Many British people have decided that it is not worth spending money on holiday in Britain because the weather is so unreliable. They prefer their money on a package holiday in southern Europe. A package holiday is a cheap form of group travel. You pay a travel agent a sum of money and he arranges a flight, hotel, food and entertainment. All you need is pocket-money when you get to the foreign country. It is sometimes cheaper to go abroad with a package holiday than to stay in England. In spite of this, seaside holidays in Britain are still the most popular and traditional form of holiday for the majority of British people.
Because Britain is quite a small island, no one lives farther than 75 miles from the sea. As soon as the summer weather begins, thousands of people in cars make their way to the coast. Many parents are willing to sit on crowded beaches, in traffic jams, and -sometimes-in bad weather to give their children a seaside holiday. Many of the towns and villages on the south of England are still very beautiful, but oil pollution in the water has become a problem over the last few years.
Many of the larger holiday resorts have piers. Brighton has a famous pier. It is a long platform which stretches out into the sea. You have to pay to go on the pier. On the pier you'll find restaurants, small shops, a theatre or a concert hall, amusements stalls and a fortune-teller. A pier is a very good place when it is too cold to sit on the beach.
The seaside is a place for a family holiday. Many teenagers prefer to go youth -hostelling and hitch-hiking around the country-side. Youth hostels are cheap, but the accommodation is simple. Hitch-hiking is a very cheap way of travelling, but something you have to wait for hours at the side of the road before you get a lift.
A lot of people enjoy active, open-air holidays such as walking or mountaineering, although British mountains are not spectacularly high, there are many rocks and cliffs in Wales and Scotland that are difficult to climb. Professional mountaineers have trained there before going on expeditions to Tibet or South America.
A holiday camp is a complete contrast to this kind of independent, outdoor holiday. It's not a holiday in caravans or tents. It's a holiday at a special camp where people live in small chalets; special staff look after their children; games are organized; entertainment of all kinds is provided and everyone eats in a large dining-hall. Guests never have to leave the gates of the camp. Billy Butlin who started the first holiday camps in Britain is now a rich man. He is now Sir Billy Butlin, he has been knighted for his services in the country.
1. Why do British people prefer going on package holidays to staying in their country?
2. What are the most popular holidays in Great Britain?
3. British people have to put up with many difficulties when on holiday at the seaside, don't they? What are the difficulties?
4. Why do many teenagers prefer youth-hostelling and hitch-hiking?
5. Are rocks and mountains in Wales and Scotland difficult to climb? What opportunities do they offer to professional mountaineers?
6. What services has Sir Billy Butlin rendered to his country?