Skip to content

‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities to do at the beach

A boy exploring the rock pool on the rugged beach at Northumberland Coast, Northumberland
A boy exploring the rock pool on the rugged beach at Northumberland Coast | © National Trust Images/Chris Lacey

Enjoy nature as a family with ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’. Here's a selection that you can do by the sea, from paddling or swimming to catching crabs and skimming stones.

No. 5 Skim a stone
How many bounces can you get? 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?Skim a stone
No. 7 Fly a kite
A windy day near the coast makes 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.Fly a kite
No. 8 Spot a fish
At the edge of the sea you can find an underwater world that’s teeming with wildlife. You might find pollock hiding among 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 never leave them in a bucket in the sun. Some fish like weever fish and spiny fish can be poisonous too, so do be extra careful.Read top tips for spotting fish
Family day out on the beach in winter
Family day out on the beach along the Norfolk Coast | © National Trust Images/Rob Coleman
No. 20 Go paddling
Enjoy the feeling of the cool water when you go paddling, which is great if you want to take a dip but don't fancy a swim. See if you can spot fish or other creatures as you paddle away on a hot day.Go paddling
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. You can feel how soft and warm the sand is underfoot.Discover the top places to go barefoot
Children running barefoot on the grass on the clifftop at Birling Gap, part of the Seven Sisters chalk cliffs range, East Sussex
Children running barefoot on the grass on the clifftop at Birling Gap | © National Trust Images/Megan Taylor
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, be sure to keep a look-out for any caves in rocky areas near the beach. Lots of places near the coast have caves to explore, but you'll need to watch out for the tides.Find a cave to inspect
No. 37 Explore the wonders of a rock pool
Challenge your family to see who can spot the most unusual rock pool creatures. Try to get to the beach for low tide as it’s the best time to look for sea creatures such as sea anemones or hermit crabs – but be careful, they’re delicate.Discover the wonders of the sea
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 to spot the more hard-to-find spider crab. Just remember to put anything you catch back where you found it afterwards.Find out how to catch a crab
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 England, Wales and Northern Ireland, so you're sure to find somewhere perfect for a splash near you.Go for a swim
Two girls exploring the woodland trails at Quarry Bank Mill, Cheshire

‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’

Have fun exploring nature and the great outdoors with our list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’.

You might also be interested in

Visitors exploring the parkland in winter at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden, Yorkshire

Safety information for ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities 

To ensure you can complete your ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities safely, here are some top tips to help you complete your challenges with safety in mind.


‘50 things’ activity list 

Download the full ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activity list.

Visitor looking for insects with a butterfly net at Crom, Country Fermanagh.

Top ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities in summer 

Enjoy a memorable family day out this summer. Plan your own wild adventures and see how many of our ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities you can try out wherever you are.