Horses and carts on Weston Super Mare beach - beaches in Somerset
Family days out, Somerset

Best beaches in Somerset for families

I think the beach is my girls’ happy place. In fact, I know it! Their very best days during our summer travels were spent digging in sand, splashing in the sea and paddling at lake side beaches. A holiday wouldn’t be a holiday without some beach time. If you’re heading to Somerset and, like us, can’t imagine a family vacation without at least one beach day then you’ll want to know what are the best beaches for families. Below are some suggestions for the best beaches in Somerset based on the activities kids (and grown ups) love.

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All you need to do is decide where you’re going to stay in Somerset to take full advantage of the coastline!

Beaches in Somerset: from traditional seaside fun to exploring

Here’s an overview of the beaches families will enjoy for their dramatic landscapes, traditional English seaside charm and the chance to discover Jurassic remains. Some are also dog-friendly beaches at certain times of year or all year round.

Best Somerset beach for interesting landscapes: St Audries Bay

The exposed cliff faces around St Audries Bay reveal interesting layers of rock for real life science and history lessons. There are also two waterfalls tumbling down onto the beach. You can reach these at low tide by walking over the rocks. The beach itself is a mix of rock, pebbles, sand and mud, so whether your kids like to dig or search for creatures under stones they’ll find plenty to do. Be aware that the car park is a bit of a walk from the beach and there are steps to access the shore. Dogs are allowed all year round.


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Perfect beaches for sand castles: Brean Beach, Burnham-on-Sea and Minehead Beach

The sands of Brean Beach are part of a stretch that covers seven miles making it part of one of the longest beaches in Europe. Grab your buckets, spades and picnic baskets for a day with sand between your toes and plenty of seaside fun. Parking is easy to find right on the sea front and even on the beach itself. If you fancy a dip check the tide times as swimming is only allowed two hours either side of high tide. Mud flats at low tide can be dangerous to walk on so keep kids and dogs clear of them. Brean Beach is dog-friendly all year round.

If you’re looking for a traditional seaside day out then Burnham-on-Sea fits the bill. This beach resort, which was loved by the Victorians, has golden sands, a pier (albeit England’s shortest one), donkey rides and candy floss stalls. There are in fact eight beaches on this part of the Somerset coast but it’s on the main beach where you’ll find the best traditional seaside features. There’s also seafront parking, cafes, toilets and showers. Dogs are banned all year round.

Minehead Beach (or The Strand) is extremely popular with families and holiday-makers in the summer who come here to build sand castles and explore rock pools. You can also walk the promenade with an ice cream and look at the boats bobbing around in the harbour. This is where you’ll find coast cruises in the summer months. Minehead is also the point at which the South West Coast Path starts on its winding route down through North Devon, Cornwall, South and East Devon and into Dorset. Dogs are allowed on Minehead beach from October to April.


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Shh! A Somerset hidden gem: Glenthorne Beach

If your kids don’t mind a walk and enjoy exploring caves then head to Glenthorne Beach. It’s a rocky beach on the border with North Devon and is often deserted. This isn’t a spot to sunbathe as the small bay is north facing but is great for exploring. The beach is accessed by a walk thorough woodland and comes complete with a ruined boat house, caves and a waterfall. Make sure you’re wearing sturdy shoes! Dogs are welcome at Glenthorne Beach all year round.

Perfect for fossil hunting: Kilve Beach

Go in search of ancient fossils at Kilve Beach. At low tide you can see swirling ammonites in the limestone foreshore. It is possible to find smaller fossils in the rocks on the beach if you keep your eyes peeled. Take a camera and capture your discoveries but please don’t try to hit or remove the larger fossils as this is strictly forbidden in order to preserve this Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI). There is parking and toilets at the top of a lane from the beach. After a few hours of exploring why not head back up into Kilve village for a cream tea at the Chantry Tea Rooms? Dogs are welcome on Kilve Beach all year round.


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Traditional seaside fun in Somerset: Weston-super-Mare Grand Pier Beach

Weston-super-Mare is a broad, sandy beach backing onto the promenade which is lined with businesses offering traditional seaside fare and amusements. The Grand Pier itself has entertainment, arcades and rides, as well as cafes and great views of the islands of Steep Holm and Flat Holm. This is another Somerset beach where mud flats are exposed at low tide so it’s advised not to walk out to meet the sea. Dogs are allowed on the beach from October to April.


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If you’re looking for more recommendations on things to do in Devon with kids or in Cornwall then I have plenty more recommendations on the blog.

Disclosure: this post has been written as advertorial with Stay in Somerset.

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