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Southwold 'least' holiday friendly town

PUBLISHED: 14:42 08 October 2009 | UPDATED: 08:39 01 August 2010

IT is one of Suffolk's most popular seaside resorts and was the Prime Minister's choice for a summer break.

Just last summer Gordon Brown described his holiday near Southwold as "fantastic" and thanked local people for their "warmth and hospitality".

IT is one of Suffolk's most popular seaside resorts and was the Prime Minister's choice for a summer break.

Just last summer Gordon Brown described his holiday near Southwold as “fantastic” and thanked local people for their “warmth and hospitality”.

But despite this, new research out today claims that Southwold is one of the UK's least 'holiday-friendly' destinations.

Virgin Money Travel Insurance aimed to find the best holiday destinations in the UK, looking at 65 towns and cities.

Researchers looked at the average weather, hotel availability and cost and beach cleanliness.

Their findings put Southwold in the bottom five, along with Wells in Somerset, the Shetland Islands and Loch Ness, which finished bottom. According to the research, Bournemouth is the UK's most holiday-friendly town while Clacton in Essex was found to be the cheapest place to visit as well as having one of the best beaches.

Sue Doy, mayor of Southwold, said she was “very surprised” by the findings.

“I think it is awful” she said. “We are one of the friendliest places around, we have lots of friendly people here and the shop people are very friendly. We have got the lovely beach and the shop keepers are always pleased to see the visitors and we have the wonderful pier and the boating lake and the harbour.”

Mrs Doy said she used to work at The Crown Hotel which regularly had people returning year after year.

“The same people used to come every year because they loved it so much. This summer has been one of the best. I saw more people about than ever this year and the weather has been gorgeous and people have been coming here instead of going abroad. It is just a really lovely little holiday place for people to come.”

Researchers took data from websites belonging to the Met Office for climate averages, Expedia, tourist information sites such as Enjoy England, Visit Wales and Visit Scotland, Yell and Blue Flag for the best beaches.

Grant Bather, of Virgin Money Travel Insurance, said: “Finding the formula for a perfect holiday is not a science, but good weather and beaches plus decent restaurants and hotels go a long way to making a good break while tourist attractions and the overall cost are important too. The research though is an attempt to find the most holiday-friendly town and provide a guide on where to go.”

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