Top 10 beaches to visit with the family

West Wittering is a popular choice for families on sunny days
West Wittering is a popular choice for families on sunny days
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This beautiful sandy beach carries a Blue Flag and an outstanding reputation among the many thousands of families who head here each year.

Just off the A27, it’s near enough for a day trip – just make sure you head over early on sunny days as queues for the car park can be lengthy. Parking will cost you £7.50 in the high season and there’s a cafe, toilets plus beach shop.

2 Southsea seafront

You’ll never get bored of visiting Southsea. The beach might be stoney but the views of the Solent can’t be beaten and the Common, piers, skate park and Canoe Lake all help make this the perfect place for families.

3 Lee-on-the-Solent

If you’re looking for a beach suitable for strolling on, Lee-on-the-Solent will do the job. A broad promenade runs parallel with the beach, so it’s perfect for pushchairs and scooters. There’s a play park and no trip would be complete without the pink ice cream on offer at the nearby cafe hatches.

4 Stokes Bay, Gosport

You have to pay to park but a walk up to Fort Gilkicker, a coffee at the beach side cafe, or a quick round of crazy golf will make up for that. Go here to enjoy a walk with the family.

5 Hill Head

South of Stubbington lies Hill Head’s peaceful pebble beach. Take a walk past the popular Osborne View pub, with its beach side garden, and on to the Titchfield Haven nature reserve.

Beach huts line the path but this quiet stretch of coastline is never over-crowded.

6 Ryde, Isle of Wight

Fancy a change of scenery? Hop on the hovercraft at Southsea (a family day return ticket will cost from £29) and head for Ryde’s sandy beach. When you and the kids get bored of sunbathing there’s always the town to explore.

7 Lepe Country Park

There’s more than a mile of beach to enjoy at Lepe, set in the New Forest National Park, near Beaulieu. Walk through the park, stop off at the play areas, hire a barbecue pitch or just sit on the beach and enjoy the spectacular view.

8 Hayling Island

Did you know Hayling Island has more than three miles of beach? Add in the many more miles of shore around the harbours of Langstone and Chichester and you’ve got a great place to go with the family. Beachlands is always a popular place for families but it’s worth heading for a look around Eastoke too.

9 East beach, Selsey

Popular with families, East beach has a playground and pretty promenade to enjoy. Less crowded than West Wittering, it’s still within easy reach, just off the A27.

10 Durdle Door, Dorset

Prepared to travel a bit further? Visit this famous rock arch – one of the most photographed landmarks along the Jurassic Coast – for a memorable family day out.

Off the A351 at Wareham, the water is inviting. But be warned – there’s a steep cliff path leading down to the beach.