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Old-fashioned fun: 10 traditional UK seaside breaks

Not all British seaside resorts have to go the way of Brighton and Whitstable … here are 10 of the most gloriously traditional, with all the fun of the fair

As the sailing venue for the Olympics, Weymouth has made a sterling effort to move upmarket: boat-shaped cafes on the beach, uplighters on the seafront, upgraded deckchairs. But underneath the gloss, it’s the same old Weymouth, thank goodness. For a panoramic view, take an airlift up the shiny new Sea Life Tower – which opened in June (The Quay, 0871 423 2110, weymouth-tower.com, from £6.50) – and look across a curve of Regency terraces to the Purbeck Hills, across the harbour to the gardens of Nothe Fort (01305 766626, nothefort.org.uk) to the Isle of Portland. On the beach, there are donkey rides, Professor Mark Poulton’s classic Punch and Judy show (weymouthpunch.co.uk) and, according to the town’s Sand World (Preston Beach Road, 07411 387529, sandworld.co.uk, adult £6.50, child £4.50) the perfect sand for castles and sculptures. At Rossi’s retro parlour on the seafront, the ice-cream has been made on the premises since 1937 (01305 785557). The Stables Pizza and Cider House (Custom House Quay, thestabledorset.co.uk) is one of the new breed of restaurants that have popped up in the light of the Olympics. Cafe Oasis (01305 833054, cafeoasis.co.uk), on the beach at Bowleaze Cove, is a old favourite.

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Usain’s bolthole: life in the slow lane in Trelawny, Jamaica

Laidback Trelawny Parish in Jamaica is the birthplace of many Olympic sprinters, including Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth, as well as Veronica Campbell-Brown and Ben Johnson

In 2008, just weeks after Usain Bolt’s colossal Olympic victories, I took a diversion off Jamaica’s well trodden tourist trail and headed into the lush green wilds of Trelawny Parish in the north of the island. In contrast to the hedonistic party spots of Negril and Montego Bay, Trelawny is perhaps like the Oxfordshire of Jamaica: sedate, serene and beautiful.

In the village of Sherwood Content, where Bolt grew up, I watched residents prepare for his homecoming – a family-friendly festival at his primary school – and later a euphoric dancehall rave, where he took to the stage, dancing and whipping up a fervour. If Bolt wins the 100m final again on Sunday, the village will party once more, before slipping back into its usual languid pace.

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