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UK’s best family friendly beaches this summer as Covid restrictions ease

Families looking for sun, sea and sand this summer won’t need to venture far – the UK is filled with brilliant beaches, and the best part is that heaps are family-friendly.

We’re talking Blue Flag status (which includes factors like safety and water quality), handy facilities such as toilets, changing areas and snack bars, sandy shores that are ideal for building epic sandcastles and rock pools for exploring.

There are plenty of beaches on offer, but to help you narrow it down we’ve picked out 10 brilliant family-friendly beaches in the UK we think are worth having on your radar.

Check out the full list below…

(Oh, and if you are planning a trip you may want to check out 2chill.co.uk for recommendations from people who’ve already enjoyed a getaway at your chosen destination).

Perranporth, Cornwall

Perranporth beach in Cornwall

Perranporth beach boasts miles of golden sands, as well as waters that are a hit with swimmers and surfers alike.

There’s plenty of space for families, not to mention its location right by the town of the same name means it’s easy to access, and there are plenty of cafes and bars nearby.

For the peak seasons (usually from Easter to October) there are lifeguards on the main beach as well as nearby Perran Sands.

If you’re looking for budget-friendly stays nearby Vrbo has a useful list of 50 Perranporth holiday rentals, while Booking.com can be a good source for cheap hotels.

Barafundle Bay Beach, Pembrokeshire

A view of the sandy shore and green surroundings of Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire
Barafundle Beach, Pembrokeshire

With its golden sandy shore and crystal-clear waters, it’s no surprise that this continues to be a popular beach with holidaymakers and locals alike, even if it is in a remote setting.

The waters are popular with swimmers, and there’s plenty of space for laying out a towel and soaking up the sunshine for a few hours. It’s worth noting that there are no on-beach facilities so you’ll need to bring everything with you (and clear it all up afterwards).

Still, it’s about a five-minute drive to the nearby town of Stackpole where you’ll find a cafe, toilets and pub, and there’s also a car park about half a mile from the beach itself.

Tripadvisor has a handy round-up of the best cheap hotels near the beach if you’re looking to make a minibreak of it.

Broad Haven, Pembrokeshire

Little Haven and Broadhaven, beach coastline background in Pembrokeshire Wales UK empty with no people
Little Haven and Broadhaven

This Blue Flag beach offers a narrow yet long stretch of sandy shore, and it’s a firm favourite with families after a fun beach day.
There’s plenty of space to lay out a towel, and the waters are swim-friendly.

Meanwhile there are facilities such as toilets and a car park, and nearby Broad Haven with pubs, restaurants and shops where you can also buy or hire water sports equipment. During the summer months the beach also has lifeguard patrols.

Independent Cottages and Coastal Cottages can be good sources for accommodation nearby.

Porthminster Beach, Cornwall

View overlooking Porthminster Beach St Ives Cornwall England UK
Porthminster Beach, St Ives

Just a short walk from the centre of St Ives, it’s not difficult to see why beach-goers flock to Porthminster’s sandy shores and turquoise waters.

The Blue Flag beach has heaps of facilities including a restaurant, cafe and nearby ice cream parlour, as well as takeaway options if you fancy a snack. From May to September there are usually lifeguards on duty to watch over swimmers making the most of those beautiful waters.

St Ives is of course a popular holiday location so finding budget-friendly stays can be tricky in the peak summer months, but if you are on a budget there are plenty of brilliant St Ives Airbnb stays, or there’s also a St Ives Travelodge where you can find cheap rooms for short breaks.

Southwold Beach, Suffolk

Southwold pier provides the best view of the town with its lighthouse
A view of Southwold pier and the beach

If you’re after a classic beach day out then you may want to bookmark a trip to Southwold. Boasting a beach that’s a mix of both sand and shingles, the biggest attraction is the Southwold Pier where you’ll find plenty of amusement park-style offerings, including arcade games and restaurants.

There’s also a promenade lined by colourful beach huts, and lifeguard service on offer throughout the summer months.

Thinking of planning a last-minute break? Snaptrip often has last minute cottages and deals.

Blackpool Sands, Devon

Blackpool Sands beach near Dartmouth, Devon, England, UK
Blackpool Sands beach

This beautiful Blue Flag beach with its pale sandy shores and turquoise swim-friendly waters is ideal for families with plenty of facilities including toilets, an on-site cafe and restaurant, as well as plenty of parking in the area.

The sheltered bay is surrounded by some lush greenery too – not surprising when you consider the beach is right in the heart of the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Hoseasons’ Leonard Cove holiday park can be a great base if you plan to do some exploring of the area as well as hitting the beach.

Weymouth Beach, Dorset

The sandy beach in Weymouth is dotted with colourful beach huts
The sandy beach in Weymouth is dotted with colourful beach huts

The sandy beach in Weymouth is lined by colourful beach huts, as well as a promenade filled with restaurants, craft shops, cafes and hotels. The waters are swim-friendly and also popular for water sports (or even a pedalo ride). The beach runs services between May and September including lifeguard patrols, ‘Lost Children Services’ and beach attendants.

As for staying nearby? There are plenty of brilliant holiday parks in the region – Haven, Parkdean Resorts and Hoseasons all offer sites right by Weymouth.

Caswell Bay, Swansea

People making the most of the glorious sunshine at Caswell Bay
People making the most of the glorious sunshine at Caswell Bay

Popular with both surfers and families, this Blue Flag beach has facilities including toilets, showers and a car park. There are also public transport options nearby and a lifeguard patrol between May and September.

The sandy beach has plenty of space for families and there are a couple of beach shops which can be useful if you’ve forgotten your bucket and spade!

If you’re looking to enjoy a weekend away, Hotels.com has a handy guide to the 15 closest hotels to the beach.

West Sands Beach, St Andrews

UK's best family friendly beaches this summer as Covid restrictions ease

With nearly two miles of sandy shores and dunes, you won’t struggle to find space on West Sands Beach. Sitting about 15 minutes from St Andrews’ town centre it’s easily accessible, not to mention there’s also plenty of car parking nearby.

The beach is popular with both families and water sport fans, but divided into zones so you don’t need to keep an eye out for a yacht if you’re taking a dip!

There are plenty of restaurants and shops nearby, as well as a lifeguard patrol during the peak summer months. If you’re after cheap self-catered stays nearby you may want to check out the likes of HomeToGo and Sykes Holiday Cottages.

Brighton Beach, Brighton

A view of Brighton Pier and the beach
A view of Brighton Pier and the beach

Brighton’s pebbled shores never fail to be a hit with holidaymakers, and you can hire deckchairs if you’re not a fan of lying out on a towel on the shingles.

There’s heaps to do with the kids in the area too whether it’s the rides and arcade games at Brighton Pier, a walk along the bustling promenade, or even a trip to the nearby SEA Life aquarium.

There are heaps of waterfront restaurants and cafes, as well as ice cream vans and takeaways – just keep an eye out for the seagulls while having your fish and chips!

There are plenty of cheap hotels in Brighton for a minibreak. Kayak has prices from £9 a night while Travelodge and Premier Inn offer budget-friendly options right by the seafront and in the city centre.

Is there a beach that you think should be on this list? Let us know in the comments below.



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