Other Beach Holidays
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This is a gently shelving, sandy blue-flag beach surrounded by the bright lights and buzz of a traditional seaside resort. Parents of small children are advised to stop off at the beach patrol office and pick up a colour-coded wristband, to help prevent kids from becoming hopelessly lost when the beach gets crowded in the summer. Clacton hosts a large Air Show as part of its action packed August Bank Holiday programme. It is also justly proud of its beautifully maintained themed seafront gardens that line the upper promenade. Adjacent to Martello Bay, West Beach has gently shelving sand and with the added bonus of the operation of Clacton's pioneering child safety wristband scheme, gives parents that extra peace of mind.
In recent years there's been a LA-style fitness drive on the beachfront of this notorious hedonists' hangout. Yellowave is a sandy fitness centre on Madeira Drive between Brighton Marina and the pier. As a 2012 Olympics training venue, the centre features six beach volleyball or footvolley courts, which can be turned into two five-a-side beach soccer or rugby pitches or one international-size beach soccer pitch. There's also room for ultimate Frisbee, bouldering, "beachminton" and a play area for kids. Activities are for all ages and abilities and there taster sessions if you're new to sandy team sports.
Often described as the jewel in the crown of Pembrokeshires beaches, Barafundle Bay is consistently voted the most beautiful beach in Britain and you can see why. With clear water and soft golden sands fringed by dunes and wooded cliffs, its natural, unspoilt beauty provides the perfect tranquil retreat for visitors, perfect if you want to get away from it all. Barafundle can only be accessed by the cliff path followed by a steep walk down to the beach through grassy dunes. However, the walk is well worth the effort and there are some stunning views of the Pembrokeshire coastline. South of the beach is a fabulous stretch of coast path leading to Stackpole Head, a tufted plateau which juts into the sea. While youre in the area, take a look at Stackpole Quay its one of the smallest harbours along this coastline with barely enough room for two boats. Best of all, its only half a mile from Barafundle through the National Trusts Stackpole Estate. Its a pretty little spot and with the Boathouse Tearoom to entice you, well worth the visit.
A bustling blue flag bearer, Ramsgate is a good old-fashioned beach resort with lifeguards on patrol, a bay inspector and a ban on dogs in the summer months, which keeps families flocking here. The swanky Royal Harbour (a title bestowed on it by George IV in 1821) and marina (where you can get your fish and chips and ice-creams) is right next door and there are children's rides on the beach itself. Every Tuesday afternoon in August, the Ramsgate Society offers costumed walks of the nearby cliffs and harbour.