17 free things to do at the beach

Our favourite free things to do at the beach

When summer comes round, the beach is a must-do. But days out can be expensive, so we’ve come up with 17 ideas for free things to do on the beach. You can save when you book in advance, so give summer a big send off and plan your trip now.

  1. Become a sand mermaid
    Nice and easy for mum and dad, if a little messy! Let your little darlings turn you into a mermaid (or merman) by giving you a dashing sand tail. All you have to do is lie there.
  2. Make a sundial
    A bit old-school, but we like this one – teach the kids to tell the time the old-fashioned way with a sundial!
  3. Beach art
    Budding Picasso on your hands? Why not set them off collecting seashells and making their own artwork in the sand. Whether it’s stick men or a sand sculpture, they’ll enjoy it.
  4. Fly a kite
    Alright, so you need a kite, but it doesn’t cost you anything on the day! And everyone loves seeing a kite flying high on a sunny day.
  5. Skip pebbles
    When the seas are a bit calmer there’s a certain pleasure to see a perfectly skipped pebble make its way out to sea. Just watch out for any bathers!
  6. Beach noughts and crosses
    An easy winner, this – a couple of sticks and you’re away. For added challenge try quickfire games between waves or increase the grid size.
  7. Beach yoga
    One of the most relaxing sounds in the world is said to be the sound of waves lapping against the shore. Plan an easy relaxing routine, take your yoga mat, and enjoy the background sounds of the world around you.
  8. Watch the sunset
    The sun setting against the sea is a truly stunning sight – why not enjoy it with some friends and loved ones? A glass of wine and a picnic can make the evening complete.
  9. Build a sandcastle
    This is the beach classic – buckets and spades at the ready! Sand is plentiful, so refresh your architecture skills and get building.
  10. Collect seashells
    Collecting seashells is a traditional beach activity – and there are some beautiful specimens about. Just make sure you don’t take a hermit crab home with you!
  11. Sit back and relax
    Free stuff at the beach doesn’t have to be all running around – why not just relax on the beach and read, or listen to your favourite relaxing playlist?
  12. Hit the surf
    You’re at the beach after all – so how can you not? Hit the water, get your feet wet, and you’ll keep any little ones entertained for hours.
  13. How low can you go?
    Kids still full of energy? Grab a couple of spades and get digging! Deepest hole wins an ice cream…
  14. Beach frisbee golf
    A round of frisbee golf at the beach is definitely a winner, if only for uniqueness! Set up some of your belongings – towels, cool bags, umbrellas – on the beach as your “holes”. Closest to the hole wins! For a challenge, you can set up traps with larger items like deck chairs or windbreaks.
  15. Sand angels
    Warmer than snow angels! A summery take on the Christmas classic.
  16. Take a walk
    Beaches in the southwest are normally accompanied by some stunning clifftop views – not to mention the towns nearby! A bit of coasting is always recommended and doesn’t have to cost anything.
  17. Look back in time
    Fossil hunting might need you to be prepared, but there’s loads we can recommend on our Fossil Hunting page – and a great way to pick up a free souvenir! Discover some of the best beaches on our network, and book your train tickets here.