Not everyone is looking for a bucket and spade beach. Seaton in South East Cornwall between Downderry and Looe is mainly pebble and coarse sand. But what it lacks in sandcastle-building potential, it makes up for in other ways.
Firstly there’s the uninterrupted views out to unspoilt Whitsand Bay. Seaton is at the heart of a Marine Conservation Zone established in 2014 which provides a safe haven for a number of important species – including pink sea fans, stalked jellyfish and cuttlefish.
Then there is the easy access to the beach for wheelchairs and baby buggies, making it very family friendly. On a stretch of the South East Cornish coast with lots of cliffs, this is a bonus. Dogs are welcome at Seaton all year round and when the tide is out, there is a wide expanse of beach to explore plus rock pools and the point where the river Seaton reaches the sea having travelled through woodland along the Hessenford Valley.
As a break from the seaside, there’s a children’s play area on the green behind the waterfront and very good facilities – lots of parking, a café, shop and toilets all close to hand.
At low tide you can walk along the foreshore as far as Downderry in one direction, or Looe in the other. And to reward your efforts, there are nice places to eat and drink at each destination.
Make a real day out of it and call in at Seaton Valley Countryside Park – 54 hectares of nature reserve which is home to otters, kingfishers and the rare fritillary butterflies. There’s a nature trail, woodland and a picnic area.