As tourists are sensitive to weather conditions and changes to the environments they visit, it is likely that climate change will affect coastal recreation in the future. To understand these impacts, it is first important to quantify how visitor numbers are associated with beach characteristics and weather patterns. Using the East Anglian coastline, UK, as a case study, information on the spatial distribution of visitors recorded from aircraft flights is combined with beach characteristic data in a Geographical Information System. In addition, surveys are undertaken at two beaches to assess temporal variations in visitation. The study finds a diverse range of characteristics are associated with visitor numbers. These findings are evaluated alongside the anticipated effects of climate change and management policies. Although it is predicted that warmer weather will increase visitor numbers overall, sea-level rise may reduce numbers at wide sandy beaches, which are currently most preferred by tourists.