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Five best places to combine a family holiday with a surfing break.
The sun is out and for some reason I always think of surfing. Surfing is one of those things which never looks easy, the principle is straightforward, you have a flat buoyant board which you stand on to ride the waves - it's the standing part that's difficult. It is predicted that as the seas around Britain get warmer due to the dreaded climate change surfing will become more and more popular and as our sea and beaches become cleaner it will become much more enjoyable. If you have teenagers it's a great activity for them to learn while on a seaside holiday and they seem to love it none of the usual moaning of "I'm bored". Here is a selection of destinations which offer great surfing but also family friendly beaches in areas with lots of other things to do and see so there will be something for all members of the family to enjoy.
1. Watergate Bay, Cornwall
Cornwall is always a firm favourite holiday destination and as most of the industry is tourism related there really is plenty to see and do. Watergate Bay features a long sandy beach which is over 2 miles long. Close to the popular town of Newquay it offers surfing, kite surfing and kite buggying. During the summer it is manned by life guards always reassuring by nervous mums trying to juggle the needs of their children and always worrying about one wandering off. Downside is that this beach is almost too popular it gets quite crowded in the height of the season so you need to make sure you book the early morning surfing lessons to make sure you get a clear run.
2. Bantham/Bigbury, Devon
Described as 'South Devon's Premier Family and Surfing Beach' is a shallow sandy bay ideal for paddling. Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the cliffs provide panoramic views out over the bay. At low tide in the summer the beach contains warm sandy pools ideal for toddlers to paddle and play in. Off the beach the sea is relatively warm and you get some great waves but nothing too heavy so great for beginner surfers.
3. Llangennith, Gower, Wales
This is considered to have the most consistent surf on the Gower Peninsular. Located at the northern end of the very popular Rhossili Bay which is a 3 mile long sandy beach owned by the National Trust. The beach was awarded best beach in the UK in 2010 and even at high tide there is still a little bit of sand left. For any twitchers out there the cliffs along the beach are full of sea birds.
Sennen Cove means 'our home' and is in the South East corner of the popular Whitesand Bay which has lots of rock pools to explore. The beach is manned by life guards during the summer including Bilbo, the Newfoundland, who actually saved three endangered swimmers in 2005. However Bilbo fell foul of the no dogs allowed between Easter and the end of September rule introduced in 2008 until a public campaign encouraged the authorities to reach a compromise and allow Bilbo on to the beach on two days a week as an educational prompt to remind people to swim between the flags.
Just 40 miles from Edinburgh Pease Bay is part of Pease Dean Nature managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. There is an award winning holiday park here so accommodation is easy to find. The scenery is beautiful and you might see buzzards flying overhead. The beach is excellent and is surrounded by cliffs so is well protected from the wind.
There of course many other beaches ideal for surfing across the UK but these were selected as being particularly family friendly beaches in areas where there were other activities in the area. So try out something new this summer even if you don't manage the standing bit body boarding is fun too!