Are there any best UK beaches for kids? Which ones are the best beaches in UK for families after all?
This was one of the major questions of ours when we have moved to London. Both of us came from the “seaside” background, both were literally born at the coast, although we have an internal up-to-date argument about how legit is the Baltic Sea being called a sea compared to the second-largest resort of Mar del Plata in Argentina. Feel free to leave your comment below on this one.
There are tons of absolutely gorgeous and rightfully called the best family beaches in the UK, but all of them are a couple-hour drive from London. The best beaches in the UK near London require at least two hours to get to. The south part of England would be more preferable by the majority of locals. They are also the best beaches for swimming in the UK.
UK beaches are also quite famous for being quite rocky. There are a lot of pebble beaches, so you may check first which option you prefer best. If you live in London and wish to take a day beach tour, you’d better consider the East part of the UK, or South East and West parts for more sand beaches.
But if your goal is to explore incredible UK beaches and hidden gems, you should head South West, not to mention amazing beaches in Wales and Scotland.
The best UK beaches with sand and warm turquoise water can be found in Cornwall. Every beach you go is just worth staying for a week, there are also lots of surfing spots.
Check our road trip itinerary to Cornwall with kids, including maps, tips, family holidays, and campsites.
However, nothing can compete with the Dorset region and its 95 miles UNESCO-protected Jurassic Coast beaches with miraculous landscapes.
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- Best Beaches in UK for Families
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- Best UK Beaches in the South West of England
- Best UK Beaches in the East of England
- Best UK Beaches in the North East of England
- Best UK Beaches in the North West of England
- Best UK Beaches in Wales
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- Best UK Beaches in Northern Ireland
- Map of the Best UK Beaches for Kids
Best Beaches in UK for Families
We all know how many stunning beaches there are in the UK, the majority of them are overcrowded too. But what are the really best UK beaches that suit family purposes?
Let’s find out!
We share the map down the post, so you are able to check the distance from anywhere you are going to depart from. We also combined the best UK beaches for kids together and categorized them by four cardinal directions, so feel free to jump into the one that suits you the most.
Best UK Beaches for Kids
Best UK Beaches in the South East of England
1. Camber Sands
Recommended by US
Among all the best UK beaches for families, Camber Sands is a must-to-consider. It is one of the longest dune systems in the South East of England and stands out to be almost the only sandy beach compared to its rocky and pebble neighbors.
Also, there is located the famous Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, where you can find more than 900 endangered animals, including the only Kent’s giraffes. One of the largest dinosaur collections is also there, and it is only half an hour’s drive from the beach.
Accommodation near Camber Sands:
Winchelsea Lodge is a great place to stay with your children. This place is not far from Camber Sands Beach and serves a great breakfast.
2. Brighton Beach
Recommended by Manpreet from HelloManpreet.com
Brighton beach has been one of the most popular destinations in the south of the UK for as long as I can remember. There are several ways to get there with a well-connected train station, however, our recommendation would be via road.
It will take just under 2 hours to get into the heart of the city center driving from London, located along the coast. Brighton has such a unique vibe about it and the buzz you feel while walking along the beach is filled with a rich culture.
There are ample amounts of paid parking along the beach, but we would highly recommend arriving a couple of hours before noon when the crowds start to increase. Some locals recommend parking slightly further away from the main strip as the parking costs can be cheaper that way.
What makes Brighton so family-friendly, is the famous Pier. Brighton is home to a historical Victorian pier along the beach, which is filled with rollercoasters, smaller rides, and a large video games halls. All of the family will be happy to spend hours here!
Make sure you grab yourself some fresh chips on the entry to the pier and the incredibly amazing smelling doughnuts on the way out. One tip, however, the seagulls will try to grab these out of your hands so be careful!
Accommodation near Brighton:
Greenfield Lodge is an amazing family holiday home where you feel like you don’t want to go out to the beach. It has a private garden and patio. It also is located near Victoria Gardens and is only 2.5 miles away from Brighton Beach. For more budget superb options, we highly recommend choosing the Number 75 guest house.
3. Eastbourne and Beachy Head
Recommended by Mansoureh from Travel With Mansoureh
Eastbourne on the south coast of England located on the eastern side of the South Downs National Park has more than three miles of pebbles beach, which makes it one of the best UK beaches for toddlers.
This English coastal city doesn’t get as crowded as its neighboring seaside city of Brighton. So here is the perfect place for a family break to enjoy the beaches peacefully.
The main resort beach is between the Eastbourne pier and the Wish Tower where you can hire sun lounge chairs. There is a car park in the area but it can be full on a sunny and warm day.
If you prefer a quieter beach, you can head to Royal Parade beach which is more popular amongst the residents and surfers. There is also a wide promenade behind the beach where you can find cyclists, skaters, and runners.
Here you don’t need to worry about the car park, there is plenty of space along the beach to park your car. The downside of this beach is that it is life-guarded like the main beach, while there are toilets a short distance away.
While in Eastbourne, you can go for a walk on the coastal landmarks at Beachy Head, the highest chalk cliff in the UK. If you don’t want to walk all the way from the beach to the top of the white cliffs, you can drive there.
You will be able to find a car park and then walk and take some amazing views of the white-striped lighthouse on the English channel. There is no fence, so you should hold your kids close to you. If you continue walking you will be able to see the Heritage Coastline to the Seven Sisters Country Park. There is only a pub nearby on the road which is called The Beachy Head and it can be busy, so you can pack your lunch.
Accommodation near Eastbourne and Beachy Head:
Meads Apartment is the best choice if you travel with a family of 5 to 6 people. It is located only 2 miles away from the beach and has an exceptional service. For a budget option, check the seaside apartment OTTO.
4. West Wittering
Located in West Sussex, West Wittering beach is a beautiful, sandy beach with a Blue Flag award. Since it is an hour away by car from where we live in Sutton, Surrey, we would drive there and spend the day any chance we get.
You can also take a train or coach to Chichester Station, followed by a taxi or bus to the beach. Parking is available but my advice is to book in advance through Just Park.
A great thing about this beach is that it has dog-friendly areas. The beach huts there are privately owned and some of the owners let them but that part of the beach does not allow dogs.
There are toilets and drinking water taps. They also have outdoor showers which we use to wash off any seawater or sand before getting into our car and going back home. Lifeguards are usually on duty from May to September.
The Beach Café serves drinks, snacks, and ice cream and there is also a fish and chip shop in case you haven’t packed a picnic. You are also allowed to have your own BBQ.
Accommodation near West Wittering:
The beach is close to the East Head National Trust and if you want to spend more than a day you can always book a hotel or a cottage in the village.
5. Ventnor Beach, Isle of Wight
Ventnor beach is one of the most kid-friendly beaches in the entire Isle of Wight, and it is very precious. When you arrive on the seafront passing by the waterfall, you will be able to see a bandstand-like structure with 360 degrees gorgeous views. This is a perfect spot for cameramen and photo lovers.
There is also a special paddling pool, which so nice for the little babies, and the water is much pleasant for tiny feet. Apart from the pool, there are tons to do for family holidays. There are numerous cafes and restaurants, ice-cream every corner, an amusement arcade, beach shop, and the world-famous Spyglass Inn, which has a quirky nautical-themed interior and upper and lower deck terraces overlooking the sea.
Pro Tip: During low tide, swim from the middle of the beach to the ridge of rocks that appears from beneath the waves. This is one of the most favorite spots for kids to play and climb the rocks.
Accommodation near Ventnor Beach:
St. Maurs guest house is what will make your family or couple stay incredibly memorable.
6. Highcliffe Beach
Recommended by Lieze from Glitter Rebel
When looking for a quiet, beautiful, and family-friendly beach on the South-coast of England, Highcliffe might just as well be that hidden gem you have been looking for. Although Highcliffe is not too far from the busy beaches of Bournemouth, it only seems to attract locals who know of its existence. Tucked away behind Highcliffe Castle you will find a stretch of paradise beach crowned with Mediterranean trees and an impressive view of the Isle of Wight.
Parking near Highcliffe beach is easy. You can either park by the Highcliffe castle for 5.60 pounds for four hours. This parking lot is right next to the most beautiful part of the beach and shaded by trees. It’s quite a small car park, so if it is full you can head to Highcliffe Top Car Park where you pay 6 pounds for 12 hours. This one is also next to the beach.
If you are tired of swimming and sunbathing, you can head to the New Forest National Park for amazing walks through the rolling hills of heather. The New Forest is known for its free-roaming ponies, cows and pigs, and of course the many historical picturesque villages. Don’t miss out on the romantic villages on Beaulieu and Burley!
Paultons Park is also incredibly close. At Paultons they can meet Peppa Pig in Peppa Pig World and meet dinosaurs in the Lost Kingdom.
Accommodation near Highcliffe Beach:
There are loads of family-friendly holiday homes in the area such as Poppy at Oakdene Forest Park, and if you would like to bring your four-legged family members, you will always be able to find dog-friendly accommodation in The New Forest.
Best UK Beaches in the South West of England
7. Lulworth Cove, Dorset
Recommended by The Gap Decaders. Facebook: Gapdecaders
Lulworth Cove in Dorset is a stunning and unique, almost circular cove. With a gently sloping pebble beach, this is a sheltered and safe place for kids to swim and practice water sports. At either end of the beach are places where kids (and grown-ups!) can rock pool and search for crabs and other sea creatures.
Lulworth Cove is easily accessible from the main A35, which runs parallel to the Jurassic Coast, the UNESCO World Heritage Site, in which the cove sits. Head west on foot from Lulworth and you’ll get to the iconic sea arch of Durdle Door, backed by a beautiful beach.
Avoid the crowds and head east for 30 minutes on the South West Coastal Path and you’ll find a fascinating fossil forest, formed millions of years ago. Continue on the cliff path for spectacular sea views and you’ll find Worbarrow Bay, a beautiful, secluded, and much less visited cove which can only be accessed by walking from Lulworth or the tiny abandoned village of Tyneham.
Close by is the Tank Museum at Bovingdon, perfect for all those budding soldiers…and their Dads! The fantastic and entertaining Monkey World is also a 15-minute drive away and makes a great day trip in the area.
Accommodation near Lulworth Cove:
There is plenty of parking at Lulworth Cove, and the nearby Durdle Door Holiday Park offers self-catering accommodation and pitches, perfect if you’re campervan or motorhome touring, with excellent access to both beaches and the whole of this spectacular coast. Unless you don’t plan on a campsite option, you can always pick amazing family homes nearby.
8. West Bay, Dorset
Recommended by Helen on Her Holidays
The small village of West Bay on the Dorset coast boasts one of the most spectacular beaches anywhere in the UK. Backed with astonishing honey-colored cliffs, the wide beach is spectacularly photogenic and a popular place for family day trips.
West Bay sits on the Jurassic Coast, a 96-mile long area that straddles Dorset and Devon. West Bay is in the middle of the most interesting part, mid-way between Swanage and Lyme Regis, and this whole area is packed with fantastic things to do for all the family. It’s named the Jurassic Coast both for its unique geology and for the many fossil-rich beaches. Spending time on the beach fossil-hunting is fun and educational – just make sure you pay attention to any warnings about falling rocks. Nearby on the Jurassic Coast, you’ll find the Monkey World ape sanctuary, the Swanage heritage railway, and Tyneham ghost village.
Getting to West Bay is really easy. There are several car parks in the village, including one right on the beach, or there’s a bus service from nearby Bridport. The former railway line that used to run between Bridport and West Bay is now a footpath and cycle path.
Accommodation near West Bay:
Family-friendly accommodation in and near West Bay is easy to find. You can rent a traditional Dorset cottage, or there are several cozy B&Bs nearby. If you’re traveling with kids, a static caravan makes a great choice, and there’s a caravan site just a short walk from the beach with its own pool and leisure center – ideal if the weather isn’t quite beach-ready!
9. Great Western Beach, Newquay, Cornwall
Recommended by US!
When we went on a road trip camping with our toddler for about 10 days to Cornwall, every experience was so worth it. Until today, I am convinced that the best beaches are there. It is a bit far from London to make a one-day tour, but if you have got at least 4 days, our advice is to hop on the train or drive the car to Cornwall and explore the magnificent beaches of England: warm turquoise water, absolutely clean beaches, stunning views and a lot of things to do with your family.
Newquay is also the town that is famous for surfing, you will find a lot of surfing schools on every beach and in the city center. Fistral beach is one of the surfers’ beloved spot, so if you are into water sports and crave for waves, you should go there with no doubt.
Our favorite beach was Great Western. Located in a very convenient area, you are able to wander around and get on the top for gorgeous views and photos. This can be found at the place where the huge mansion is sitting on a rock and separated with the very thin and long bridge which is meant to be a private area. We found it very interesting to explore after going for a swim and lots of play around.
Besides, this area is close to the center which is nice to visit if you have never been to Newquay before. If you have got a bit more time, visit Blue Reef Aquarium which is only 9 minutes away from the Great Western Beach. There is also Newquay Zoo close by, but the best and favorite place guaranteed for your child will be Newquay Trampoline and Play Park. You will find there all kinds of trampolines, nets, slides, and everything you need for your family to make your journey unforgettable.
Accommodation near Great Western Beach:
For hotel lovers, here is one of the best and nearest to the beach options.
10. Porthminster Beach, St. Ives, Cornwall
Recommended by Sylvie from Travels with Eden (@travelswitheden)
Porthminster beach is located in the picturesque town of St Ives in the South West of Cornwall. The town is famous for its four white sandy beaches, clear seas, surfing, and art scene. Porthminster beach is the most family-friendly beach with all the facilities a family could need. There are several beach takeaways, shops, an ice cream booth, public facilities, and even a mini-golf course. The sea is the calmest in St Ives making Porthminster ideal for kids to go swimming. The vast size of Porthminster makes it easier to avoid crowds. Try to sit at the far end of the beach, most distant from St Ives.
There are plenty of things to do in St Ives too from trying out the other three beaches, boat trips, learning to surf, and exploring the alleyways and independent shops. There are endless choices of day trips from St Ives, whether you want to explore more of Cornwall or visit an attraction.
Porthminster beach is surrounded by family-friendly hotels. The Pedn Olva overlooks the side of Porthminster and features family-friendly rooms and a small outdoor pool. The Porthinster hotel has prime views above the beach and yummy local food. Kids are allowed to use the spa pool at certain times of the day. I love taking my baby here.
Getting to Porthminster Beach
To reach Porthminster, you can ride on the St Ives branch line, a scenic train journey connecting St Ives with the mainline station of St Erth and the neighboring towns and villages of Carbis Bay and Lelant. St Ives station is only a 2-minute walk from the beach. If you’re driving, you can park just above the beach in the railway station car park. However, parking is sometimes an issue in St Ives to its best to park in Trenwith Car Park and walk down the hill. You can also park in the park-and-ride at St Erth railway station.
Accommodation near Porthminster Beach:
If you travel as a family of four, you must visit this Woodland Retreat. The name speaks for itself, but also it is near to everything, including the beach. If this option is not available, the second Glenleigh Bed and Breakfast always offers its cozy accommodation.
11. Great Bay on the Isles of Scilly
Recommended by Annabel from Smudged Postcard (@smudgedpostcard)
Hidden away on the family-friendly Isles of Scilly is the wonderful Great Bay. This wide arc of sand is a beautiful and peaceful beach for families to enjoy. It is backed by heathland and has large rocks at either end, perfect for climbing on. There are no roads or buildings visible from the beach so it is a very scenic spot.
As with any amazing beach, Great Bay takes a little patience to reach. Visitors must first travel to the Scilly Isles: there are flights from regional airports and a ferry from Penzance in south west Cornwall. Great Bay is located on the island of St Martin, one of the off-isles of the Scillies. It can be reached from the main island of St Mary by boat.
Great Bay itself is a 30-minute walk from the dock of St Martin. As the island is car-free, visitors can wander along the peaceful sandy trails across the island. The last part of the walk is quite bumpy so the beach is better suited to children who don’t need a pushchair.
The beach is often deserted, the sea is crystal clear (and a little chilly, so bring wetsuits!). There are no facilities near the beach, so it’s best to bring a picnic, there’s a great bakery near the dock. Otherwise, there are a couple of pubs on the island serving hearty lunches.
Accommodation near Great Bay:
12. Southend-on-Sea, Essex
Ever since I was a kid, one beach I have traveled to most years is Southend-on-Sea. Located in Essex, not far outside London, this 7 mile-long stretch of beach is a fantastic place to visit for families and adults alike. Besides chilling on and enjoying the fantastic beach, there really is so much to do here.
First off, like all great British seaside resorts, you’ll find endless arcades and amusements, perfect for escaping the far-too-common British rain. But when the weather is nice, you can head to Adventure Island. A relatively large theme park located right on the seafront, filled with dozens of rides, ranging from high octane coasters to go-karts and bumper cars.
But what makes Southend so special and unique is that it’s home to the longest pier anywhere in the UK. Stretching out a total of 1.3 miles (2.1km) it truly is epic! You get to experience tremendous views the further out you go and can even take a ride on the pier railway if you don’t fancy the long walk!
Getting here by car is very straightforward and there is plenty of parking along the front. If you want to avoid the crowds, then it’s best to head here during the week. But not on bank holidays when thousands of people descend on the seaside resort to hopefully enjoy some great weather.
Accommodation near Southend-on-Sea:
There are really fantastic apartments near the beach. Woodgrange is only 700 yards away and offers amazing facilities so that your family will hardly be able to go out. Similar to this apartment, Coastal Apartment is located only a mile away from the beach.
Best UK Beaches in the East of England
13. Gorleston Beach, Norfolk
Recommended by Mandi from Big Family Little Adventures. Facebook: BigFamilyLittleAdventures
Gorleston Beach is located on the East Coast in Norfolk, between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, it is a little hidden gem that is perfect for a family day at the beach.
There are plenty of free parking spaces that are directly next to the beach at the Northern end of the beach, where you can also purchase ice creams, doughnuts, and a hot meal.
There are two small arcades with penny pushers and kids games to keep them amused, with some great prizes on the Bingo!
Last year a new splash zone was opened for children, so if they are not keen on the sand they can still have a fun time in the water play area.
At the southern end of the beach, there is a large car park up on Gorleston Cliffs, again this is free of charge and if you have your dog with you, they are allowed on this end of the beach all year round.
The beauty of this beach is that it has lots of golden sand, clear water lifeguard patrol and within walking distance of a few small cafes and amusements, but that’s it. However, if you are looking for a large seaside resort with attractions, restaurants, and lots of hustle and bustle, you are only 10 minutes away from Great Yarmouth.
Accommodation near Gorleston Beach:
14. Holkham Beach, Norfolk
Recommended by Anna from Twins and Travels
Holkham Beach is one of England’s finest, most pristine beaches.
Backed by a pine forest, sand dunes and nature reserve, it is reported
to be one of the loveliest stretches unspoiled coastline in England.
Holkham Beach can be found on the North Norfolk coast just off the A149
close to Wells-Next-to-the-Sea. It is open 365 days a year and you
access it via Lady Anne’s Drive in Holkham village, opposite The
Victoria Inn. There is a car park with ample parking but charges do
The beach itself is a vast expanse of unspoiled golden sand which seem to
stretch on forever. It can be a fair stroll to the water’s edge at low
the tide which can sometimes put a strain on little legs so whilst I
wouldn’t recommend going to Holkham with small children, a carrier
Every year the Household Cavalry visits Holkham in the summer. If you
get your timing right, you can watch over 100 horses and 200 cavalrymen
take this annual break to spend time away from state ceremonial duties
and undergo a series of training exercises, including the famous ride
out on Holkham Beach – children absolutely love this.
The Lookout, which can be found just before entering the beach, provides
new facilities for people who come to visit each year, including an
the education center, refreshments area, and toilets.
Accommodation near Holkham Beach:
Best UK Beaches in the North East of England
15. Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire
Recommended by Children of Wanderlust
This quintessential English seaside resort, located just to the north of the very popular Skegness, has lots to offer visitors. In fact, the vast and wild beach at Mablethorpe is actually much nicer than at Skegness, with great sand and lots of attractions, but without as many day-trippers from Nottingham and other surrounding cities. This is perhaps due in part to the fact that Mablethorpe can only be reached by car, whereas Skegness can also be easily reached by train. The only real downside of this whole stretch of coast is that it can get quite windy at times.
As you’d expect there are all the British seaside classics, like beach huts, fudge, rock, amusements, donkey rides, and fish and chips. There is also a great addition of a land train which takes you north from the town to the excellent Seal Sanctuary, which is a must-see activity when visiting, offering a chance to get up close to these loveable sea mammals. They also offer some great experiences, like the chance to be a keeper for the day (which could make for a lovely alternative birthday present for children).
Pro Tip: When the town is busy to park here, as it’s only £2 all day, then catch the land train to visit the town.
Accommodation near Mablethorpe beach:
There are a number of nice family homes and B&Bs in the area. Also, a series of campsites are in very close proximity to the beach, of varying standards. The Shamrock RV Park is more of a basic, budget site, situated to the south of the town. At the other end of the scale the Haven – Golden Sands, located near to the seal sanctuary, has all the amenities you’d expect from a large campsite, including pools and entertainment. Wherever you decide to stay, Mablethorpe is a great place for a traditional family staycation.
16. Robin Hood’s Bay, Yorkshire
Recommended by Sinead from Map Made Memories
Robin Hoods Bay is an expansive sandy beach that lies in a large, sheltered bay on the North Yorkshire Coast. It is located right in the North York Moors National Park which is a fantastic combination for family days out. The only access to the beach is by foot, either from the North Yorkshire coastal path that runs along the cliff tops or via the car-free village of the same name.
Visitors to Robin Hoods Bay must park at the public car park at the top of the hill on the edge of the village and descend through the winding lanes of the old fishing village to reach the beach. It is not a beach to lug lots of stuff! But, as a result of this, the beach is quiet allowing families lots of space to spread out. Families can stroll along the beach to Boggle Hole or, at low tide, explore several rock pools near the entrance to the village.
This part of the North Yorkshire coastline is known as the Jurassic Coast and sharp-eyed visitors may find fossils littering the beach including ammonites, belemnites, and Devil’s Toe Nail. Families can explore the charming cobbled lanes of Robin Hoods Bay village and visit the National Trust, free to enter old Coastguard Station. The village is packed with old cottages to rent or families can stay in family rooms at the gorgeous, beachfront youth hostel at Boggle Hole.
Accommodation near Robin Hood’s Bay:
There are quite a few options for one or a couple of nights’ stay. Apple Farm Holiday Cottage is an amazing option for the family. It is located in a very peaceful area with a garden and stunning views. For luxury travelers, there is The Snug With Hot Tub on offer. There are also nice B&Bs options, such as Birtley House near the coast and Blacksmith’s Boutique that is 2.9 miles away from the city center.
Recommended by Alysa and Jack from Voyaging Herbivore (@voyagingherbivore)
Set your destination for Saltburn-by-the-Sea and you’ll be taken directly to the beach. Bluewater, brave surfers, and happy dogs all occupy this small piece of paradise. Of the many beach towns in the UK, Saltburn is one that still feels a bit like a hidden gem. Plus, it is located 15-minutes away from the North York Moors National Park which is a fantastic combination for family days out.
You’ll find a small pier with chips and little cabin rentals, but the main attraction lies in the unique gravity lift used to go up and down the cliffside (or take the stairs). It’s one of the oldest gravity lifts still in operation and is worth the ride if it’s up and running.
You can easily walk along the beach for miles, letting kids and puppies play in the sand and water along the way, stopping at pubs for a drink and a refuel.
Parking is free and accommodation in Saltburn by the Sea is nothing short of magical and affordable. You can walk almost everywhere, so park your car and forget about it for the remainder of the weekend. There are miles of walks to do with varying levels of difficulty, but if you find the urge to venture further out, make the short drive to Staithes or Whitby and explore before heading back for a sunset on the beach.
If you visit in March it’s not likely to be very crowded, however, the water will be too cool to swim. With miles of beach to walk you’ll be sure to find a spot for the family to set up, so go simply when it’s best for you!
Accommodation near Saltburn-by-the-Sea:
If you’re looking for a spacious apartment with a view like no other, look no further than The Observatory Apartment. It is located just near the coast. The Arches Country House for a family stay is an amazing option too located only 2.3 miles away from the city center.
18. Bamburgh beach, Northumberland
Recommended by Sarah from ASocialNomad. Facebook: ASocialNomad
Located on the North East Coast of England, Bamburgh beach is located next to the glorious historic town of Bamburgh. It is also a half-an-hour drive to the legendary Northumberland National Park with plenty of things to do for kids.
Parking for the beach is available anywhere in the town or at the Castle car parking, which is a paid-for car park adjacent to the beach. The beach is an easy walk from the town center and a bus route connected Bamburgh with other towns in the area.
This beach is never crowded. It comprises miles and miles of golden sand, fringed by sand dunes. There are no facilities here, other than the ones in town and you’ll want to bring a windbreak. Part of the attraction of this beach is a combination of the sheer size of it and the wildness of it. You can see Holy Island and the Farne Islands in the distance, but if the weather is bad, then we advise waiting for a better day – the wind coming off the North Sea can be seriously strong!
Bamburgh beach is perfect for exploring rock pools and building sandcastles – and of course, taking a walk – there’s a great nature walk that takes in part of the beach. Be sure also to make time to visit the family-friendly RNLI Grace Darling Museum to learn about water safety, the life of Grace Darling and her famous rescue as well as the work of the RNLI in the region.
Accommodation near Bamburgh Beach:
Best UK Beaches in the North West of England
19. Blackpool Beach, Lancashire
Recommended by Faith from XYU and Beyond. Facebook: XYUandBeyond
Blackpool is on England’s North West Coast. It’s against the Irish Sea, with amazing views and sunsets from the seafront. The 7 miles long soft sandy beach at Blackpool is outstanding and contains a host of activities for kids from donkey rides (only for the little ones) to sandcastle competitions.
Blackpool is a true family-friendly beach holiday. There’s parking everywhere from the seafront promenade to the side street multi-story car-parks. It’s easy to get to by coach or train too.
When looking for things to do in Blackpool you can choose from the events at the Winter Gardens where Strictly Come Dancing is filmed to taking the elevator up to the top of Blackpool’s iconic tower.
Considering to be me of the best UK beaches for kids, there are amusement parks for children and drag shows for grown-ups. In many places, kids will eat free and the adults can indulge in inexpensive buffets and cheap pints. Every year thousands of tourists drop by for the event of the season Illuminasia. This is a magical walk-through attraction that uses modern technology to illuminate the City. From massive glowing puppets climbing buses to every conceivable building lit with fairy lights.
There are three piers in Blackpool that contain every delight known to children the world over. From Ferris wheels to bumper cars to penny arcades it’s all here, along with the usual ice-cream cones and candy floss vendors you can choose from dozens of cheap toys and trinkets to keep the kids amused on that gorgeous beach.
Accommodation near Blackpool:
Best UK Beaches in Wales
20. Barry Island Beach
Recommended by Bhushavali from Travel Bhushavali (@bhushavali)
Barry Island though called an Island, it’s actually an extension of the mainland with coves on either side, making it a bit isolated. Located just 3hrs from London, it’s a perfect family weekend trip from London. It is a good option to stop if you are making a trip to Cotswolds. Also, on the way to Cornwall, we explored an amazing Clevedon beach that is located on the other side of Barry Island and may be a good alternative while traveling to your final destination.
The most striking aspect of the Whitmore Bay beach is the colorful beach-houses. They come in 2 sizes and can be hired till 10 PM in summers!
The beach has quite a few activities for kids to do including a rock-climbing wall, indoor play area, laser tag, etc. Then there’s also the Pleasure park with several amusement activities like Giant wheel, cup-n-saucer, trampoline, and more to keep the kids busy.
After enjoying these touristic attractions, head to Porthkerry Pebble Beach for some peace and quiet. This is located further ahead from Barry, beside Birch Grove Nature Reserve. This is a vast area of greenery with a viaduct with railway track on it, in the midst. It’s indeed very picturesque! A walk along the beach from Barry island, through Porthkerry all the way to Ogmore is 20km and that’s called the Heritage Coast. From sandy beaches to pebbly beaches to white cliffs, it is one walk through a variety of terrains.
Accommodation near Barry Island:
Though there are many hotels & resorts here, the best option is to find a cheap guest house close to the sea, and literally ‘live’ on the beach!
21. Tresaith Beach
Recommended by Deborah from Grand Adventure Story
Tresaith Beach, near Aberporth in Cardigan Bay, Wales is a gem of a beach with shallow waves to play in, rocks to clamber over, rockpools to explore and, if that isn’t enough to keep the family busy for a day, there’s also a magical waterfall spilling over the cliff edge above.
The easiest way to get to the beach is by car, but it is possible to walk to Tresaith along the coast path from Aberporth in under thirty minutes. If you have little legs in tow you could consider taking the Cardi Bach bus from Aberporth. Famous Brecon Beacons National Park is located 1.5hs away from the beach.
If you do drive expect to park your car at the top of the hill above the small village of Tresaith. It’s a short but steep walk down to the beach where you’ll find a single shop selling beach essentials and ice cream. Bring a picnic, a bucket and spade, a net for rock pooling, and a bodyboard and plan to spend a very happy couple of hours on Tresaith Beach.
Cardigan Bay is a great base for a family holiday. As well as spending time on the beaches it’s possible to go on a ‘sea safari’ from New Quay to view dolphins out in the bay, visit castles, go to the Welsh Wildlife nature reserve near Cilgerran or kayak on the River Teifi.
Accommodation near Tresaith Beach:
Stay at Cardigan Bay Caravans Holiday Park with a hot tub inside. It has a special footpath leading you directly to the beach. Or pick Sloeberry Farm, a gorgeous glamping site in the hills above the village of Aberporth. Kids will love the bunk beds and cabin beds in the spectacular safari tent, and adults will enjoy lounging on the Chesterfield sofas in front of the wood burner in the evenings.
Best UK Beaches in Scotland
22. Calgary Beach on the Isle of Mull
Recommended by Kathi from Watch Me See
Calgary Bay is a popular beach on the Scottish Isle of Mull. Located on the island’s west coast, Calgary is the perfect antidote with uninterrupted sea views, soft white sand, and crystal-clear water. On a good day, the beach looks almost like the Caribbean – only the palm trees are missing, and maybe the temperatures!
The meadows beyond the beach are dotted with colorful wildflowers during the summer – the Scottish west coast’s typical Machair vegetation. The sea is bustling with life here, so make sure you pack everyone’s snorkeling equipment to brave the cold water.
Facilities like restaurants and supermarkets are only 12 miles away in the nearby town of Tobermory, Mull’s charming capital. There are many easy coastal walks in the area and from Tobermory, you can join a few different boat tours to see local wildlife or nearby islands.
From Calgary, it is an easy drive down the coast to the stunning Eas Fors waterfall and the Ulva boat pier. From here you can catch a small ferry across to the Isle of Ulva, where trails and fantastic food at the Boathouse make for a fantastic day trip that is enjoyable for the whole family.
While Mull is by no means a secret among Scottish islands, it offers so much to do and see that it is easy to escape the crowds.
Accommodation near Calgary Beach:
23. Aird Sleat, Isle of Skye
Recommended by Emma from Journey of a Nomad Family
The Aird of Sleat is the most southerly settlement on the Isle of Skye. It forms part of a small crofting township scattered over a green hillside above the Sound of Sleat. There is a narrow, single-track lane leading to the art gallery at the Aird Old Church where you can park but from there the only way to access this delightful, rural beach is on foot. It’s about a 3km walk, leading through animal pastures and don’t miss the sharp left turn that takes you up and over the rocky hill – it is signposted but easy to miss.
The Aird of Sleat harbors a tropical looking beach, fresh with glorious white sand, turquoise clear waters and surrounded by volcanic rocks perfect for scrambling! You’ll need to rub your eyes in disbelief as this beach is gloriously inviting but the water is a little on the chilly side. It shouldn’t deter your kids though who let’s face it, never feel the cold!
You can wild camp here, light BBQs, the waters are so perfect you could easily snorkel or paddleboard (with a wetsuit) and it’s also dog friendly. A short distance away is a lighthouse and the whole area is perfect for families with adventurous kids where idyllic small coves and other serene but virtually empty local beaches await the fearless explorer.
Accommodation near Aird Sleat
The nearest big town is Armadale (where the ferry from the mainland arrives) but the local hills are awash with old stone, whitewashed cottages, and hotels to rent.
Best UK Beaches in Northern Ireland
24. Crawfordsburn Beach
Recommended by Allan from It’s Sometimes Sunny in Bangor
Crawfordsburn Beach is a local beauty spot found along the ‘Gold Coast’ coastline next to the seaside town of Bangor in County Down. It would also be the go-to beach for city folk during sunny summer months in Northern Ireland as it is only 20-miles out from the capital city of Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Most tourists and locals would travel by train on the main Belfast to Bangor line where it is only 25-minutes by train to reach Helen’s Bay train station and then it’s a short 10-minute walk past Helen’s Bay Beach (another great spot) and golf course before reaching the main Crawfordsburn beach.
The beach is also part of a wider area of natural beauty including the North Down Coastal Path walk between Bangor and Holywood, and Crawfordsburn Country Park which is where the beach is located. So there is a lot to explore in the area including the Woodlands Visitor Centre and Cafe Restaurant which has various exhibits sharing the biodiversity and nature found in the surrounding woodlands and coastlines.
There are also various forest walks, the old viaduct, and the forest park also connects to the quaint local village of Crawfordsburn which has the perfect hotel in the Old Inn for longer visits and stays.
Map of the Best UK Beaches for Kids
Finally, as we have mentioned at the beginning of this post, we would like to share with you the map of the best beaches in UK for families. Now you are able to easily choose the ones you like and enjoy incredibly fantastic and sunny family days out.
So, have you made the list of your favorite UK beaches for kids yet? We certainly hope so!
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