Best beaches for swimming

On a hot summer’s day there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in the sea. Some of our sheltered coves and shallow waters are the perfect spot for little ones to have their first go at sea swimming – just be sure to keep an eye out for any safety flags or warnings.

 Swimmer in the sea at Shell Bay, Studland, Dorset.

Studland Bay, Dorset

With gently shelving bathing waters, Studland’s sheltered beach is an ideal place for little ones to have their first go at swimming in the sea. If you fancy making a day of it why not hire a National Trust beach hut. Be sure to take the buckets and spades, or if you forget you can always visit the café and shop at Knoll Beach to stock up on everything you need.

Child playing in the sea

Compton Bay, Isle of Wight

Just a 30 minute ferry ride away from the mainland, the Isle of Wight has plenty of beaches that are perfect for taking a dip. Compton Bay is a great spot for families: not too crowded, but with beautiful views towards Dorset and plenty of firm sand for building sandcastles. What’s more, the tide doesn’t go out too far so it’s a great place for little ones to try swimming in the sea.

Snorkelling in the sea

South Milton Sands

With its long, wide stretch of golden beach, South Milton Sands is brilliant for families at any time of year. The sheltered bay is perfect for a spot of paddle boarding or windsurfing, and there are lifeguards on duty during the summer months so kids can have a go at swimming in the sea. The water is very clear so it’s worth taking a snorkel mask to explore the underwater reefs and shipwrecks.