50 Things activities at the beach

Not many things beat a day by the seaside. And when it comes to dreaming up things to do while you’re at the beach, children often have the best ideas. Which is why they’re the team of experts behind 50 Things to do before you’re 11¾. It’s their way of sharing what they love doing outside and inspiring other kids to get outdoors too.

Here are our top 10 picks for a great family day out at the beach this summer.

    Build a raft

    If you want to be the ultimate coastal adventurist, there’s only one thing for it. Gather anything that floats such as driftwood, and then tie it together with string to become the captain of your very own Jolly Roger. Birling Gap in East Sussex has all the space you’ll need to construct your raft as well as plenty of seaweed to decorate it with. Ahoy!

    Catch a crab

    To become a champion crabber you’ll need a line of string, some bait and a bucket of water. For a crustacean hotspot head to White Park Bay in Northern Ireland to see if you can catch the most commonly found variety known as the shore crab or spot the more elusive spider crab. Just remember to put anything you catch back after. Crabs have busy lives too, you know.

    Catch a fish with a net

    For sea that’s teeming with underwater wildlife go on an adventure to Barafundle Beach in Pembrokeshire. You might find pollock hiding amongst the rocks and shallow waters or gobies, fivebeard rocklings and blennies lurking in a rock pool. Remember to put any fish back quickly once you’ve had a look.

    Check out the crazy creatures in a rockpool

    Challenge your family to see who can spot the most unusual rockpool creatures. St Helens Duver on the Isle of Wight has hundreds of rockpools that emerge when the tide goes out. Try to get there for low tide as it’s the best time to look for sea creatures such as sea anemone, hermit and shore crabs or even the hard to find porcelain crabs – but be careful, they’re fragile.

    Explore inside a cave

    Wonderful wildlife and slimy green weeds - who knows what you’ll discover inside a hidden cave? If you’re visiting Cornwall this summer, check out Holywell cave tucked underneath Kelsey Head cliffs. Appearing at low tide it looks like a tiny slit from the beach, but inside there are several stepped pools rising towards a hole in the cave roof. Don’t forget your torch...

    Fly a kite

    A windy day makes for perfect kite-flying weather, which makes Brancaster beach in Norfolk every kite-flyer’s paradise. While you’re flying your kite, keep an eye on the sky for the local birds such as sandwich terns, oystercatchers and black-headed seagulls that swoop and dive above the golden beach.

    Go on a barefoot walk

    Go wild at Studland Beach in Dorset where you’ll find a four mile stretch of golden sands, rolling dunes and walking trails just right for barefoot walking.

    Go swimming in the sea

    Is there anything more inviting than the big blue sea on a hot summer day? Secluded Kynance Cove in Cornwall is renowned for having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world (and luckily some of the warmest water in Britain just in case it’s not so sunny).

    Jump over waves

    Beaches serve up a never-ending supply of waves: big or small, all waves are fun to jump over. Formby beach in Merseyside has shallow water and small waves so kids of all ages can have a go. The beach is also surrounded by dense woodland so why not track some wild animals or try to catch a glimpse of the native red squirrels whilst you’re there?

    Skim a stone

    How many bounces can you do? Make your stones dance and skim across the water at Embleton Bay in Northumberland. The wide sandy bay and abundance of flat, smooth stones make it a wonderful spot to get practising.

So there you have it. 10 ideas, thought up by kids, for kids, to try out on your next beach trip. And if you want to find more activities to do in the great outdoors, check out 50 Things to do before you're 11¾.