30 of the UK's best family-friendly beaches (2022)

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Who doesn't love a day at the seaside? Especially with news that another heatwave is due to hit by the end of next week! We've rounded up the best family-friendly beaches around the UK to visit. All you need to do is make a picnic, pack up the car and pick which one to enjoy. Don't forget your bucket and spade!.

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This beautiful beach sits on theNorthumberland Coast. The soft, golden sand is ideal for games and picnics, or for a stroll. The impressive Bamburgh Castle towers over the beach and is well worth a visit with the kids. Something else to keep an eye out for is a white stag painted on the appropriately named Stag rocks. Surf lessons are available if you're looking for something more active, or check out the wildlife and fauna on this Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Where: Bamburgh Castle Beach, Alnwick, Northumberland NE69 7DF

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If you're going to do one thing on Blackpool beach, make it a donkey ride. They've been going on for more than 100 years and are still a massive part of Blackpool's legacy. The beach stretches out for seven miles and is lined with funfair rides, amusement games and entertaining displays. If the weather turns sour, you can always wander to the 500ft Blackpool Tower, or jump on a tram to explore.
Where: Blackpool beach, Lancashire FY1 5AA

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We might be used to the cold sea – and cold weather – but Bournemouth has some of the warmest sea temperatures in the UK. The beach is usually quite busy so has helpful colour-coded zones and wristbands for children to wear, in case the little ones wander off.
Where: Bournemouth Beach, Pier Approach, Bournemouth, Dorset BH2 5AA

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This enclosed bay really is a safe haven for families. The upper part of the beach is mainly pebble, but rock pools give the kids a place to play and explore. There are beach shops, a café and pub for refreshments if you'd rather not sit on the shingle for a picnic.
Where: Crackington Haven,Cornwall, EX23 0JG

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Get the best of both worlds at Cromer beach, which is made up of sand and shingle. Sit on the pier and go crabbing, or run alongside your four-legged family member at this dog-friendly beach.
Where: Cromer beach, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9HP

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The bay has a seven-mile stretch of sand to enjoy with a lot of shallow water, which is great for paddling. When the tide goes out, there are loads of rock pools to look at, too.
Where: Druridge bay, Amble, Northumberland NE615BX

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Opt for Formby if you're after a more rural setting. It has lots to look at, including prehistoric footprints and red squirrels in the pinewoods. The sand dunes are great for bodyboarding down as well as playing hide-and-seek in.
Where: Formby beach, Southport, Merseyside L37 2EJ

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There are a number of beaches in Norfolk, but Holkham is recognised as being one of the finest. The well-kept golden sand makes for a lovely stroll down the shoreline, and is ideal for kite flying and sandcastle building. It backs onto the Holkham Pines, a belt of pine trees, which is home to rare animals and plants that are part of a National Nature Reserve.
Where: Holkham beach, Holkham, Norfolk NR23 1RG

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Also known as Sunny Hunny, this is a broad sandy beach with lots of rockpools to explore near the cliffs, and the water is usually calm for budding young surfers. Hunstanton is the only resort town in East Anglia which faces west, so you won't feel as windswept while you're trying to watch the stunning sunset. Visit the Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary on the promenade, which features an underwater tunnel and seal hospital that you'll love as much as the kids.
Where: Hunstanton Beach, Hunstanton, Norfolk, PE36 5BF

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There's plenty of room on these soft sands to set up camp with a beach tent and windbreaks without being too far from the Watering Hole – a pub right on the beach. The sand dunes house wildlife from lizards to butterflies, for some nature hunting. The beach backs onto the village – super handy if you need to pop to the shops for emergency sun cream.
Where: Perranporth Beach, Perranporth, Cornwall TR6 0AQ

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Being in St Ives can feel like you're on a Caribbean island, if the weather's good, of course! Porthmeor is great for surfer kids and the friendly town has something for everyone, including being easy to navigate with a pram.
Where: Porthmeor Beach, Cornwall TR26 2BN

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Putsborough is the only beach in the area to have some protection from south and south-westerly winds by the headland, Baggy Point, making this is a go-to for surfers. But, before the tide comes in, you'll find people playing frisbee and other ball games on the wide sandy strip.
Where: Putsborough Sands, Putsborough,Georgeham,Braunton,Devon,EX33 1LB

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Runswick is about nine miles north of Whitby and regarded as one of the prettiest spots on the Yorkshire coast. Bring your pooch along to join in the fun at this animal-friendly hotspot.
Where: Runswick Bay, Whitby, Yorkshire, TS13 5HT

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This stunning beach is also known as Whitesands Bay because of its bright white sand. The Beach Restaurant is a handy hideout for parents while their kids tackle the waves at The Smart Surf School. It's run by former pro surfers and welcomes beginners from the age of seven.
Where: Sennen Cove, Sennen, St Just, Cornwall, TR19 7DG

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Five miles of sand and shingle make up Silecroft beach, where you can try water sports, fishing and canoeing. A great seaside spot to visit as opposed to the usual Lakeside views you get in this area.
Where: Silecroft Beach, Millom, Cumbria, LA18 4NY

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This stunning 2km stretch of sand lies on the Studland Peninsula in a sheltered cove. The waters are quite shallow, making it ideal for young children. You can even hire a gorgeous beach hut as your base making you the envy of all those passers-by!
Where: Studland Beach, Ferry Road, Near Swanage, Dorset BH19 3AQ

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While there are multiple beaches in Tynemouth, Cullercoats is a lovely small, sandy, crescent-shaped beach, backed by cliffs. During the low tide, explore the caves and rockpools for hidden treasures – and creatures!
Where: Cullercoats Beach, Tynemouth, NE30 4PZ

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This is a Victorian seaside resort with shops, cafes and amusements along the seafront. The beach is small so you won't lose sight of your little one. And there's a children's paddling pool nearby, that features an island the shape of the Isle of Wight. Cute!
Where: Ventnor Beach, Isle of Wight PO38 1JP

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'Oh you will like to be by the seaside' at the classic British getaway. There are brightly-coloured beach huts, a boardwalk and old-fashioned kids' rides right on the sand. If the kids love ice cream, take the lift up to the promenade where you'll find a vintage ice-cream parlour. Heaven!
Where: Viking Bay, Broadstairs, Kent CT10 1NB

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A high water quality and excellent facilities have madeWest Witteringone of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country. There are miles and miles of sand so it doesn't get overcrowded. It does get breezy here but this just makes it ideal for kites and windsurfers. A must-visit!
Where: West Wittering Beach, Pound Road, West Wittering, Chichester PO20 8AJ

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Enjoy the buzzing atmosphere at this seaside resort and prepare for a fun-filled day. Weymouth beach is even said to have some of the best sand in Britain for sandcastle construction, so get your spades and buckets at the ready!
Where: Weymouth Beach, The Esplanade, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 7AN

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New Quay has a few beaches that you can visit, but the North Beach, with its coarse sand, is great for water-sports fans. New Quay is home to colonies of seals and two colonies of bottlenose dolphins, so there's plenty of wildlife to try and spot. During the summer, wildlife-watching trips leave from the town’s harbour.
Where: New Quay Beach, New Quay, Ceredigion, SA45 9PS

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Coppet Hall is more appealing to those looking for a more intimate space. There are fantastic rock pools, family changing rooms and showers for when it's home time. Stop off at the beach pub for a quick bite before you leave.
Where: Coppet Hall Beach, Pembrokeshire SA69 9EY

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Keen swimmers are in for a treat at Barafundle beach. Not only has it been ranked among the best beaches in the world, but it has the UK's highest award for water quality (although the water temperatures in the UK might not be as pleasant!) There are sand dunes, rock pools and hidden caves to explore when it's time to dry off. Plus, the area is managed by the National Trust, so expect a clean, fun experience for all. Somewhat isolated, you can't drive to the beach itself with the nearest car park at Stackpole Quay. Access is only on foot via the Coast Path either from Stackpole (0.5miles) or Broad Haven South (1.3miles). Once there, entrance to the beach is via steps on the northern approach and with no facilities, it means anything you need to bring with you has to be carried – there and back.
Where: Barafundle Bay Beach, Stackpole Quay, Pembrokeshire SA71 5LS

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Whitesands Beach offers a long strip of white sand stretching northwards towards St. David's Head. It's regarded as one of the finest beaches in Pembrokeshire and is also one of the best spots for surfing on the Welsh coast.
Where: Whitesands Beach, St David's, Pembrokeshire, SA62 6PS

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Despite what the name might suggest, Whiterocksis actually a sandy beach. It gets its rocky name from the limestone cliffs that've created a labyrinth of arches, caves and sculptured shapes perfect for exploring. With names like Elephant Rock and Lion Paw, the kids are bound to want to check them out!
Where: Whiterocks Beach, Dunluce Road A2, Portrush, County Antrim BT56 8NA

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Owned and managed by the National Trust, Portstewart Strand is one of Northern Ireland's finest beaches. You can actually drive onto the sand so it's accessible for all, and means you won't have to lug the deck chairs very far. Horse-riding is also available here.
Where: Portstewart Strand, 118 Strand Road, Portstewart, County Londonderry, BT55 7PG

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30 of the UK's best family-friendly beaches (31)

Silver Sands is a popular resort on the Fife coast. As well as the sandy beach there's a play area, putting green and a bouncy castle during the summer months.
Where: Silver Sands, Aberdour, Fife KY3 0RQ

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Take in the beautiful views at one of Scotland’s best-loved resorts. The sandy beach and tide-filled paddling pool makes it the perfect choice for a family visit. There's an impressive array of wildlife offshore: Bass Rock boasts the largest single island colony of gannets in the world, while Craigleith is frequented by puffins. There's also a Scottish Seabird Centre on the harbour.
Where: West Bay Beach, North Berwick EH39 4JQ

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Less than two miles east of Edinburgh city centre, this is a charming seaside resort with two miles of golden sand. There's a lovely promenade and it's where the Portobello Kayaking and Sailing Club are based, so have your wetsuits ready!
Where: Portobello Beach, Edinburgh, EH15 1DT

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