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Coastal adventures for families

Family playing on the beach at Poldhu Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall © John Millar

Family playing on the beach at Poldhu Cove on the Lizard Peninsula, Cornwall © John Millar

Where the land meets the sea, two fascinating worlds collide. Each boasts a wealth of natural treasures. From sheer cliffs carved by waves, to soaring seabirds and scuttling crabs, the coast offers plenty to capture the hearts and minds of adventurers – whether big or small.

If you think coastal trips are all about lazy summer beach days, think again. You can enjoy fun-filled family holidays on the coast year-round – all you need is a spirit of adventure. There are plenty of ways for active families to enjoy the coast: here are three of our favourites.

Go wild

Kids are instinctively drawn to nature, and the coast is the ideal place for them to experience it hands-on. So why not take an invigorating trip to the beach, and watch your children tick off heaps of our 50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4?

What better place to create some wild art (no. 18) from driftwood, spiral shells and sea-polished glass, or go on a walk barefoot (no. 24) through the squelchy sands. Of course, no family trip to the beach would be complete without checking out the crazy creatures in a rockpool (no. 37).

Get wet and active

For intrepid families with older children, a coastal holiday is a chance to experience the thrills and spills of a brand new sport. Watersports lessons will give you an exhilarating new perspective on the coast, which could well be a holiday highlight. Options include a stay in Lower Pentire Farm House in Helston, Cornwall, where the local Lizard Adventures offer sea kayaking, stand up paddleboarding or even coasteering.

Roam free

The whole world becomes a playground when you’re on foot, and many of our coastal cottages have family-friendly walks starting at the front door. Try Lookout Cottage on the Yorkshire coast, stroll to the beach and explore the spooky ruins of Dunstanburgh Castle – all without setting foot in the car.   

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