Hit the beach! 10 of the best beach activities

If you were to walk the 870-mile Wales Coast Path (and please do), you’d come across the greatest concentration of award-winning beaches in Britain. We’ve suggested some activities to do on certain beaches. But they’re all suitable for simply larking about.

  • Punch and Judy

    Punch & Judy on the beach, Llandudno

    The world’s longest-running Punch & Judy show came to Llandudno in 1860 when a Hungarian Romany family came to town in their horse-drawn caravan. One of the horses died, so Richard Codman carved some puppets from driftwood, knocked up a theatre, and set about entertaining visitors to the newly-built resort.  Five generations and 150 years later, the Codman family still perform three times a day – and children (and adults) still love it.

  • The beach at Abermawr in Pembrokeshire

    The beach at Abermawr, Pembrokeshire

     by *Mrs C*

    The walk to Abermawr – through woodland and meadows, and alongside an estuarine marsh – offers as many opportunities for foraging as the beach itself, a large shingle bank with rock pools on either side, which is perfect for gathering driftwood for a camp fire. This beautiful little bay was almost – but not quite - made into an industrial port several times in earlier centuries, but thankfully it’s remained one of the most peaceful spots in Pembrokeshire.

    More walking ideas in Wales

  • Dunraven Beach

    Investigating rockpools in the Llŷn Peninsula, Snowdonia

    The Glamorgan Heritage Coast has lots of lovely secluded coves, but the best all-rounder is Dunraven Bay, a crescent of sand protected by cliffs, and fringed with rock shelves that are perfect for the ancient pastime of mucking around with a net-on-a-stick. There’s also a ruined castle to explore, and it’s one of the area’s most popular surfing and bodyboarding beaches.

  • A group of children riding donkeys on the beach in Barmouth

    Donkeys on Barmouth Beach, Snowdonia

     by bcarr4

    The big sandy beach at Barmouth is southern Snowdonia’s most popular for a reason: there’s loads of space for everyone and activities for all, too, whether you’re drawn to the amusement arcades on the prom, or fishing trips from the pretty harbour. And, of course, traditional donkey rides, which are a much-loved attraction throughout the summer.

  • Shell Island

    Collecting shells at Point of Ayr, Prestatyn

     by Stevo3

    Shell Island has one of the biggest camp sites in Europe, but the reason campers love it so much is that it’s always possible to find a private nook among the dunes, woods and meadows which still gives it that ‘wild camping’ feel, even though it’s got all the mod cons. The winter storms wash up a fresh supply of shells every year, so it’s practically impossible to walk on the sands without treading on some of the 200-odd species that you can collect here.

  • A sandcastle on an Anglesey beach

    Making sandcastles on the beach in Anglesey

     by Angmoo

    Red Wharf Bay on Anglesey has everything we look for in a beach when it comes to sandcastles. Plenty of sand, of course. Occasional rocks, for reinforcement purposes. Lots of interesting rivulets, for moat-making. And a pub, from which to offer occasional advice and moral support to the children.

  • Cefn Sidan

    Land yachting on Cefn Sidan Beach, Carmarthenshire

     by discover carmarthenshire

    RAF Hercules transport aircraft have practiced beach-landings on Cefn Sidan sands, so you should have little difficulty in finding space in which to fly a kite, even if it’s very big (a Hercules’s wingspan is 40 metres, which is probably bigger than your kite). As a bonus, the eight-mile beach falls within Pembrey Country Park, which has loads of family attractions.

  • Newport harbour, Pembrokeshire
    Newport, Pembrokeshire by Gareth L Evans

    Newport Boat Club is the venue for fiercely competitive crabbing competitions, in which teams of children compete for the biggest haul of little shore crabs, which they catch by the hundred. The crabs are actually edible - although children seem to prefer the bags of sweets offered as prizes, so the crabs are released back into the waters … at least, until the next competition.

  • Rhossili Bay

    Wreck of the Helvetia, Rhossili Bay, Gower

     by Jo Evans1

    Rhossili is regularly named in top 10 beach awards. But we knew that already. The walk out to Worm’s Head is an absolute classic, and there’s a proper shipwreck to explore: the bones of the Helvetia, a Norwegian ship that foundered here in 1887, still poke from the sands. All the crew made it safely to shore, although the ship’s cargo – 500 tons of timber – were swiftly claimed by locals.

  • A grey seal swimming in the sea off the coast of Mwnt in Ceredigion

    Grey seal at Mwnt, Ceredigion

     by tim stenton

    The beach at Mwnt is impossibly pretty, but if you climb the headland overlooking the beach, past the ancient white-washed chapel, and on to the headland, the chances are you’ll spot something rather special in the water. Seals, dolphins and porpoises are commonly seen here, although it’s worth the walk for the views alone.