Sand easy: 10 beaches for kids

All children love beaches. But have you noticed, the smaller the child, the more stuff they need? We have, so here’s a list of family-friendly beaches that are both easy to enjoy, and easy to reach, with all the essential facilities close at hand.

  • Porth Dafarch beach on the Isle of Anglesey
    Porth Dafarch beach, Anglesey

    The sheltered bay on Holy Island has got the lot: soft sand, rock pools to play in, parking close by, and decent toilets. All this, and it’s very pretty indeed, as you’d expect from a National Trust-owned beach. Porth Dafarch is also handily situated between the little resort of Trearddur Bay and the RSPB South Stack reserve.

  • Whitesands Beach, Pembrokeshire
    Whitesands Beach, Pembrokeshire

    Whitesands is deservedly popular with families, thanks to great facilities that include a snack bar, plenty of parking, toilets, and some of the country’s best bodyboarding, all on a big beautiful beach supervised by lifeguards. The attractions of St Davids are only a short drive away, and if the kids fancy a spot of gentle mountaineering then Carn Llidi, the crag overlooking the beach, is a bracing 90-minute round-trip.

  • Pendine has something for everyone here: rocks pools and cliffs to the right, a seven-mile stretch of golden sand to the left, plenty of shops, and a public toilet, right on the seafront. These pancake-flat sands were once used for land speed records (visit the Pendine Museum of Speed for details) and cars are still allowed onto the beach at certain times, too.

  • Tenby's North Beach
    Tenby's North Beach, Pembrokeshire by Simon.Matthews

    There are three magnificent beaches to choose from at this perfect harbour town. Castle Beach has the easiest access and facilities for toddlers and babies, although North Beach (arguably the prettiest) has its own beachfront snack-bar and Goscar Rock to clamber on … but then, South Beach has the most space to run around. Oh, you decide. The town itself is a delight for families, too.

  • Caswell Bay, Gower
    Caswell Bay, Gower Peninsula

    The first two beaches you hit on the drive out of SwanseaLangland and Caswell – are also the two most family-friendly on Gower, with all the facilities you need. For older children, the short clifftop path between these pretty bays is a good introduction to coastal walks, and Caswell’s gentle swell makes it ideal for first attempts at surfing.

  • Newport Sands, otherwise known as Traeth Mawr, Pembrokeshire
    Traeth Mawr in Newport, Pembrokeshire by Vintage Power

    You can drive onto Newport Sands or Traeth Mawr (‘Big Beach’), which means you can take all your kids’ necessities right onto the sand (apart from a toilet, perhaps, but they have those here, too). At low tide you can wade across the River Nevern to Newport Parrog, where the Boat Club is a popular venue for crabbing competitions. 

  • Southerndown in Dunraven Bay
    Southerndown beach in Dunraven Bay, Glamorgan Heritage Coast by Paula J James

    The Glamorgan Heritage Coast’s best beach has its own car park and snack shop, together with everything a small person could want: huge pebbles, wide sands, and lots of rock pools. Southerndown is popular with surfers, and it’s just a short walk up to the clifftop ruins of Dunraven Castle, whose walled gardens have been restored. 

  • Aberdyfi beach
    Aberdyfi beach, Snowdonia

    Aberdyfi beach, harbour, car park and village seafront are all set prettily together in this little resort (often spelt Aberdovey) on the Dyfi estuary, so everything you need is at hand, including lots of watersports facilities around the harbour. 

  • Aberdaron beach on the Llyn Peninsula, Snowdonia
    Aberdaron beach, Llyn Peninsula

    Set right on the tip of the Llŷn Peninsula in the mostly Welsh-speaking ‘Land’s End’ of Wales, Aberdaron's popular family-friendly beach backs right onto the fishing village and all of its tourist facilities. You can get boats from here to Bardsey Island, or just gaze at it from paths along the wildly beautiful headland. 

  • The waterfall pouring down on to the beach at Tresaith beach in Ceredigion
    A waterfall at Tresaith beach, Ceredigion by David Stephens

    Safe swimming, rock pools and a waterfall that cascades onto Tresaith beach are just some of the attractions at this pretty beach, which has all facilities close by in the village. The beach is patrolled by lifeguards, and you’ll almost certainly see dolphins during the summer.