Heading to the amazing bookshop of the Tate Modern after our monthly visit is always a feast for the eyes. While browsing around – slobbering over every gorgeous coffee-table book – we spotted something in the pile of bestsellers which felt oh so right amongst these rising British temperatures and makes us want to jump on the train to Brighton quick sharp. But for now “Seaside Polaroids” by Jon Nicholson gives us something to dream about. 

At first glance it might seem the images are a batch of iPhone snaps edited on Instagram, but we can assure you there is no “Earlybird” or “Valencia” involved. The photographer Jon Nicholson went back to basics and only used an original Polaroid camera from the 1970s and film three years out of date to create a portfolio of sepia-tinged seaside images that achieve the perfect retro effect of his project. From Blackpool to Great Yarmouth and Scarborough to Brighton, Nicholson’s gritty photos feature everything – from the rides and attractions at seaside funfairs to rubber rafts drying in the sun – as long as it is a coastal scene, it’s in there. Nicholson spent 18 months travelling around England’s seashores capturing the coastal scenes, which doesn’t seem like a bad job at all!

The 51-year-old, who was the official behind the scenes photographer for London 2012 Olympics described his tour of British beaches as a personal project to explore places he would not usually encounter at work. ‘If you go out with a digital camera, people fear you, whereas with this 1970s camera everyone smiles at you’, says Nicholson. It took him 100 rolls of film to create a book of 70 beautiful images and it we think it was totally worth it.

Grab your swimsuits folks, we’re off to the beach this weekend!