The Southern counties are spoiled for choice when it comes to miles of spectacular coastline. Both Devon and Somerset are a short jaunt through heavenly countryside to miles of golden beaches and turquoise waters. Ideally suited to both days spent fully relaxing and epic watersports, families of all shapes and sizes can find something fun on our Great British beaches. Rock-pooling, paddling in the gentle waters, greedily munching fish and chips and carefully constructing sandcastles - all can be happily enjoyed here.
To help you along, we have handpicked our favourites, that are all within one hour drive of either Carswell Farm or the Dillington Estate, meaning all that's left for you to do is to pack up a well-stocked picnic (don't forget the cider!), roll up the beach towels and head for the water!
Best for Carswell Farm
Sitting at the mouth of the Erme estuary, this beautiful unspoilt stretch of sound is overlooked only by the old boathouse and the lime kiln that once stood proud on the shores. Here, little ones can splash in rock pools and the gentle waves, whilst slightly more mature explorers can dig their bare feet in the soft sands. The beach is open all year round, with a car park (charges apply March-September) just a short walk away via a gravel path. Dogs are not permitted between May-September and visitors can pick up fabulous refreshments from the popular 'School House'.
Famous for it's great surf and family-friendly sands, this beach is also on the doorstep of a selection of fantastic coastal walks. Spending a lazy day on the enormous beach, visitors can gaze across to the iconic Burgh Island (accessible via the quirky sea tractor!) and revel in the fact that they're enjoying a stretch that is part of the designated South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Hungry? Check out the super-cool 'Gastrobus' (perched up on the hill) for a beach-side snack and exceptional coffee.
Best for Gitcombe Estate
This spectacular, shingle beach has long been crowned as 'South Devon's most picturesque beach' and it's certainly not difficult to see why. With vast woodland snaking it's way down to the shore, visitors of all interest will find something to suit them here. There are water-sports provisions for the more adventurous and soft sand pits for young explorers.
Best for the Dillington Estate
Nominated as 'one of the UK's five best beaches' in 2017 by the BBC's Countryfile, as well as the only UK entry into the 'National Geographic's 21 Best Beaches In The World 2017' this family-friendly beach offers quintessential seaside fun. Brightly coloured beach huts, quirky cafes, gentle waters for swimming and fossil hunting - this definitely is one for the bucket list! Divided by the scenic River Char, a natural lagoon can often form to safe-harbour ducks and swans (amongst keen boaters!). Dogs are welcome on certain sections of the beach, but it is always worth checking before you rock up with your deckchair in tow!
Framed by towering cliffs, this picturesque shingle beach is just a stone's throw from Golden Cap; the highest point on England's south coast. Favoured by fossil hunters, keen fishermen and holidaying families, find a spot on the steeply shelved space and settle in for panoramic views as far as the eye can see. In terms of amenities, there are toilets, a seaside shop and the Anchor Inn for a spot of lunch.
One of Somerset's busiest holiday resorts, this beach is one for those seeking a lively atmosphere. With views along the coast to Exmoor (and even to Wales on a clear day!), the beach is comprised of wide, sandy stretches interspersed with shingle patches and rock-pools that harbour a myriad of wildlife. Set up for a day on the sand, safe in the knowledge there are toilet facilities, a cafe, deck-chairs and windbreakers for hire.