Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside...

Discover the best beaches for a day trip from our forest locations
Forest Holidays


1. Harbour delights at Deerpark

Deerpark is the closest of our locations to the coast and for many of our guests that’s the reason they book. A short 10 minute drive will bring you to the pretty harbour town of Looe, and just west of Looe, another quintessentially Cornish seaside village, Polperro.

Looe harbour

View over Looe harbour

2. Naval history at Blackwood Forest

Not all seaside experiences are about sandcastles and ice creams. Portsmouth from Blackwood Forest is well under an hour’s drive and the Historic Dockyards are a must-see. From the Mary Rose, the only 16th century warship on display anywhere in the world, to HMS Victory, famous for her role in the Battle of Trafalgar, the best of Britain’s seafaring history is here.

HMS Victory in Portsmouth

HMS Victory docked in Portsmouth

3. Welsh rock at the Forest of Dean

The Forest of Dean is all about the beautiful River Wye rather than any obvious coastal links. However, if you are determined to get to the sea then head west into Wales. Just over an hour away is Barry Island, made famous in the much-loved Gavin and Stacey series. Here you will find all the usual seaside amusements as well as the perfect crescent of a golden, sandy beach. Tidy.

Barry Island

Beach at Barry Island

4. Seaside tradition at Thorpe Forest

The Norfolk coast is the very essence of British seaside tradition. Southwold, famous for its beach huts, is a pretty and genteel seaside resort boasting old fashioned delights rather than arcades and candy floss. Or you might prefer the brassier delights of Great Yarmouth where the arcade and candy floss are mandatory. Whichever is more appealing to you, there’s no denying that these pet friendly places could only be in England and, luckily enough, they are within an hour’s drive of Thorpe Forest.

Great Yarmouth coast

Beach huts at Great Yarmouth. Photo © Chris Downer (cc-by-sa/2.0)

5. A beach day in Nottingham

Not content to let distance from the coast be a barrier to a seaside experience, the Nottingham Beach 2023 promises to be the biggest and best yet. The city square will be transformed throughout the summer holidays with tonnes of sand, deck chairs, beach bars and live entertainment. So even if your Forest Holiday is in this landlocked county at Sherwood Forest, a trip to the beach is still very much on the cards.

Nottingham city beach

Nottingham city centre beach

6. Buckets and spades at Keldy and Cropton

The North Yorkshire coast spans from gothic drama at Whitby to seaside delights at Scarborough. The coast is half an hour’s drive from Cropton and Keldy but for an unforgettable experience, park up in Pickering and take the steam train to Whitby. The coast path from Whitby, a silver lining from the Beeching rail cuts, is a treat for cyclists and walkers and takes in picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay. Further south, for day at the beach, complete with ice creams, amusements and fish and chips, Scarborough is just under an hour from Cropton and Keldy.

7. The seaside comes to you at Ardgartan Argyll

If you were to follow Loch Long from its shores outside your cabin at Ardgartan Argyll, you would eventually find yourself in the Firth of Clyde. Then it’s left for the Irish Sea and right for the Atlantic Ocean. We might be stretching a point, but Loch Long is a sea loch and you can pick your way along the shore collecting mussels and skimming stones, so it passes the test for us.

Beautiful loch views at Ardgartan Argyll

View over Loch Long. Photo © Richard Webb (cc-by-sa/2.0)

8. Silver Sands from Strathyre

Strathyre is another location that doesn’t immediately bring thoughts of the seaside to mind, however in just over an hour you can be at the east coast. Edinburgh’s Portobello is a quirky little seaside town with a very pleasant beach and a slightly down-at-heel charm. Or head along the north side of the Firth of Forth to Aderdour, a historic and scenic town, complete with castle and the evocatively named Silver Sands beach, one of only 7 Blue Flag beaches in Scotland. The best time to go is late July into Early August when the annual summer festival is held.

Edinburgh’s Portobello

Edinburgh's Portobello seaside town