Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Things to do at the Beach for Free

Recently, I wrote about Fun Things to Do on the Beach and I thought we could elaborate on that by proving further to the kids that we don’t need expensive toys to enjoy the seaside by listing some of the free ‘entertainment’ in the area.

Stay away from the beach shops – another bucket and spade to leave at home, anyone? – and away from the pier and the amusement arcades to reconnect with the simple, innocent fun to be found in your surroundings.

People watching: Put on your sunglasses and watch the others on the beach. It’s not about ogling the beach beauty; more about looking and wondering. Are they on a first date? Is that grandfather teaching his grandson to fish? Where did they come from? Why do you think they’re here? Who looks pleased to be here and who is only enduring it? Don’t stare or you will get in trouble but do let the people around you spark your imagination.

Collecting: Whether it’s shells, pebbles or driftwood there’s more to the beach than just sand. Find stones with holes, pebbles with stripes, different shaped seashells – just because you can. You don’t have to take them home and make a driftwood picture frame and a Zen-like threaded stone hanging (Who really has time for such things?) just to know you could, should be enough.

Stone skipping / skimming: Find a flattish stone and throw it out to sea like a Frisbee and see if it’ll bounce. Don’t get too competitive – even though there are World Stone Skimming Championships – this is supposed to be fun. Anything more than three bounces deserves a treat.

Write messages in the sand: No special equipment needed here, although it is easier with a stick. But you can do this with your finger on a small scale or by dragging your foot along on a large scale. Mark arrows and have a treasure hunt. Leave notes for friends. Maybe take photos to make postcards.

Paddle: Yep, there is a lot of water right next to the beach so indulge yourself and get your feel wet. Roll up the trousers or hitch up the skirt and feel the cold water and wet sand between your toes.

Bury each other: Simply use your hands to dig a hole and plonk your partner/child/friend in there and bury them. Or bury each other’s legs and try and stand up without assistance.

Watch the sunset: This is why staying all day at the beach is worthwhile. Once you’re wrapped up in warm clothes with the one you love, it’s incredibly romantic just to watch the horizon and the fading light.

So next time you go to the beach don’t take anything with you and you’ll still have a great time.

Laura Porter has written this article exclusively for SEAS-IT. She also writes the About.com London Travel site and is a regular contributor to the VisitBritain Super Blog. Follow her on Twitter at @AboutLondon.


  1. We can think of a few people, we would happily bury in the sand :-)

  2. Alway love sharing ideas on things to do for free. Possibly, I'm a bit cheap but no-one seems to mind!