Here are our pick of the best beaches in and around Dawlish.
This is a flat, sandy beach with shallow waters. It is very family-friendly with lifeguards keeping watch over the summer months.
It is a Blue Flag beach – awarded for high standards of cleanliness and safety.
The large car park is set behind a grassy area which you walk through to reach the beach.
The sand is separated into sections by rows of wooden groynes. There is a high, sloped wall above the sand so only walk down via the regular steps provided and hold on to younger children’s hands as you approach.
There can be big waves on a windy day which makes the beach good for bodyboards and surfing.
But when the weather is calm it is a safe bathing spot too.
Heading from the town to the beach you drive past a large funfair and there is an ice cream shop and cafe opposite.
If you fancy a good walk, the beach travels up to the mouth of the River Exe. It also backs on to a wildlife reserve.
Dogs are not allowed on Dawlish Warren beach.
Address: Dawlish Warren Beach, Beach Rd, Dawlish, EX7 0NF.
The town of Dawlish has a beach which is a short walk from the centre.
It’s quite pebbly and travels all the way to Red Rock at Dawlish Warren.
We went on a windy day and the sight of the big waves bashing the sea wall was spectacular. Although paddling/swimming in the sea was definitely off the agenda.
There’s a railway station next to the beach. The railway line runs alongside the beach and there’s a wide footpath between the line and the sand.
Dawlish is a small but pleasant place for a stroll and there is a car park and on-street parking.
The river runs through a park with ducks and swans. There is mini-golf in the park and plenty of cafes or ice cream shops.
We visited Gaye’s Creamery for their famous ice cream cone with clotted cream on top!
Dogs are allowed on part of the beach.
Address: Dawlish Town Beach, SW Coast Path, Dawlish, EX8 5BT.
We walked right alongside Dawlish beach and found:
This beach is about a 10-minute walk from the centre of Dawlish, if you start at the railway tunnel, you can follow the sea path round to the right (with the sea on your left).
Our childen had a great time here, it’s a sandy/stony beach with a sheltered spot/open cave, good for keeping warm unless there’s an easterly wind.
The curved bay is good for swimming and the dramatic red sandstone cliffs with the railway at the bottom forms a spectacular backdrop.
There are rock pools, a few colourful beach huts (some available for hire), a cafe with ice cream shop and occasional dolphin sightings.
The beach used to be known as Gentleman’s Beach, because in Victorian times only men were allowed to bathe there!
The nearest parking is on the street opposite the railway line. You can cross a footbridge from there to get to the beach or enjoy the view from the coastal path above. There is also a car park and on street parking in Dawlish town centre.
Dogs are not allowed on Coryton Cove beach from May 1 to September 30.
This is one for the adventurous families.
You park in Holcombe village and then walk down the steep Smuggler’s Lane to access the beach.
From there head under the railway line and up onto a sea wall path.
Keep a close eye on little ones as there are steep drops until you reach some steps down onto the beach. And the steps are narrow and open to the beach.
It is a sandy beach with good waves for bodyboarding.
You also get dramatic red sandstone cliffs at each end which you can imagine as ideal cover for smugglers who made use of this remote beach in years gone by.
There is a kiosk at the bottom of Smuggler’s Lane selling drinks and snacks.
This is also an excellent spot for train spotters as you can get really close to the trains heading in both directions along the line.
This narrow, isolated beach is used mainly by locals and there are no lifeguards.
Dogs are allowed on Holcombe beach.
Address: Holcombe Beach, Holcombe, Teignmouth, Devon, EX7 0JL.
Malaga is well worth a family break with its parks, port, beaches and castles
Malaga is a very green city and its main park, called the Parque de Malaga, is an oblong oasis of huge trees, curving paths and children’s playgrounds.
It is situated between the port and the city and on a hot day is an ideal place to grab a bit of shade.
A view of the port and park area of Malaga
The new port
This recently-developed area has wide, open walkways and plenty of shops and restaurants.
There is a huge underground car park and a small version of Paris’ Pompidou Centre for modern art.
We ate a meal here at one of the small outside stalls and it was a great spot to people watch.
Malaga’s most famous historical site is child-friendly.
The Alcazaba is child-friendly but watch little ones on the raised wall areas
There aren’t too many steps but you have to be careful when walking along some of the walls. This Moorish palace has great views of the sea and the city.
There is no shortage of restaurants on squares to indulge in tapas. Our children liked the variety of the options and the Spanish cheeses.
Plaza de la Merced is one of the best squares with plenty of places to choose from.
Top tip: When in Spain with children, it is better to eat your main meal out at lunchtime as the Spanish eat their evening meal very late. Try to eat early evening and the best restaurants will be closed or very quiet.
Malaga’s beaches aren’t pure white sand but they are plenty good enough for an afternoon’s entertainment.
One of the many beaches in and around Malaga
The man-made Playa de la Malagueta is nearest the city centre and has a playground.
We also liked Playa San Andres near our hotel and the quieter Playa de la Caleta.
We visited at the end of October and found the temperature of the sand and sea to be perfect.
Often overlooked as an industrial gateway to the Costa Del Sol, Malaga is actually very child-friendly. Well worth a couple of days.
The best towns, beaches and attractions in the southern Netherlands for families
Wassenaar – the Dutch Windsor
This small town is one of the wealthiest in Holland and it shows in the shops and restaurants.
There are lots of places to eat, a lovely atmosphere and quiet cyclefriendly roads as you would expect. There is also a great beach.
Leiden and its canals
Leiden has an excellent park and ride service on the edge of the city.
Leiden and its canals are well worth exploring
You park and catch a free minibus which drops you in the city centre and then call them to pick you up when you’re finished.
The city has a lovely canalside market with Dutch poffertjes (a Dutch batter treat like a baby pancake) on sale, which are a hit with children. There is a small fort you can climb for views over the city.
Yes, Holland is famous for being a bicycle rider’s paradise but it isn’t until you use the system you realise how good it is.
Cylcing is safe and fun in South Holland
There are special lanes a good distance away from the road – the sort of thing which rarely exists in the UK.
If you ignore the wind and the chilly north sea, the sand on the Dutch beaches is a match for anywhere in Europe.
The beach at Wassenaar is golden and perfect for sandcastles and games.
There are plenty of amenities too, restaurants and cafes, toilets and loads of space to park a car or a bike. In good weather it’s a great spot.
Wassenaar beach is a match for any in Europe and
Luciano’s famous ice cream parlour in Wassenaar is very popular.
It is at the end of the main street, has been in the town since 1996 and has dozens of flavours to choose from.
There’s nice seating outside or take your ice cream and stroll through the town.