Britain’s best family friendly beaches

From puffin spotting and surf schools, to kite-flying and tide-filled paddling pools, here are our favourite UK beaches for family fun this summer


Guide to the UK’s best family friendly beaches, including facilities and how to get there.

Make the most of the summer sun with a family trip to the seaside. Taking into account safe paddling, rockpooling, activities, cafes, ice-cream parlours and great picnic spots, we’ve put together some of the best beaches for mums, dads, grandparents and kids alike.


1. Porthminster, Cornwall

Porthmminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall
Porthmminster Beach, St Ives, Cornwall ©Getty

This crescent beach enjoys one of the UK’s mildest climates. Hire everything from buckets and spades to windbreaks, and enjoy award-winning seafood in the café. Then take in the views of Godrevy Lighthouse while the kids bury you in golden grains. St Ives train station is a three-minute walk away.

Find out more here.

Harris beach

2. Joss Bay, Kent

A group of people learning how to manoeuvre on a surf board on the beach at Joss Bay on the Isle of Thanet in Kent.
Joss Bay ©Getty

The 200m-long sands of Joss Bay – named after a 19th-century smuggler – are sheltered by chalk cliffs. There’s plenty of parking, plus a café and deckchair hire. Little ones will no doubt make a beeline for the bouncy castle in the kids’ corner, while teenagers can learn to surf with Kent’s longest-running surf school.

Find out more here.

3. West Wittering, West Sussex

England, Sussex, Chichester, Beach at West Wittering
West Wittering ©Getty

Bordered by wildlife-rich saltmarsh, The Witterings’ best beach has white sand and top-notch water quality. The watersports school offers kids’ lessons on the low-tide lagoon, plus a full range of kit hire, from paddleboards to surfboards.

Find out more here.

4. Ballycastle, County Antrim

Ballycastle ©Getty

A stunning spot en route to the Giant’s Causeway, Ballycastle’s sand and shingle stretch is almost a mile long. Dogs are welcome, so bring the whole family for ball games and beach fun with views (and boat trips) out to Rathlin Island.

Find out more here.

5. Benllech, Anglesey

Benllech Bay, Isle of Anglesey
View at Benllech Bay, Isle of Anglesey ©Getty

This golden bay is a family favourite. Its clear waters are considered ‘exceptionally safe’, the ice creams are excellent  and pushchairs can be rolled down the ramp to the beach where there are rockpools to be explored. At low tide, the sand reaches out for miles – the best time for kite flying.

Find out more here.

6.  Frinton-on-Sea, Essex

Frinton-on-Sea ©Getty

Frinton’s sand is spotless, firm and plentiful, perfect for building sandcastles. The gently shelved beach is ideal for safe paddling, and the promenade is lined with colourful beach huts. This Sunshine Coast gem has toilets and free parking but no outlets, so bring a picnic or stroll into town for supplies.

Find out more here.

7. North Berwick, East Lothian

North Berwick Beach
North Berwick ©Visit Scotland

Famous for its puffins, North Berwick is a must for young explorers, and it’s only 30 minutes from Edinburgh by train. Go paddling in the tide-filled pool on sandy Milsey Bay, then stroll to the Scottish Seabird Centre and see wildlife up close with a boat ride to Bass Rock.


Find out more here.