Long, lazy summer days on the beach are a holiday highlight for young families, and the beautiful counties of South West England are the perfect place to find them and to relax and unwind. Beaches are ideal for families holidaying on a budget – splashing about in the sea, building massive sandcastles and trying to bury dad in the sand are pastimes that will always be popular.
Families flock to the south-west of England in summer from all over the country, and Dorset, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall not only have golden sands but also stunning countryside and a wide range of fun activities in which to take part.
Each county in the south-west has its own identity and attractions. Dorset is well known for its Jurassic Coast where searching for fossils can be part of a day at the beach. The history of the coast is fascinating, and there are guided walks from Charmouth and Lyme Regis to hunt for fossils, or a visit to Lulworth Cove offers the opportunity to discover an amazing ancient fossil forest.
Somerset is famed for its cider – perhaps a tipple for the adults when the young ones are safely in bed – and its natural wonders are outstanding. The Cheddar Gorge has dramatic cliffs and extraordinary stalactite caverns to explore; Dunkery Beacon is the highest point on Exmoor with incredible views; and Glastonbury Tor is a place where the ancient world meets the new.
Synonymous with the sprawling, bleak but beautiful Dartmoor National Park, Devon has excellent surfing conditions on its Atlantic-swept northern coast and the gentler swell of the English Channel on its southern beaches. Unspoilt coastal villages with their harbours full of brightly painted sailing boats are contrasted with lush countryside inland; a paradise for walkers.
The myth and legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table are there to be explored at Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, whilst no trip to the county would be complete without a visit to the Eden Project, the world’s largest indoor rainforest with regular special events and activities throughout the season.
Picnicking in the parks and on the beaches
The south-west has many national parks and small, local ones, as well as the huge number of beaches, and these are ideal places to go for keeping down the costs of feeding the family. A restaurant or café meal is great when the budget can stretch to it, but the easiest and often most fun way to eat is to make up a picnic and head for an open spaces. Simple to prepare and cheap as well, they are great for kids and adults too.
Relaxing at home
For young families who live in the south-west, just relaxing at home with a barbecue or throwing a party can be activities that children love – and they won’t break the bank. There are many different types of stylish and comfortable garden furniture available, with free delivery, to make such an occasion a highly enjoyable event for everyone.