Our best beaches for...

Coax kids to finish a family walk with the prize of a beach at the end of it. Or pack a picnic so that you can spend the whole day in a sandy cove. If you fancy rockpooling, surfing, spotting rare sea birds or just a peaceful sea view, you'll find some inspiration here.

A family walking along a National Trust coastal path

Family walks 

With far-reaching views and golden sands to play on, the coast is the perfect place for a family stroll. Why not kick off your shoes and experience barefoot walking? It's a great way to get closer to nature and one of our '50 things to do before you're 11 ¾'.

A family sitting by the sea and enjoying a picnic at a National Trust beach


A picnic at the seaside means there's plenty to keep everyone entertained between the sandwiches and sausage rolls. From sandy bays to pebble coves, we’ve selected some of the best places for a bite to eat on the beach.

Childern discovering a crab in a rockpool


Rock pools are magical worlds full of alien creatures, interesting sights, smells and textures. Plenty of the beaches we care for have watery nooks and crevices to explore. Here are our top places to find pools teeming with wildlife.

Common heather, Bell heather and Western gorse lining the coastal path on the Great Hangman with the Little Hangman, Devon

Sea views 

Take in a sweeping coastal panorama with dramatic cliffs and crashing waves. Or relax in rolling sand dunes with gently swaying grasses. You’ll find inspiring vistas along all of the coastline we look after. Read about some extra special sea views not to miss.

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


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. Make sure to keep an eye out for any safety flags or warnings.

Visitors kayaking on the sea past the Old Harry Rocks, Purbeck Countryside, Dorset


Explore rocky inlets in a sea kayak and get a different view of a beach. Or embrace the elements with a bit of windsurfing or coasteering. Find out about watersports at some of the beaches, estuaries and sea lochs we look after.