You can’t go on holiday in the UK and not go to the beach so on our camping holiday to Weymouth we made the most of it.
As soon as the tent was pitched, N was pestering me to go to the beach straight away. So we were there late afternoon when the people had thinned out.
N loves the beach. Bucket bought, he was then happy to potter, build castles and dig sand, and paddle collecting water.
With the beach being really shallow into the sea, I was happy for him to go and collect the water in his bucket he wanted, but I did get a tad worried when I saw him exploring up to his thighs!
The next day was a bit drizzly on and off, so we headed to the Sealife Centre in the morning, and then to the beach in the afternoon to meet the others. It turned out that the seagulls had been swooping in for food, taking a sandwich from one of the younger girl’s hands. I was astounded how on a packed out beach they could pick out exactly those people who were eating.
N was happy enough to stay for a while after the others left so there was lots more castle building and digging. Annoyingly the seagulls were still swooping in to grab dropped chips from earlier so we didn’t stay long.
We did manage to fit in another afternoon on the beach. This time, after a seagull biscuit snatch from one of the girls, we learnt our lesson. When we arrived at the beach, the other kids were being hidden under a golf umbrella in rotation so they could eat their lunch.
I bought a pop up beach tent so at least we could eat in peace, and a couple of the older kids ate in there as well. They are great, but with the wind that week, the tent pegs weren’t really staying in the sand. It was lucky we had plenty of bags to keep it down (and my bottom!). When you see how much paraphenalia people bring to the beach (chairs, windbreaks, tents, buckets, spades, food, towels, body boards, wetsuits etc), it makes you shudder that there’s not really parking near the beach.
One day we debated using the park and ride, but with only 2 bags to take and a picnic rug, it was still too much hassle doing park and ride. The traffic in Weymouth is horrendous, so the park and ride does make sense (or using the train from Lodmoor Country Park) if you’re going to be there a while and travel light (or have older kids to load up too).
We also had an evening walk and play along the beach on one of our last nights of the week. The farming lot had arrived and we decided we wanted to have fish and chips by the harbour. With 25 in total (8 families), it was a mission to say the least.
Firstly it was a chance for an evening walk along the sand. The kids had a huge jellyfish at the edge of the sea, pointed out to them, so that created some interest.
The girls were looking for seashells, while the boys took over someone’s sand boat, before a brief paddle in the sea.
Then we walked the length of the beach towards the harbour. There was the Armed Forces volleyball tournament on the week we were in Weymouth, and we watched a little before putting shoes back on to walk along the harbour side and find some fish and chips.
We’d had a recommendation of a place by one of the bridges. It was a bit of a trek, and fairly late for the children, but they loved being out with the lure of fish and chips. When we arrived we realised we’d be fighting off the seagulls again as they hovered by the side of the harbour.
Because there were so many of us, and the increased cost, we’d presumed there wouldn’t be room inside. There weren’t many free benches, and they felt a bit out in the open for the predatory birds, so most of us found alcoves, a shop door and step, and just sat along the shop fronts. Nothing like classy and making the place look messy, but at least the children felt safe and more hidden from the seagulls.
It was lovely having an evening walk. All the children walked nicely, there were questions about the bridge being raised, and then we were able to see it. The fish and chips were a nice meal off cooking. And we got to see The Last Supper – in sand, which was advertising the Sandworld displays.
Some of the others weren’t fussed about Weymouth beach because it was just so busy, and because of the stalker seagulls, but out of peak hours once the crowds had headed off, it was really nice to hang out there. The sea’s shallow enough for toddlers, although the those with older kids found Ringstead Beach really good (although shingle, not sandy). It was quieter, better for older children to swim and surf or body board, but there’s the downside that you have to head back up top to the café and for the toilets, rather than them being conveniently on the beach side.
We’ve been quite lucky this year, having had 2 beach holidays, both which had reasonable to good weather, but I’m sure N would love to return given half the chance.
Do you live near the sea, or have you been away this summer to the beach? What’s your favourite beach activity?
Why not take a look at these similar posts.