It's a public holiday in the UK this Monday, so we'll be heading to the beach along with the rest of the country, and back tomorrow with our usual range of content. However, in the meantime, we've got some interesting new reseach from mobile operator O2 and YouGov to share that reveals just how important smartphones have become to consumers, even when they're headed out to enjoy the sun, sand and sea.
35 per cent British beach-goers consider their smartphone as the most essential item for a day by the sea, beating out traditional entertainment objects like a swimming costume (16 per cent) or a book to read (17 per cent).
In fact, 18 per cent of Brits expect to spend at least two hours online on their smartphones during a day at the beach, suggesting that surfing the web has overtaken surfing the waves as our beach pastime of choice.
O2 and YouGov surveyed 2,000 participant in the UK to discover how consumers are using their smartphones at the beach, and found that 32 per cent are downloading and enjoying music, podcasts or eBooks, 25 per cent are posting photos or using social media and a depressing nine per cent are doing work or emailing.
"Our survey showed good internet is a top consideration for 39 per cent of Brits when planning a holiday," said Derek McManus, chief operating officer at O2. "O2 is working hard to ensure our customers have access to high-quality mobile and 4G connectivity no matter where they are in the country - from major cities and rural communities across the UK, to our favourite British seaside destinations."
To celebrate the fourth anniversary of its 4G mobile network, O2 also produced a guide to the UK's best-connected locations. You can find the beaches that made the cut, along with more information, on the infographic below.