1. Woolacombe Sands, Devon
Best for Making more sandcastles than you can shake a spade at.
One of north Devon’s best-loved hangouts, Woolacombe is a beast of a beach with miles of uninterrupted golden sand – get into epic sandcastle-building and play hide and seek at the dunes. A favourite with surfers and families, this beautiful bay also has rock pools for kids to explore. Grab some grub from the seaside cafés, or head to nearby Ilfracombe for a more substantial bite to eat.
Need to know There’s a lifeguard service during busy periods (check dates here).
Get there Closest train station is Barnstaple, a 30-minute drive away.
Stay here Set in an old Edwardian building perched on the quiet end of Woolacombe Bay, the Watersmeet Hotel offers glorious views over the sea to Lundy Island. There’s a pool on-site, but guests are more likely to use the private steps to Combesgate Beach. It’s pitted with rockpools and rarely gets busy.