp salt air or remedied by a lick of ice cream and the crunch of a waffle cone? Perhaps. Well, one needn’t hanker after bygone times: the Great British Seaside Escape is perfectly alive, thank you very much. In fact, we’ve even taken the trouble of rounding up our favourite destination for yours truly. Pack one’s parasol (but leave the passport) and take a trip around old Blighty with us. Come along, now.



Nestled along the northwest coast of England, Blackpool has long been hailed as the epitome of a seaside sojourn. One isn’t short of a landmark here: there’s the spectacular tower built to rival Paris’ Tour Eiffel (there’s nothing wrong with a spot of ambition, after all) as well as Blackpool’s Pleasure Beach, which has a history dating back to 1896 – why, it’s almost as old as Penhaligon’s! Indeed, the thrilling rollercoasters make quite the attraction and shall set one’s heart a-racing in abundant joy. Whilst the beach has moved on with the times – and rightly so – there's still a charm to Blackpool and traces of its heritage to be sniffed out.

What to wear? Why, Juniper Sling ought to be the tonic for one’s trip. Juniper berries sparkle like the Blackpool Tower next to a peppery pier of angelica seed. Care for one more?


A mere hour away from London, Brighton has managed to carve out a cosmopolitan reputation among British seaside destinations. Past and present vie for attention from tourists, with places such as Brighton Palace Pier teeming with life day and night (anyone for a spot of arcade fun?). The beach – of shingle variety, quite the rarity in England – stretches on for five miles, and towards the quieter Hove side you’ll find the iconic colourful beach huts and the Hove Plinth. Of course, one needn’t wander that far for entertainment: once you've finished your ice cream, do pop down to Penhaligon’s Brighton on East Street. Rumour on the street is it smells rather fabulous.​

What to wear? One might be surprised to learn Brighton is just as fun when the sun goes down. Enter Luna, illuminating the Royal Pavillion in a divine splendour of rose, bergamot and fir balsam. A midnight dip, anyone?


Rugged coastlines. Picturesque villages. The Prince of Perfumes. Does the seaside get more quintessentially British than Cornwall? While Penhaligon’s may be rather biased when it comes to the southernmost tip of England (our founder was born there in 1837, after all), its scenic allure has transcended generations. Cornwall has plenty of treasures to seek out: the artsy harbour town of Falmouth; the surfer sanctuary of Newquay, and the quaint yet creative St. Ives. Whether its gastro-seafood with a twist, picking up watercolour landscapes from a boutique, or paddleboarding in the calm waters, one will find many a reason to return again and again.​

What to wear? From the riverbanks of the Euphrates to the seashore of Cornwall, Halfeti arrives in a haze of rose and spice. Our most iconic fragrance ought to be worn when one wanders the same streets that William Penhaligon grew up on, don’t you think?


With a rich maritime heritage and stunning panoramic views, one might consider journeying north for their seaside sojourn. Scarborough has a long history to complement its heavenly landscapes: a dramatic castle crowns the headland between the two main bays, and streets dating back to the Tudor period still stand. In fact, strolling through the town is very much like walking through history: Georgian townhouses, Victorian hotels, a Baroque spa and an Art Deco theatre make quite the timeless tale for locals and visitors alike. Now, one might think Scarborough may be quieter than the likes of Brighton and Cornwall (after all, how often does Yorkshire see the sun? We jest... sort of), yet the beaches are abuzz with families come summertime, especially on a scorcher of a day.​

What to wear? With a redolent radiance befitting her station, Empressa shimmers with her sweet, summer-like scent. She has travelled far to become Queen of the Yorkshire Coast, and all shall bow before her aroma of bergamot and peach. An eau de parfum so dazzling one might need sunglasses.


The seaside tends to bring out the vibrant side of Britain, and Whitstable is no different. Colourful beach huts, pastel-coloured shops, and boldly painted pubs are a stark contrast to the sandy shoreline and clear tides one dips their toes in. The day is equally pleasurable whether you’re roaming the high streets, seeking out vintage fashion in charity shops, or tucking into fish and chips along the mile-long stretch of beach. Now, a trip to Whitstable would be remiss without indulging in delicious oysters at one of the acclaimed restaurants in town, or sipping craft beer made locally from the abundant hops grown throughout Kent. Cheers, my dears.​

What to wear? As you wander around the grounds of Whitstable Castle, admire the majestic oak trees with scent of lemon and basil in the breeze. Oh, apologies... that must be Quercus.


Another jewel along Kent’s coastline, Margate has been attracting visitors for nigh on 300 years. An ever-popular destination with the Victorians, its attraction has ebbed and flowed much like the tides along a seashore. However, let us rejoice in the resurgence of Margate, which has seen an uptick in visitors and rejuvenation in recent years – hurrah! Brimming with independent boutiques and even a Michelin-star restaurant, the town is drawing attraction as much as its six beaches (five of which have been awarded a Blue Flag for their exceptionally clear waters – we want nothing but the best, of course). Culture vultures, fear not: the Turner Contemporary art gallery features an array of ever-changing exhibitions, while the Grade I-listed Shell Grotto dazzles with a magnificent display of seashells. Its origins? Entirely unknown, but who doesn’t love a bit of mystery...​ ​

What to wear? Speaking of mystery, what better to wear than Endymion? His scent of coffee and suede is one for the history books, yet he is nothing short of a modern legend. Why be a holidaymaker when you can be a hero? ​


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