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Top 8 UK Family Beaches

Get planning your family days out this summer

Parkdean Resorts by Parkdean Resorts on 26/06/2019
Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

With the school holidays just around the corner, what better place to spend a family day out than by the seaside? If you find yourself struggling to fill those weeks stretching ahead of you, a UK beach holiday is the perfect way for the kids to let off some steam and hopefully give parents a chance to relax and enjoy the sunshine.

We’ve done all of the hard work for you and put together a handy guide containing our favourite family friendly beaches from around the UK.

1. Best for Swimming

Blackpool Sands, Devon

Situated on the south coast of Devon, the clear turquoise waves lapping the shores of Blackpool Sands will make it hard to believe you aren’t sunning it up in the Mediterranean. Sheltered by surrounding pine trees, this Blue Flag beach is nestled in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s easy to see why. With lifeguards on duty from July to September, this well maintained shingle beach is the perfect spot for the kids to take a dip due to the excellent water quality. The tide tends not to vary, so children can easily swim close to the shore where parents can supervise nearby. During summer peak there are also plenty of activities to get involved in from kayaking and paddle boarding to music festivals and rock pool rambles. Facilities include a seasonal shop where you can hire beach equipment and a café serving locally produced food all year round.

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay nearby, Blackpool Sands is located a 45 minute drive from Challaborough Bay Holiday Park, which also has its own fantastic beach to experience!

Blackpool Sands

Blackpool Sands, Devon

More of our favourite swimming beaches:

  • West Sands Beach, St. Andrews, Fife
  • Compton Bay, Isle of Wight
  • Beadnell Bay, Northumberland

2. Best for Watersports and Activities

Druridge Bay, Northumberland

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the country, you’d be spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting a beach in Northumberland and we’ve handpicked Druridge Bay as one of the very best the North East has to offer. With its sandy shoreline and grassy dunes, this seven mile long stretch of golden sand has an abundance of activities for kids to keep them entertained all day. Part of a country park, Druridge Bay also benefits from its own lake which plays host to events throughout the summer holidays run by the Coquet Shorebase Trust, a charitable organisation providing various courses catering to all ages. Try your hand at sailing, windsurfing and canoeing or take to the sea for a spot of surfing or kitesurfing if you’re feeling more adventurous. Featuring a newly refurbished children’s play area, gift shop and café, family holidays don’t get much better than this.

Druridge Bay is easily accessible from all of our Northumberland holiday parks, the closest being Cresswell Towers only a five minute drive away.

Druridge Bay

Druridge Bay, Northumberland

More beaches for watersports and activities:

  • Abersoch, Caemarfonshire
  • St. Ives Bay, Cornwall
  • Troon Beach, South Ayrshire

3. Best for Rock Pools

Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall

It goes without saying that Cornwall is a go-to destination for British beach lovers and Treyarnon Bay is certainly no exception when it comes to a great day out. This award winning sandy beach features low waters surrounded by cliffs and sand dunes so is a must-visit if your kids are avid rock poolers. The large, shallow rock pools are filled with fascinating sea life from small fish to crabs, providing endless hours of exploring. With very clean, good quality water, you can also take advantage of the natural swimming pool situated within the rocks to the north which is refilled with each high tide. To help put your mind at rest, there are lifeguards on duty from May to September to ensure your kids are in safe hands!

Treyarnon Bay is within driving distance of several of our Cornwall holiday parks; check out White Acres and Newquay for the closest.

Treyarnon Bay Beach

Treyarnon Bay, Cornwall

More great rock pool beaches:

  • Botany Bay, Kent
  • Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire
  • Filey Beach, North Yorkshire

4. Best for Dogs

Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

Finding a dog friendly beach holiday can be a challenge, particularly during the summer months, but Runswick Bay welcomes your four-legged friends all year round making it the perfect day out for the whole family. Home to one of the Yorkshire Coast’s most scenic beaches, you’ll find a mix of sand and scattered rocks which are ideal for building sandcastles and playing beach games. When the tide is out, fossil hunting is a popular exploit or enjoy a clifftop stroll and you may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a seal! Located next to the small village of Runswick, originally a fishing village, be sure to check out the dog-friendly Runswick Bay Hotel for lunch too.

Runswick Bay is approximately an hour’s drive from our holiday park at Crimdon Dene and is well worth the jaunt!

Runswick Bay

Runswick Bay, North Yorkshire

More dog-friendly beaches:

  • Rhossili Bay Beach, Swansea
  • Seaham Beach, County Durham
  • Holkham Beach, Norfolk

5. Best for Building Sandcastles

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

Grab your bucket and spade and head to the award-winning Weymouth Beach in Dorset for some traditional seaside fun this summer. You won’t be short of things to do with lots of activities for children including donkey rides, pedalos and the Fantasy Island fairground which is open all year round. The pure quality of the sand means it sets like stone when compressed so is perfect for sandcastle building and you can often find sand sculptures on the seafront. The sheltered bay and gradual sloping seabed into shallow water make Weymouth a suitable beach for the kids to swim and lifeguards are on patrol from May to September. Be sure to take a wander along the harbour as there are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops to choose from.

Weymouth Beach is conveniently located from all of our Dorset holiday parks and is just a 20 minute drive from Warmwell Holiday Park.

Weymouth Beach

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

More beaches for sandcastle building:

  • Bamburgh Beach, Northumberland
  • Woolacombe Beach, Devon
  • Sunny Sands Beach, Kent

6. Best for Picnics

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Voted “The Best Place to Have a Picnic” by National Picnic Week in 2014, along with countless other accolades under its belt, Barafundle Bay is a hidden gem you’ll want to add to your bucket list this summer. Given the half hour walk from Stackpole Quay, it’s safe to say this isn’t the most accessible beach but despite the lack of facilities we can promise you it’s all worth the trek. Boasting deep, soft sand and a low tide with gentle waves, this idyllic beach is perfect for swimming and the huge open space provides plenty of room for beach games. An added bonus for dog lovers, Barafundle Bay is a dog-friendly beach all year round so your furry friend can enjoy as much playtime as the kids.

Make your visit one to remember with a stay at Pendine Sands Holiday Park, a 45 minute drive from Barafundle Bay.

Barafundle Bay

Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

More great beaches for picnics:

  • West Wittering, West Sussex
  • Studland Bay, Dorset
  • Haverigg Beach, Lake District, Cumbria

7. Best for Amusements

Blackpool South Beach, Lancashire

An obvious choice but a great one too, Blackpool is the traditional seaside resort we’ve all come to know and love for its three piers, the Golden Mile and of course, its beaches. Whilst the world renowned Blackpool Beach itself is always worth a visit, why not head to the South Beach for slightly less crowds but just as much fun? Offering a wide expanse of sand, the vast open space is perfect for sunbathing, picnics, beach games and sandcastle building galore. Not only that, but the flat terrain and excellent water quality make it perfect for swimming and paddling. Take a walk along the promenade towards South Pier and you’ll find amusements aplenty, including rollercoasters, dodgems and rides suitable for younger children. If that isn’t enough, the famous Blackpool Pleasure Beach is only a stone’s throw away alongside countless other attractions you won’t want to miss.

Under an hour’s drive to all of our Lancashire holiday parks, check out Ocean Edge, Regent Bay and Todber Valley for more information on where to stay when visiting Blackpool.

Blackpool South Beach

Blackpool South Beach, Lancashire

More beaches with amusements:

  • Brighton Beach, East Sussex
  • Gorleston-on-Sea Beach, Norfolk
  • Scarborough South Bay Beach, North Yorkshire

8. Best for Scenery

Nairn Beach, Scottish Highlands

Experience some of the most stunning landscapes in the country with a trip to Nairn Beach, situated in the picturesque Scottish Highlands with views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isles. Nairn is a sandy beach with low dunes, natural rock pools and grassy link areas and it comes with everything you would expect from a traditional seaside resort including ice cream and fish and chips stalls, a children’s play area and a putting green. Sample the coastal walk, complete with nature reserve and viewpoint and be sure to keep an eye out for dolphins playing along the coastline. Extend your visit into the evening and prepare to be impressed by Nairn’s spectacular sunsets – there may even be opportunities to bear witness to the Northern Lights during winter.

Make the most of your time in Nairn with a stay at our Nairn Lochloy Holiday Park, only a short walk away from the beach!

Nairn Beach

Nairn Beach, Scottish Highlands

More scenic beaches:

  • Formby, Lancashire
  • Durdle Door Beach, Dorset
  • Kynance Cove, Cornwall


Have we missed any of your best beaches from our list? Share your favourite beach holidays with us on Facebook.