I do like to be beside the seaside!

Whatever the weather, whether you’re taking a day-trip or heading off on your summer holiday, the UK beaches are a treasure trove of discovery and adventure for all those wishing to explore and come up close and personal with our magnificent marine life.

It doesn’t matter what type of beach it is, there’s always plenty to see:

On rocky shores there is a ‘rocky horror’ show waiting to delight you with various sea shenanigans!

On muddy shores, you’ll find cockles and lugworms galore. Seabirds and wading birds flock to these areas to feast on the abundance of food.

On sandy shores, you’ll see the coiled sand-casts of hidden worms, and all sorts of seashells, from razor shells to scallops. And you can try your hand at a bit of sand sculpture (think bigger and outside of the sand castle box) and let your imagination run wild! Whereas in sand dunes you’ll find a terrestrial haven for butterflies and beetles.

On shingle shores, you’ll find beautiful plants like the sea poppy and sea holly toughing it out on the stones. On the strandline (the line of debris left by the falling tide), you’ll find tiny shrimps hiding amongst fronds of seaweed and delights such as mermaids purses – the egg cases left behind by sharks and rays.

But, whenever you visit, make sure you don’t get caught out by the tides. Look for tide times on the website of a nearby marina, or call the local Tourist Information Centre or Coastguard to find out more. On the shore, avoid muddy areas and keep well away from the bottom of cliffs. 

Paul Naylor

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