What to pack for the beach this summer

What to pack for the beach hero towels
Helen Stone,-Interiors writer

Can’t wait to hit the coast? Don’t leave home without our pick of the seaside essentials

We’re blessed with some great coastal destinations in the UK, ranging from the famous white cliffs of the south east to the surfing hotspots of Devon and Cornwall, the dunes of Southwold to picturesque Scarborough. And who wouldn't fall for the peace and solitude of the island beaches in the Hebrides and the glorious sandy stretches of Pembrokeshire?

This summer offers a great opportunity to explore our seaside gems, discovering new hotspots and getting nostalgic over a return to childhood favourites. No day out to the beach is complete without a beach towel, sunscreen, sunglasses and a good book, but a few home comforts will make it all the more restful if you want to stay longer.

The best beaches are often a short hike from the car so think lightweight. Look for a backpack-style cool bag to free up hands or a cool box on wheels to roll out the refreshments (at least for part of the way). On pebble beaches, a folding chair or lounger is well-worth the extra lug.

Consider a pop-up shelter as a mini base camp – it will keep everything together and offer some protection and privacy. A towelling poncho is a good alternative to a towel for easy changing into and out of swimwear – and you can wear it to and from the beach making it one less thing to carry

Sturdy lightweight bags are great for ferrying the load – try a dry bag for stashing valuables. It’s a winner if you’re considering paddle boarding or kayaking and you can use it to bag up wet swimwear at the end of the day too. Bring along a small washbag of simple essentials such as first aid supplies, hair ties, and a couple of damp facecloths (in bags) to see off any minor spills and accidents.

And, of course, not everyone is good at sitting still so don’t forget the outdoor games and inflatables to burn off excess energy just in time for a nicely-chilled picnic lunch. 

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