Family beach day essentials at Bosworth water park - Bubbablue and me (1)
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Family beach day essentials for Bosworth Water Park

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We live pretty much in the middle of the country. That means it’s handy to get out and about – we can get to many places within an hour, but the beach…we’re talking over 2 hours each way. That means we only see if when we go on holiday. But I’d heard about an inland beach at Bosworth Water Park – under an hour away. N’s inset day was coinciding with perfect hot weather and I had the day off work. It was fate, we weren’t going to turn down that opportunity for going for a family day out – one of the only days outside weekends or school holidays that we could go. I was hoping it wouldn’t be too busy.

Family beach day essentials at Bosworth water park - Bubbablue and me (1)

I’m not great with hot weather. N copes better than me, as does his skin because it’s used to being open to all weathers through the year – from being on the farm, playing out at school and just generally being outside more than me.  But I needed to update our sun lotions for our trip out, so I decided a quite beach day shop was needed at Home Bargains.

jungle insect repellent and sun lotions in Home Bargains

Like most people I begrudge paying full price for sun lotions (I find I need to buy several bottles, for the car, for handbag, home and school), so I knew we’d find a reasonable selection in store at good value.  A Malibu travel pack of lotions and after sun was perfect for taking with us.

After my camping experience last year near water where I got bitten alive (unlike N who gets bitten a lot at home on the farm but on holiday the insects obviously didn’t like the taste of him), I also picked up some Jungle Formula insect repellent.  I wasn’t taking any chances, plus it would also be useful for our next camping trip in the summer.

We packed up our picnic too, chairs, swim wear and towels for N, picnic blankets and all the other beach paraphernalia we seem to need, then drove to Market Bosworth to the water park.

Bosworth beach and water park (now closed)

I made sure we arrived early. I hate struggling for parking (I like being smug seeing everyone else trying to find somewhere later on when we’re ready to leave), and the beach around the lake wasn’t that large, so was pleased we were able to find a prime spot right on the edge.

Sun lotion slapped on, and repellent sprayed liberally on me, we were set. Me in my chair, shoes off, shades on.  And N complete with beach essentials – bucket, spade and little beach ball.

picnic and beach set up

Disappointingly, he didn’t fancy a dip in the water. The other children there were having a ball, but I paddled. N refused to get more than his toes wet.  So different to him last year in the sea.  It really makes a difference having friends to egg him on, because he likes to be stubborn and do his own thing with me there.

water play

There was a bit of sandcastle building and digging of channels – every family has their beach set up when it comes to sand play.  Our family sandcastle building motto is…simple is best.

sun lotion face

Lunch is never far from N’s mind, and I’d packed a great pick and mix picnic. The best type of alfresco food there is. He was soon refuelled, sun lotion topped up (especially on his ears) and we went to explore the pirate playground. There was plenty of equipment for every age, with the slides being favourites. I was informed when I was allowed to take photos – it seems every 6 year old needs their own photographer sometimes, so it’s lucky I like taking pictures of all our family memories.

lunch time
playground walkways
tree trunk climbing

Not only did we enjoy the beach, but we had to buy ice creams and sat overlooking the boating lake, watching the fish coming up to feed, and the swans looming over the children standing in the water.  From the liveliness at the beach, the lake was quieter and more chilled out.  Maybe next time we’ll hire a pedalo.

playing diggers
If there’s a digger, he’s on it!

Much as N loves a family day out with me, he’s often yearning to go back on the farm with his dad, so we didn’t stay on more than 3 hours.  A  perfect time spent discovering somewhere new and different.

Our beach day tips:

You can never take too much stuff to the beach, so try and limit it to the essentials (or take a strong man or wagon to carry it there for you!).

  • Chairs – it’s not comfortable sitting or lying for hours on sand
  • Picnic – yes it gets sandy, but that’s part of the charm. Just watch out for gulls, and include plenty of water. Freeze water beforehand, then let it melt through the day, keeping it cold for drinking
  • Shelter – if it’s hot take cover at times. Either something to cover the head or shoulders, a pop up beach tent, or an umbrella. Windbreaks are also good if you want to have some privacy
  • Picnic blankets or mats to sit on. Keep the sand on these rather than the chairs
  • Money for ice creams, because you can’t go to the beach without ice creams
  • Sun lotion for everyone whether you burn or not.
  • Swim wear for the kids, because they will go into the sea deeper than you expect. Or at least have dry alternate clothes for them to change into .
  • Parking money in change
  • A camera – phone or otherwise (watch out for sand damage, so keep away from kids and wrapped in a non-sandy towel for protection) to capture family moments.

After the small manmade beach at Bosworth Water Park, we’re looking forward to more sunny days and our annual camping trip with friends on the Welsh coast.

How often do you get to the beach? How much gear do you end up taking with you?

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  1. It’s so good to have a checklist otherwise I find I end up packing sooo much more than I really need.
    Looks like it was a great day out and we’ve been really lucky with the warm, sunny weather over half term (although not so much now!). Like you, living in Oxfordshire, its great that there are places not too far away where we can enjoy the beach and some water!
    For me – suncream, fresh water and lots of tissues are my essential packs!

  2. We end up packing everything and have a car full! It looks like a rest place to visit – hopefully he’ll be more enthusiastic about getting wet next time! #CountryKids

  3. Looks like you had a fun day out. I love places like this where you can enjoy the beach even when you live inland. N looked like he was having fun pouring water even if he didn’t want to paddle. Sun cream is top of our essentials list too and I really should add insect repellent as they always seem to have a field day with me! I also pack baby powder as it’s brilliant for getting sand off afterwards. #countrykids

  4. Sun cream is always at the top of our list. Monkey has the same t-shirt as N and I really love it! These inland parks/beaches are such a great idea. I do feel that I need to lug around so much with the kiddies though! Great list #CountryKifds

  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful day. I always mean to take a camping chair out with me, particularly given my back issues, but I always forget. Perhaps I should start keeping one in my car!

  6. I need to look into these water parks – I believe we have one near us. Thanks for the list we are hoping to go to the beach at the weekend. #countrykids

  7. This looks like a great place and so much to do! We went to the beach a couple of weeks ago and whilst it wasn’t the hottest day the girls loved building sandcastles and Alice ran into the cold sea, but not far before she ran back out again. My top tip is talc, a quick sprinkle and the sand just comes straight of hands and feet. I never go without it. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  8. We must really get around to trying out the beach again. Last time we went to one in France the eldest wasn’t keen at all but I’m determined that one day she’ll fall in love with them. #CountryKids

  9. Looks like a great place. We’ve never really gone to the beach much as it’s a good hour and half for us but we discovered a great beach this week and ended up going back the next day too. It’s a bit of a trek to get to but the kids had so much fun I can see us heading there whenever we have nice weather now.

    1. That’s lucky. It’s a real trek for us – and with the inevitable sitting in traffic getting to the coast, it wouldn’t really be worth doing for a day trip. I do love the beach though

  10. Its always so hard for me to put spf on my son. Then I found this product that you can apply like deodorant. My son loves how its so easy and not messy and now I dont need to ask him so many times.. he do it by himself. #countrykids

  11. Love all these great beach tips! We were in Texel, NL a few weeks ago enjoying the beach. Luckily the hotel had most everything (except the sun screen) for us to enjoy there. #CountryKids

    1. So handy when you don’t have to take anything with you. My kind of beach (although not that I’ve experienced that!). Thanks for stopping by

  12. My 15 year old could really have done with your tips at the beach yesterday. He managed to pack his sun cream, use it on his face and body but forget about his legs and feet which are now very sore! Using and reapplying sun cream is so important in the middle of summer like this. I’m very taken with your water park, at a quick glance it really does look like you are at the beach. It looks every bit as packed as Polzeath did here yesterday! At least you were well prepared for your outting.

    Thank you for sharing with me on #CountryKids

    1. Ouch – I’ve had similar, burning the tops of my feet. A friend went to the water park this week and they were parked out in a field and they had to close the park to new people at one stage. Certainly hope to make the most of the park when N’s older for water sports – possible birthday treats maybe?

  13. I’m lucky to live so close to the coast so we’re kind of seasoned pros here. My one top tip is to take talcum powder – it’s great for getting the sand off your legs, toes and hands when you’ve dried off. This little inland beach looks fab for those who don’t have any coastline! x

  14. Living in Norfolk we spend all our summers on the beach – oh I do like to be beside the seaside! Top tip on freezing water bottles, and we nearly always forget change for the car park.
    Looks like you all had a brilliant day! #SharingTheBlogLove

  15. I’m really not a big fan of the beach – all that sand and salty water! The boys love it though so we’re trying to go a bit more often. I’ve always lived near the sea though, I like to look at it, just don’t like going near it! Looks like you had a lovely time though – Toby would love that digger 🙂 #SharingTheBlogLove

    1. Lol, that’s a shame, although for me, it’s the coastal wind that’s a nightmare on my hair. If I lived near the coast I’d need to take up wearing hats permanently.

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