Lowenna Pascoe
Marketer, Beach Retreats

How many beaches can we visit?

When Beach Retreats surveyed our guests in 2017 for their favourite beach, thousands voted and chose 79 beaches around the Cornish coastline. It was a fantastic endorsement of the variety and number of inspiring beaches in our county.

So in 2018 we wanted to showcase as many of these beaches as possible – to promote the coastline and diversity of choice Cornwall’s beaches offer, while promoting our collection of self-catering holiday lets on route. The challenge was set – to visit as many Cornish beaches as possible in one day. The summer solstice – the longest day on June 21st – was the obvious choice and the planning began.

Our objectives were:

• To promote the number and range or Cornish beaches to a national audience.
• And promote Beach Retreats as the go-to accommodation provider for holidays on a Cornish beach, in a fun and creative cost-effective campaign.
• To set a record for the number of beaches visited, sharing live updates on social media throughout the day.
• And generate content for use in future marketing campaigns, documenting the day in our recently published 2019 yearbook.
• To raise money for our chosen charity – The South West Coast Path and their ’40 for 40’ campaign – through donations and sponsorship.

With an eye on the weather forecast, we enjoyed sunrise at 5am in Cawsand and headed west to Land End and Sennen Cove, then east on the north coast until sunset at 9.30pm in Bude. We stood on our 47th beach as the sunset over Crooklets beach in Bude.

Each beach we visited was photographed and shared on our Facebook and Instagram page using the hashtag #joinusonthebeach. We stopped off at local businesses to get as many people involved as we could. Local bloggers, cafes, restaurants and shops took to their Instagram stories asking their followers to follow our journey throughout the day and of course donate, whilst sharing the trending hashtag.

As the day went on our engagement and following on both channels grew, as well as traffic to our website. Total reach on the day from our influencers on Instagram showed over 378,604 users and our own account reaching 119,253.

After the event had passed, we continued the Summer Solstice campaign activity by incorporating it into our annual print brochure which we send out to our past guests at the end of each year. The book follows our journey throughout Cornwall, giving the time of day each beach was visited, showcasing stunning photography from ourselves and local photographers, along with inspiration for things to see and do in each place. We worked with many local businesses to collate the information and put this book together, encouraging our guests to visit them during their next visit to Cornwall. These included Nathan Outlaw, Polkerris Beach, Iwalk Cornwall, St Mawes Castle,Gylly Beach Cafe, local surfer Adam Griffiths, Kota Kai, Amelie’s, Rick Stein, Minack Theatre, The Leach Pottery, Next Wave Yoga and Surf Girl Magazine. This was a fantastic way to end the cost effective campaign and has since shown us an increase in bookings for 2019. Please see the link below to view this and follow our journey.

https://www.beachretreats.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/BR-YEARBOOK-2019-low-res.pdf

The Summer Solstice campaign enabled Beach Retreats to reach a large audience with an interest in Cornwall, resulting in new customers, increase in website traffic and an increase is Facebook and Instagram followers. It also gave us substance to add content into both our blog and print brochure, showcasing Cornwall as a whole, as well as our luxury accommodation.

With more than 400 miles of Cornish coastline and over 300 beaches in Cornwall, Beach Retreats broke past its target of visiting a minimum of 40 Cornish beaches to raise money for the Path’s “40for40” campaign. The campaign was a bid to raise £40,000 by the end of October 2018 to celebrate its 40-year anniversary.

Read the story of the day – https://www.beachretreats.co.uk/explore/activities/47-beaches-on-the-longest-day/