We do like to be beside the seaside; fresh air, sandcastles, paddling and picnics.  Fun time by the sea doesn’t only have to happen on holiday.  There are some lovely beaches in the UK that are great for a day out, or even for a long afternoon – so where are the best beaches for you to escape to this summer?  We’re taking a look at five of our favourites!

Bournemouth Beach, Dorset

Often Bournemouth is overshadowed by its louder southern cousin Brighton, however, hype isn’t everything, as the town’s wonderfully accessible seafront demonstrates. With over 7 miles of beaches, there is plenty of room for the family with all the advantages of being next to a major town. What’s more, as one of Britain’s southernmost beaches, Bournemouth enjoys some of the warmest sea temperatures in the country, so you can leave your wetsuits in the car.

The council provides plenty of reasonably priced parking within a short walk of the beach, with some day rates costing as little as £3. This leaves plenty of room in the budget for ice creams for the kids. For Londoners, Bournemouth is just two hours drive away, making it ideal for a day trip or weekend break.

Lowestoft, Suffolk

Lowestoft is Britain’s easternmost town, jutting out onto the North Sea with plenty of fun attractions for everyone to enjoy. It’s conveniently accessible by car via the A12 or A143.

Sports enthusiasts will have their pick of activities from wind-surfing to jet skiing, as well as snorkelling if you’d rather slow the pace down. Claremont Pier has allocated zones for watersports, and plenty of cafes and restaurants to fuel the fun. If you’ve got a four-legged member of the family, the beach is also dog friendly.

Just a short walk inland you’ll also find the popular Adventure Island PlayPark offering pirate-themed fun at just £5.25 per child aged over two.

Benllech, Anglesey

If one island isn’t enough for you, the stunning Benllech beach on Anglesey offers rock pools, shallow water and a lifeguard service for peace of mind. Whilst it’s a little remote, it’s well worth the adventure for the clean blue waters and gleaming sand.

A wealth of facilities also makes Benllech a very practical choice, with plenty of parking and shops, whilst clean freaks will be happy to know it won the “tidiest village on Anglesey” competition for six years running.

Filey Beach, Yorkshire

Northerners will be happy to know there’s no need to venture far from home for a summertime coastal fix. Lying seven miles south of Scarborough, Filey Beach is the perfect family retreat with crystal clear water, soft sand and a coastal path ideal for an afternoon walk.

Fish and chips fans will be spoilt for choice, with Filey offering a range of delicious options just minutes from the seafront. C.J’s is a favourite with both the locals and visitors, offering a traditional menu and experience.

Blackpool Sands, Devon

A secluded beauty, Blackpool Sands lies within a sheltered bay with greenery all around. Unlike many flashy and commercial resorts, the beach’s peaceful seclusion makes the perfect relaxing family getaway.

The beach is an hour’s drive south of Exeter, and offers kayaking, boogie boarding and surf skiing (the clue is in the name). In addition, the beach is cleaned daily in high season to keep up its pristine look, whilst the water is lovely and fresh for family swims.