BY TIM HEDGLEY, GROUP TRAVEL EDITOR
After a successful launch in 2020 followed by a national roll-out last summer, the Beach Check app is back, ensuring that beach trippers on the coast of England have a safe and enjoyable experience.
The current airport chaos means that UK beach breaks are expected to remain a popular choice for many this summer.
The Beach Check app is the must-download resource for planning summer beach breaks – and day trips – to the coastline. The app is free and simple to use, downloadable from Google Play and the Apple App store (with no in-app purchases), allowing users to check individual beaches or see a map showing red (crowded), amber (less congested) and green (uncongested) beaches. To date, the app has had more than 73,000 downloads.
From music and art to kitesurfing and wildlife spotting, there’s a whole host of events and activities to look forward to across beaches along the south coast this summer – check out these recommendations from Beach Check UK:
What’s on in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole:
Shake & Stir, 25-26 June
Shake & Stir returns this summer to rev up retro fans in Southbourne, Dorset. Moments from the seafront, lovers of vintage music, cars, dancing and clothes will delight in the nostalgic atmosphere. Entry to the festival is free and there will be live music performances in a beautiful bandstand and a plethora of food and drink. Don your finest vintage frock (or two-piece suit) to be crowned King or Queen in the Best Dressed Vintage competition or why not put your mixology skills to the test in The Greatest Bartender competition?
Proms in the Park, 5-7 August
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Proms in the Park is back for another fantastic weekend of music, fireworks and two spectacular concerts. The Classical Extravaganza on Friday includes some of the best classical music ever written, with pieces by Borodin, Rossini, John Williams and an explosive finale with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Saturday sees the return of the popular Queen Symphonic Spectacular. Tickets from £28 per adult/ £18 for under 18s.
Dream Machines Bike Nights, Poole Quay, every Tuesday until the end of September
The popular Dream Machines motorcycle evenings return for weekly events at Poole Quay. Bikers and spectators gather for convivial evenings, enjoying fabulous food and drink, by the harbour. The popular Bike of the Night competition is also returning, which sees a different judge selecting their favourite bike on display each week.
What’s on in Thanet, Kent:
NEW: Margate Cookery School, throughout 2022
Margate restaurateurs, Kate de Syllas, Simona di Dio and Harry Ryder have joined forces to launch Margate Cookery School. Centrally situated in the Old Town, the school offers a broad range of courses from fun, approachable wine tastings to more advanced patisserie skills. Classes will mainly be taught by the amazing culinary talent in Thanet. Simona di Dio of Bottega Caruso will be teaching all things Italian and Kate de Syllas of Hantverk & Found will be focusing on Japanese food. Classes will be from quick 2 hour sessions to more in depth day-long courses. Costs range from £10 for an informal wine tasting to £150 for a day-long course with dinner and drinks.
Broadstairs Folk Week by the Sea, 5-12 August
With hundreds of musicians performing in venues across Broadstairs, this epic week of folk music boasts almost 400 events, from folk concerts and workshops to ceilidhs and Appalachian clog dancing lessons. Held in a beautiful seaside setting surrounded by seven sandy beaches and a thriving foodie scene, Broadstairs Folk Week has a top line up of music, activities and classes for all ages. Enjoy free family fun at the daily free Hobby Horse Club at the bandstand, featuring the festival’s mascots, the Hooden Horses of East Kent. Day, weekend and week tickets available, starting from £35 for adults.
Nordic Walking classes on the Thanet coastline, throughout 2022
Nordic walking is the walking technique which combines a full body work out with stunning landscapes, a sense of mindfulness and the chance to meet likeminded friends. Enjoy a taster or tailor-made Nordic Walking stay, with the opportunity for wellbeing treatments and to join other local walks, staying at a charming guest house in Ramsgate, a town boasting beautiful architecture and the only Royal Harbour in the country. 2-night stays from £200 pp, including training, guidance, accommodation and breakfast. Day trips available from £40 for a 4-5 hr excursion.
What’s on in Hayling Island, Havant:
The WAVE Festival, 23 July
Raising funds to support Hayling Island’s young people, the WAVE Festival at Tournerbury Golf Centre will be hosted by radio station WAVE 105 DJ, Mark Collins, with an exciting spectrum of live music as well as activities for guests of all ages – including land zorbing, bumper cars, axe throwing, bungee trampoline, assault course, face painting, treasure hunts and more. For foodies, a hog roast, street food pizza and paella stand will delight taste buds. Tickets from £11.50 per adult.
L-R: Sandbanks Poole (C: Poole Tourism); Camber Sands, Rother; Stone Bay, Broadstairs (C: Thanet District Council)
Rent Hayling Island beach huts, throughout the summer
Embrace the beach bum lifestyle and rent one of the colourful huts along any Hayling Island’s beaches. Staying in accommodation nearby, you can be on the beach from dawn until dusk, with cooking facilities, shelter from inclement weather, a base to store your beach games and prep a G&T, and a spot to take a lazy afternoon nap or curl up with a book.
Take a shoreline walk along Hayling Island
Enjoy a blissful walk along the shoreline of the island, taking in Sandy Point Nature Reserve and its beautiful summer wildflowers, the Hayling Island RNLI Station, and spectacular views out to Chichester Harbour and the Solent. This 2-mile route begins at The Nab car park, taking a circular loop, with picturesque picnic spots en route.
What’s on in Camber Sands, Rother:
10th Rye International Jazz & Blues Festival, 25-29 August
With a stellar line-up featuring jazz and blues artists from around the world, this year the Rye International Jazz Festival celebratesits 10th anniversary. Artists such as Curtis Stigers, Stanley Jordan, Imelda May and the Roberto Fonseca Trio will grace the stages at venues around the town, and there will also be a host of free music and fringe events taking place. A variety of ticketed and non-ticketed events are on offer throughout the weekend.
Water sports at Camber Sands
Try your hand at a new watersport this summer at Camber Sands. This stunning, wide beach is home to the only sand dune system in East Sussex, and miles of soft, golden sands. The Camber Kitesurfing school is a British Kitesports-approved school, also offering Kite buggy, SUP boarding, and sea kayaking, as well as kitesurfing lessons. Camber’s beaches offer some of the best conditions on the south coast, with large expanses of sandy beach, small waves and shallow water.
Explore Rye Harbour Nature Reserve
Home to a brand-new Discovery Centre, which opened in 2021, Rye Harbour Nature Reserve is a great destination for families, couples, friends or solo travellers this summer and autumn, with fantastic wildlife to be discovered along many miles of path, and five accessible birdwatching hides and breath-taking coastal views. There is also the delightful Lime Kiln Café, serving hearty snacks and meals.
What’s on in West Wittering, West Sussex
Enjoy one of the UK’s premier Blue Flag beaches
Offering spectacular views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs beyond, the natural and unspoilt sandy beach of West Wittering is a family favourite. The excellent water quality, great facilities and café have made it one of the premier Blue Flag beaches in the country, ideal for watersports and family days out.
Get immersed in wild swimming and paddle boarding
West Wittering’s watersports partner, 2XS, offers clubhouse facilities, tuition, equipment hire and shop. Try out stand out paddleboarding on the beach’s calm, inviting waters, or don your wetsuit, swimming hat, goggles and brightly coloured tow float and perfect your open water stroke.