50 things activities at the beach

Not many things beat a day by the seaside. There's nothing quite like the feel of the sun on your back and waves breaking over your feet. There's also lots of nature and wildlife to discover from graceful coastal birds, scurrying crabs, pearly shells and slimy seaweed. Our '50 things to do before you’re 11¾' challenge has inspiring ways for you to help your children get close to nature on the beach. Here are our top picks for a great family day out at the beach this summer.

Boy standing on sea edge about to skim a stone

No. 5 skim a stone

How many bounces can you do? Flat, smooth stones are the best for skimming, and there are plenty to be found on our beaches. Why not challenge your family and friends to a competition?

Children run with kits in summer parkland at Charlecote Park

No. 7 fly a kite

A windy day near the coast makes for perfect kite-flying weather. While you’re flying your kite, keep an eye on the sky for seabirds such as sandwich terns, oystercatchers and black-headed seagulls that swoop and dive above beaches and cliffs.

Boy holding a net up in the air with a starfish in it

No. 8 spot a fish

Go on an adventure to the sea and find an underwater world that’s teeming with wildlife. 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, and don't ever leave them in a bucket in the sun. Some fish like weever fish and spiny fish can be poisonous too.

Children paddling in the sea at Murlough National Nature Reserve, County Down

No. 20 go paddling

Enjoy feeling the water wash over your feet and legs. Feel the sand moving between your toes and giving your feet a gentle massage. Why not see if you can spot fish or other creatures that might be interested in your feet.

Barefoot walking

No. 24 go barefoot

With soft sand and grassy headlands, the coast is the perfect place to kick off your shoes and go for a wander. Feel how soft and warm the sand is under your feet.

Visitors exploring a cave wearing head lamps and hard hats

No. 29 explore a cave

Wonderful wildlife and slimy green weeds - who knows what you’ll discover? If you're heading to the beach this summer, then be sure to keep a look out for any caves in rocks near the beach. Lots of our places near the coast have caves to explore, but you'll need to watch out for the tides!

Group of children exploring rock pool with nets

No. 37 explore the wonders of a rockpool 

Challenge your family to see who can spot the most unusual rockpool creatures. Try to get to the beach 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.

Man holding a crab in front of boy over pockpool

No. 39 catch a crab

To become a champion crabber you’ll need a net, some bait and a bucket of water. See if you can catch the most commonly found variety known as the shore crab, or try and spot the more elusive spider crab. Just remember to put anything you catch back where you found it afterwards. Crabs have busy lives too, you know.

Boy kicking and splashing while laying in the sea

No. 42 go swimming in the sea

Is there anything more refreshing than the big blue sea? We look after lots of brilliant beaches all around the UK coastline, so you're sure to find somewhere perfect for a splash.