The British seaside may lack the glamour of the French Riviera or the guaranteed sunshine of the Greek Islands, but it will always hold fond memories for me. Before the likes of EasyJet and Thomas Cook made foreign holidays affordable for millions more families, a Summer holiday by the coast was a staple for many British families.
In recent years, we’ve seen an annual decamp to our coastlines, and for good reason. Personally, I think we have some of the most beautiful and dramatic beaches in the world and children growing up today are so lucky to experience them on their doorstep. So here are my top tips for taking the kids to a beach near you this summer!
There’s always the question of what to bring. Aside from the usual essentials – sun cream, water, snacks and so on, make sure you bring extra towels to wrap up in after a swim. You can’t guarantee emerging from the sea into 30 degree heat so being able to warm up quickly will pre-empt any moaning about the cold. Our super soft and snuggly towels will do the job nicely. Don’t forget to bring a separate bag to sling all the soggy swimwear into either, just pack one of our nautical laundry bags to whip out at the end of the day. It’s always a good idea to bring a small first aid kit, a couple of ice packs to keep your picnic fresh, lightweight jumpers, a blanket or two big enough for everyone to squeeze onto (we have so many styles and colours to choose from!).
You don’t want to be weighed down with dozens of bags so just bring one activity. The beauty of a trip to the beach is that it’s so easy for children to make their own fun. Even if it’s cloudy and a little too chilly for swimming, you can still have hours of fun creating sand sculptures; ‘sand boats’ and sea turtles are easy to make with children or why not try to build the world’s largest marble-run? Just don’t forget the marbles…
I’ve never met a child who doesn’t get a kick out of simply digging an enormous hole either - so when you buy buckets and spades, make sure you go for spades with sturdy wooden handles. Set them a treasure hunt challenge, whoever can bring back the most interesting looking shell wins a prize! Create your own crazy golf course, it’s easy to make obstacles and traps in the sand and you can buy a mini golf set at most beachside shops.
You may have to be slightly more prepared for changeable weather at British beaches but it beats the check-in queues and security lines at the airport! So load up the car boot and discover the seaside on your doorstep for those last few summer days!