Our most recent seaside trip was to Littlehampton on the South Coast. I shared a couple of pictures on last weeks Project 52 but it’s time to share some more!
Littlehampton is a little different to some of the other coastal areas we have visited recently. It has a lot of rides, amusements, an arcade, soft play and restaurants so if you want a traditional family fun day out at the seaside then it’s a great choice of beach to take the kids. We went a couple of years back on a really hot day for the boys first ever trip to the beach when we first got our car!
This time it was not extremely hot, but still warm enough to have a nice day at the seaside. We came in first through the Harbour Park and the kids were attracted straight away to all the amusements and rides so we played here for a bit before going to the beach.
Mr R looks like he has an attitude in this picture! He did feel quite possessive over this car, he kept jumping in and declaring “mine car!!”
Then we went outside to the main rides of Harbour Park, they didn’t go on a lot though as we only went for the afternoon and wanted to still have time for the beach.
To go on the rides you buy a pack of tokens and then exchange various amounts for each ride. It’s fairly reasonably priced although can add up a bit if you have several kids and they go on a lot!
Next, it was time to go to the beach.
Like most of the beaches on the South coast, Littlehampton is mostly a pebble beach but there are some stretches of sand. Last time we came we did manage to find quite a big sandy bit for the kids to play, this time we found a smaller bit.
It’s like pockets of sand in between the pebbly bits. This combination of sand and pebbles did enable something pretty cool though: making a sand slide!
This is made by digging a big hole in the sand right next to the pebble section, so the pebbles create a sturdy wall and allow you to get that height and depth to make a slide. It was very fun for the boys!
We also had lots of fun making sand castles, we split into teams for a competition: me and Mr Z against Mr R, Mr T and Dada.
Over the bank holiday we decided to take the kids to explore another new beach and while we were there we thought it would be fun (and save a bit of money) to have a beach picnic. We went to Chesil Beach on the South coast, which has some beautiful views and is a fun place to visit. If you look on a map you can see a little strip with water either side, separated from the mainline. (here’s google maps so you can see) It seems like a really unusual and cool land formation.
This was a last minute trip, as is usual with us. I do wish I could get a bit organised for once and plan my things in advance – maybe one day I’ll achieve that! But anyway, as we got near to Chesil Beach we decided on the picnic so I nipped in to Morrisons to get a few supplies. We were lucky to be chosen as a #MorrisonsMum for Britmums and had been in to our local Morrisons a few days before to do our weekly shop. I was really impressed with Morrisons and will definitely be making an effort to visit their stores more regularly so I was pleased to see a Morrisons nearby and knew that it would be a great place to buy some picnic food. After doing our main shop there we had been given some vouchers for 10p off every litre of fuel at Morrisons which my other half was quite pleased with, so he was very keen to stop there for our petrol as well as our food. We do drive around a lot on the weekends (for eg this beach is 2 hours from our house) so a good deal on petrol is always appreciated*!
For the picnic I got everything ready made, because we bought everything on route, but luckily Morrisons have a great range of prepared salads, sandwiches, cut fruit and more so it did the job perfectly.
We got: Morrisons Layered Salad £1.89 – Morrisons apple juice £1 for 3 – Morrisons cheese twists £1.09 – Morrisons sandwiches £1.79, £1.00 & £1.25 – Morrisons snack mango £1.25 – 2 packs Morrisons prepared cucumber and carrots with dips £1.25 each – 2 7up 1.15 each – Multipack of Pombears £1 – Morrisons paper bowls £1.50. This came to £15.57 and then we got 80p off in multibuy savings bringing it down to £14.77 which is just under £3 per person for the 5 of us and we had loads of food to go around!
We did actually buy a lovely picnic blanket too but then we found these picnic benches nearby to the visitor centre and a wooden play ship which the boys loved, so thought this would be handier.
After eating their picnic the boys had lots of energy to run off and explore the beach. It is super pebbly! And you have to climb up hill a bit through the pebbles to reach the sea so it is a little bit of a work out for their little legs. It’s a really different sensation to walking on sand or normal flat ground. It’s a great way to get some sensory exploration on the go, with the texture of the pebbles under foot and in their hands as they pick them to collect and play with, the sound of the seagulls, the feeling of the sea breeze and the smell of the sea air. I love it!
We did collect a few pebbles to take home so that we can make some crafts and activities for them, not these small ones – we found some lovely big round flat ones which will be amazing to make story stones.
All of the boys love to skim stones into the sea, especially Mr Z.
For all of us its a chance to connect with nature and enjoy each other’s company and the quiet relaxation of being next to the sea.
Here’s the deal I mentioned about the fuel at Morrisons:
Morrisons have also permanently rolled back loads of prices in all areas of their store with their new I’m Cheaper campaign which we tested out as part of #MorrisonsMums
As I mentioned at the start of the post, we also visited one of our local Morrisons – the new Watford store, and I was pretty impressed with it. The meat and fish counters were not open at the time we went so I’ll need to go back and check those out but the range of fresh fruit and vegetables is really good, better than other supermarkets we usually go to. What I really liked is that Morrisons felt much more spacious and less over crowded than other supermarkets so it made a much more relaxing trip. They also have some different products from other stores and their own brand Morrisons goods seem to be a great quality with some fantastic prices like a pack of 6 bread rolls for only 32p, large bottles of flavoured sparkling water for 49p each, Morrisons jam 65p, Morrisons grapefruit in juice 55p. They also stock all the main brands which we usually buy, with offers on some great brands like Ben and Jerrys ice cream for £2.49
I got the basics for our weekly meals which all worked out pretty reasonable for eg: rice noodles £1.29, Morrisons stir fry £1.89, Morrisons stir fry sauce £1.00 comes to £4.18 which is less than £1 per person. Morrisons pasta sauce at 75p and bag of pasta at 95p comes up at about 20p a serving for a quick and easy fuss free lunch for the kids.
A few weeks ago we went on a trip to Beachy Head with the kids, as this was somewhere that had been on our list for a while. First we went up to the cliff slide to see the views and explore a little.
From here we could see down to Beachy Head Lighthouse
You do need to be careful with young children as the cliff edge is not fenced off or anything, so Mr R had to stay in his buggy for this bit which he was not too pleased about! But with three to keep an eye on and such a steep drop, I prefer not to take the risk.
We didn’t stay too long up at the cliff as it wouldn’t have been fair on Mr R waiting in his buggy but he did atleast enjoy looking out to the sea and seeing the light house.
Very nearby there is a lovely pebbly peach which the boys were able to explore more freely. When we arrived it was late afternoon and coming up towards sunset, which allowed us to get some lovely pictures like this one that I posted a couple of weeks ago which is my favourite!
The beach is down at the bottom of the cliff, so there are some quite steep stairs to go down. It’s fine, but I would advise not to take the buggy down if possible. We put ours back in the car boot for this.
It’s a really pebbley and rocky beach which is loads of fun for kids to explore, hopping from rock to rock finding seaweed, jumping in puddles that have been left over in the rocks.
I love to see the boys playing in this kind of environments, to give them these times to connect with nature, explore and use their imaginations.
Luckily we had the beach pretty much to ourselves at that time, which is always nice.
There is something so calming about being beside the sea. I grew up near to the sea, and I think at that time didn’t realise its such a blessing to be right on it’s door step. Still, in London we are only a couple of hours away which is not too bad.
Mr R has borrowed Mr T’s coat here. I think maybe his own was in the wash or something along those lines. Whenever I take one of them out in this coat, we always get asked where its from as it’s so striking. It’s from Kozi Kidz and this is a rain jacket which I reviewed for the Babyworld panel. We are going to be reviewing their rainwear sets soon here on the blog so do look out for that. It’s great quality clothing and perfect for this kind of wet environments!
These little family outings are always a great way to spend some quality time together away from distractions of home, housework, deadlines and whatever else. We are quite last minute and tend to just jump in the car and think of somewhere to go. So we still don’t have a plan for our bank holiday weekend yet. I am loving beaches at the moment though, so perhaps another beach. I want to collect some shells to make a seaside sensory bin for the kids to have at home, so hopefully we will go and get those soon!
Whatever you have planned for the bank holiday weekend, I hope it’s a great one!
If you’re interested in beaches on the South Coast, you may also want to check out my post last week about our trip to Durdle Door.
For destinations a little further afield, check out Tots Too
On the last day of the Easter holidays we decided to take the boys for one last trip to the beach. We always love to find new beautiful places that we haven’t been before, and Durdle Door definitely didn’t disappoint us. It’s an amazing place to visit with beautiful views and a really striking coast line.
It took us 2 hours to drive down from London (we are lucky though, we live in West London not too far from the M25 – from East or central London it will take a fair bit longer)
The photos will speak for themselves on how beautiful this place is. If you’re thinking to visit it with small children just be aware that it is difficult to take a buggy down to the actual beach, and you need to climb down a quite rocky terrain. We managed it fine with our boys though (2, 4 and 5). If you park in the car park near the holiday park, it’s about a 10 minute walk down to the coast and you can take your buggy down for this but if your child is able to walk that, it will be easier not to bring it.
Once you get down the coast, there are two main sides to the beach. One accessed by stairs, and one by climbing down the rocks. We went to both.
Here’s a panorama of the first beach.
The boys loved this place, they had so much fun skimming stones into the sea and finding their favourite pebbles.
The second side is the one with the famous and distinctively shaped rock, which looks like a door. It’s also a pebbly beach although there is a little bit of sand in this one (not much though)
Here they had some more fun burying toys in the pebbles and finding them, as well as skimming more stones. Climbing up and down to this beach was really fun for Mr Z too and he did it soo quickly! It took me ages to climb up and down helping Mr T who struggles with the physical stuff a bit more, and I was quite impressed to see Mr Z just scramble up there so quick and wait for us at the top!
I’ll have to do a follow up post with more pictures from this trip, as I took loads and loads. These are just the photos taken on my husbands iPhone, so perhaps I will add some more of mine on Sunday for Project 52. My camera is not connecting now to upload them, which I hope will resolve itself soon?!
We are really enjoying exploring all the different coastal areas of the UK. I think we will make this one of our missions over the summer to visit as many different ones as we can, as well as our other plan to visit as many castle ruins as we can. These type of days out are perfect for the kids, being outside and having plenty of space to run around and explore, and learning to appreciate natural beauty. It makes a great adventure for them 🙂
Last weekend we went on a last minute trip to Brighton. When the sun is shining we just get in the mood to explore different places and amazingly I have never been to Brighton before. People are always mentioning it as one of the seasides with the best atmosphere, so I was really interested to see for myself and the kids always love the seaside.
When we arrived there was a mini owners convention going on, which was quite exciting for the boys as they love cars so they enjoyed spotting all the different varieties on display as we walked down to the pier.
As with other seasides we have been to, parking is quite in demand and we did have to park quite far away and walk – so I would recommend thinking about bringing your buggy if you do have little ones who get tired easily, as it may come in very handy for the walk back to the car at the end of the day. And bring plenty of change for the parking meters, unlike some places where you have a few options like paying by text, the machines we saw were very old school so it does help to come prepared. We had to dig out every last 5 and 10p we could find then we just about had enough.
By the time we arrived it was afternoon so we walked past the big wheel and little seaside train, as we wanted to go straight onto the pier to see the main area but if you were there for a full day these do look like fun.
Brighton Pier is quite a contrast to the last seaside town we visited at Dover. Flashing lights, music, bustling crowds! I am a believer in having a good balance so I think these two weekends quite complimented each other, to have half term sandwiched by the calm quiet side of the sea and then the loud, bright, traditional family fun of the seaside!
My boys love funfair rides so they were eager to get started. There is plenty available for young children. The offer is 30 tokens for £20 and this went far enough and was adequate for all of the children to go on the rides they wanted (and their dad to go on some to supervise) so that is not too bad in terms of value.
The rides my boys aged almost 2 to almost 5 went on were:
Small car/ride on rollercoaster
Merry go round horses
Helter Skelter Slide
I would say the Helter Skelter was a definite favourite! Some of the rides do have height restrictions so if your child’s day out would be ruined by not being able to go on – do check it before you go! Generally they need to be about 90cm for some of the rides but all the info is on the Brighton Pier website so you can check it here
Of course a day at the seaside has to include ice cream. They were happy to make the portion smaller for my little one, which is always worth asking for to avoid the horrible dripping melting ice cream everywhere look when they can not manage to eat it fast enough. I love that they provide deckchairs for anyone to use on the pier these are just parked there for whoever wants to sit on them. I haven’t noticed this at other seasides I’ve been to, and it is a great touch – very convenient and there is just something fun about a traditional stripy deck chair! I want to get some for my garden now! 😀
The time went so quickly, we didn’t get a chance to go onto the beach itself! I know it is quite pebbly rather than a sandy beach. I didn’t see many families on there, the main attraction does seem to be spending time on the pier and just enjoying the traditional family seaside atmosphere along with the views.
There was a great mix of people around, from families with small children, to young couples, teenagers, and older people. It feels a pretty diverse place. My husband was really happy to see other mixed race couples like us so he felt very at home! (for those who think these things are never much of an issue any more in this day and age think about the recent issue with the cheerios advert!).
We finished the day with fish and chips while looking out over the sea – A perfect end to a lovely afternoon..
.. and I will leave you with these views!
For more places to go with kids in the UK follow my Pinterest board
Over the Bank Holiday with the weather being so nice for a change, we really wanted to go somewhere we hadn’t been before – somewhere outdoors, and preferably near the sea. My husband said he fancied seeing the White Cliffs of Dover, so we checked the journey time, which was only 2 hours from London (a little less than I would have guessed) and decided to set off the next morning for our day out in Dover.
When choosing a day out, I normally look carefully and try to choose somewhere with loads of children’s activities and features to keep the little ones entertained, but this trip was quite refreshing because it was more back to basics, and had no all singing all dancing flashing lights and entertainment for the boys, just sun, sea, and fresh air – and they absolutely loved it. It felt like a great adventure for them, and I’m thinking we should do this kind of trip more!
We set off in the morning and enjoyed the drive down as it was such a sunny day, and there’s lots of countryside and scenery to enjoy en-route so the 2 hours drive went pretty quick. As we approached Dover we could see the sea in the distance, and drove past the ports which the boys found really exciting seeing all the ferries coming and going.
There was a massive queue of traffic to get into the car park for the White Cliffs, so we decided to go along the road a little to St Margaret’s Bay, a small village nearby, where we could stop and have some lunch and go along to South Foreland Lighthouse
Here are the boys having lunch at the tea room at the Pines Gardens at St Margaret’s Bay. The lunch was lovely. The bread of the cheese baguettes was so nice and soft.
We didn’t have a chance to go into the gardens themselves as we wanted to get on towards the lighthouse but we did have a quick look at the fish pond just outside.
The next task was to try and find somewhere to park where we did not have too far to get to the lighthouse. Some of the information we had found suggested walking directly from St Margaret’s Bay for a one mile walk compared to a 2 mile walk if you go along the cliff edge from the Visitor Centre at the White Cliffs. One mile sounds okay, but we soon noticed the path was pretty uneven and hilly, and with two kids to push in a buggy, it didn’t look like it was going to be ideal. Luckily we managed to find somewhere a bit nearer. There is a road called Lighthouse Road which is marked as having no access to the lighthouse, but if you go down it then you can park much closer with only a small footpath to go down. This is definitely a much easier option for families with small children.
The boys were really excited to get going!
Lovely to be out in the countryside surrounded by so much greenery and open space.
So very soon we arrived at South Foreland Lighthouse, which is a National Trust property. It is right by the sea and you have amazing views while walking around nearby the lighthouse.
My little one looking out over the sea. You can see loads of ships coming out, and see all the way over to France. It was very relaxing to sit and look out and feel the sea breeze.
To go up to the top of the lighthouse there’s a charge of 5 pounds per adult. We did this but to be honest that may not have been worth it for us on this occasion, because we didn’t stay up there too long. It was not easy keeping an eye on the little ones up there and I worry they will end up throwing themselves off the balcony! For those with slightly older children, you can go on a tour where they will tell you all about the working of the lighthouse as you go up. The guides were friendly and seemed willing to tailor this to however much level of detail will be suitable for your family and the age groups you have with you.
The boys were mainly happier just exploring and running around in the area outside. There is a little boat which children can get inside and play about on, which they loved especially the 3 year old. They also have kites freely available for any visitors to borrow and use. They are just kept outside the shop in a little treasure chest and you just help yourself!
I love kites! Seeing them flying in the blue sky on a sunny day is just such a nice sight, but somehow I had not actually taken the boys to fly kites before! They were really excited to have a go, and after a few attempts, we managed to get it going.
We also took the chance to have a cup of tea and some scones and cakes while we were there. It came with proper china crockery which is a nice touch! The boys had Victoria Sponge cake which they enjoyed.
We still hadn’t been to see the White Cliffs by this point, and it was starting to get a bit late. We couldn’t go without seeing those as its a major landmark! So we went back over and by that time the car park situation was much better.
It’s a beautiful view! I love these pics my husband took of my 4 year old at the cliffs.
Soon it was time to start heading back home, but we had a great day. I would definitely recommend the area for any families wanting to get away from the city for a bit and have some fresh air and countryside. This was pretty different from the usual “seaside” experience which we have done before. Much quieter, really peaceful and a bit rural.
We are thinking of going camping soon and this day out really gave me a taste for doing the more simple, natural and back to basics kind of activities with the kids, so I’m now starting to think of all the different areas we could explore within the UK.
Linking up to:
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