The United Kingdom has many seaside towns just a stone’s throw away from any major city, making them a very popular tourist destination in the warmer months. In fact, the British coastline is dotted with thousands upon thousands of beaches and family-friendly towns that it is hard to pick which one will suit your family. Truth is, all of them are safe and provide an array of activities that will keep the whole family occupied, so check out this list of the 10 most charming family friendly seaside towns and pick which one you think is best for your family, it might just be the one closest to you!
10 Barmouth, Gwynedd
With the sea set afoot green mountains, Barmouth has a very cosy family feel about it. The beach has endless room for the kids to play, and then some. There are plenty of outdoor activities to do as well; biking Mawddach Trail, hiking Cadair Iris and Rhinogs mountains, and, of course, swimming in the sea. Towards the town, you will find the Ebeneezer Chapel, comprising of an arts center and coffee shop, or, if you are after a proper meal, the Last Inn of Mermaid Fish Bar are family friendly venues which are highly recommended.
9 Falmouth, Cornwall
Don’t let the name of this scenic seaside town in Cornwall put you off. In fact, is perhaps one of the best seaside towns in the United Kingdom. Maybe it is the rich history of outlaws, pirates and sneaky politicians, or perhaps it has to do with the blue water washing up on white sand and lush, green, flora. As you look out from Gyllyngvase Beach, you can see the cliffs on the horizon, and if you go kayaking, you will be able to explore the Fal Estuary. Treat your family to a sensational day on the beach, and then some of the UK’s finest cuisine at night in one of Falmouth’s many eateries; Dolly’s Tea Room and Wine Bar, Espressini or Beerwolf.
8 Appledore, Devon
Appledore is a town in Devon that is off the beaten track, but this is what makes it so unique. Emerging from the misty plains which look over the picturesque town below, and, when the sun comes out, the whole town just transforms into a summer resort town in the blink of an eye. With the kids playing in the natural rock pools, and the parents eating ice cream, Appledore could not be a more family-friendly town. In the morning, hit up Market Street Kitchen or Coffee Cabin and at night, try out some locally brewed ale at The Champ pub. You are in for a great time in Appledore!
7 Herne Bay, Kent
Ever seen a painting of colorful huts in front of the beach? Well, Herne Bay in Kent could be the subject. The town has recently undergone renovations which have brought an aspect of contemporary life into an otherwise plain town, and it has worked wonders; it is now one of the best areas in the neighborhood.
There is a playground adjacent to the beach, which is always a delight for the kids, and on the warm summers days, fulfill that craving with a gelato from Makcari’s. Take a walk down the pier and discover the newly built retail and art outlets, and, if you have the tickle for some locally caught seafood, dine at the Oyster and Chop House.
6 Saltburn-by-the-Sea, North Yorkshire
For a touch of British history, head to Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire. Perhaps one of the UK’s best surf towns, Saltburn has a very distinct vibe about it. It is one of the few towns in the UK where you can jump out of bed, pick up a board from the local shack and go for a dip, and not to worry if you are not a surfer, these waves are beginner friendly! Also, being a very safe town, like most others in the UK, you can easily let the kids go to the beach whilst you sip on a refreshing cocktail or excellent coffee at the Sitting Room.
5 Ventnor, Isle of Wight
Ventnor is only a small town, but boy, is it good for the kids. They can play for hours in the paddle pool, which has some interactive activities to keep them occupied, as well as soft sand beaches so they can build the ultimate sandcastle. The town was once a health and rehabilitation clinic, but nowadays, you wouldn’t even know, you can even hire one of the original huts on the beach. If you have had enough beach time for the day, then you can stroll along the beach-front to the Botanic Gardens, about 20 minutes; one natural beauty meets another.
4 Portstewart, County Derry
One of the larger seaside towns so far on this list is Portstewart, County Derry. It is the town that attracts locals when the sun pops out, but, to escape these day-trippers, you’ll want to head on to the dunes. Now, yes, it is off the beach, but you will be getting away from the hustle and bustle of everything, including the choppy winds and crashing waves.
For lunch, take your pick from some fresh seafood at Harry’s Shack, before stopping off for traditional afternoon tea at Paper Fig or Morelli’s. There are many other world-class eateries, so there is bound to be one for every member of the family, no matter how fussy!
3 Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear
Arguably the best surfing spot in North-East England is Tynemouth. If you aren’t a surfer, though, not to worry, the waves will crash a few times before washing up so the kids will be fine, and if you are there in the summer, then you won’t have to worry about big swells, anyway! Swimming in the bay, barbecues, and pub visits take over the summer. For some panoramic views while sipping on a cold one, check out Gibraltar Rock Pub, and, if you are in the mood for some food, Longsands Fish Kitchen is not far away.
2 Rothesay, Isle of Bute
The views from Rothesay may have you believe you are in Europe. Simply stunning. Keep the kids happy with an ice-cream from Zavaroni’s, and don’t forget the marshmallow on top! Whatever you do here, just make sure you don’t hold back on the sweets. You will be doing enough walking to cancel it out. To get to Rothesay, you will need to catch a ferry for around 30 minutes from Wemyss Bay. This quaint seaside town in Scotland is really something to behold, so make sure you take the family and visit.
1 Southport, Merseyside
A little bit of everything and a whole lot of fun is what Southport, Merseyside, is all about. The perfect combination of fun and games (literally) and beachside excitement, makes this coastal town perhaps THE most family friendly in the whole of the United Kingdom. The famous pier is chock full of fun activities for all ages, with an arcade and a little bit of local art which you simply just need to see for yourself, not to mention the array of food options available along the pier, and also in town. You can easily spend 1 week here no problems, with no complaints from the kids… now that is a miracle.