Safest Shores: The UK’s Kid-Friendly Coastlines  holiday cottages

Safest Shores: The UK’s Kid-Friendly Coastlines

Safest Shores 12 October 2021

If you’re a family looking for a staycation this year and want to spend some time by the sea, coastal holidays are a great way to take in the salty air and enjoy some of the nation’s greatest activities. But which UK coastlines are really best for the little ones to explore?

With so many fantastic coastlines around the UK to enjoy - including those that can be explored on one of our Isle of Wight holidays - it’s important for families to consider which beaches are the most child-friendly for added peace of mind while you’re away. 

Our Safest Shores study collates a range of metrics - including safety, friendliness and entertainment potential - across a selection of the UK’s most popular beaches to reveal the most kid-friendly coastlines and help make your decision a little easier when planning your next holiday. 

The UK’s best beaches for kids 

We all love to be beside the seaside, but sometimes it’s hard to know which coast is best suited for children - especially when it comes to prioritising their safety and entertainment. 

That’s why we looked at the most popular beaches around the UK, pulling together a range of metrics to find the safest, most ideal beach for little ones. The metrics analysed include a safety and friendliness score, entertainment potential, transport accessibility and kids’ menu availability. 

If you’re looking for a great beach where you’ll have peace of mind, head to Ventnor Beach on the Isle of Wight, which boasts the best safety score (5) and friendliness score, 7.59/10. You’ll also be safe at sea, with a lifeguard on duty.

Woolacombe Beach in Devon takes second place with a safety score of 1 and 7.47/10 for friendliness. It also proves a good spot to grab a bite to eat with the kids. Meanwhile, Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire also makes the top three with good safety ratings and excellent transport availability too.

Infographic on kid-friendly beaches

Top Activities for little ones


One of the most important things while away with kids is keeping them entertained! So, we had a look at the most popular coastal activities available for children, based on average reviews and rating data. 

The most popular activity for kids proved to be steam railways - particularly the North Bay Railway in Yorkshire whose 4.5/5 rating makes it the best coastline for this activity. 

Aquariums around the UK appear to be the next favourite among families, and St Andrews in Scotland boasts the best of the coastal towns, racking up 4.3/5 in TripAdvisor ratings.

The third most popular coastline activity is an amusement park, where Blackpool Pleasure Beach takes the crown for kids who enjoy rides and games. 

The best-rated activity overall can be found in Camber Sands in East Sussex, where renting eBikes has earned full marks, according to happy customer review data.  

Best kids’ meals

Kids' meals

Whether they’re fussy eaters or not, sometimes it’s difficult to find somewhere to accommodate the kids at mealtimes. That’s why we had a look at which coastlines offer the best food provisions for children.

And it’s Walton-on-the-Naze in Essex which has come out on top with the most restaurants along its beachfront, each of which provides a range of items for children to choose from at reasonable prices. 

Runner-up coastlines were The Denes Beach in Suffolk and Woolacombe Beach in Devon - both of which are kid-friendly, especially when it comes to teatime!

West Wittering Beach is home to the cheapest kids’ meals, and in Brighton, you can find the most child-friendly restaurants along the beachfront, while the Isle of Wight’s Ventnor Beach offers the most variety on available kids’ menus.

Shore safety 

Beach safety

When going to the beach, every parent wants their little ones to have as much fun as possible, but to also be safe whilst doing so. To judge the safest coastlines, local safety and friendliness scores were compared against lifeguard availability.

Ventnor Beach on the Isle of Wight has been named the safest beach in the UK, followed by Whitesands Beach in Pembrokeshire and Woolacombe Beach in Devon. 

Against the two safety metrics, ADT Safety Score and an ONS friendliness survey score, Ventnor Beach scored the best, securing the top spot as the safest UK beach for little ones. 

Whether they love taking a dip in the sea or making the most of the beachfront amusements, there are plenty of fantastic coastlines around the UK for the whole family to enjoy. So, if you’re looking to have peace of mind at Ventnor Beach, find your perfect getaway with one of our Isle of Wight holidays by clicking below.

Isle of Wight holidays

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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