Get the kids away from their screens and into the great outdoors on these active holidays by the sea – from family bushcraft camps to holiday parks with watersports. Words: Alex Reece

Bawdsey Manor PGL Adventure Centre, Bawdsey, Woodbridge, Suffolk
Overlooking the Suffolk shoreline at the mouth of the River Deben, Bawdsey Manor is a brand-new PGL adventure centre. On a family activity break, the daily programme could include anything from buggy-building and climbing to fencing or riding a zipwire. There will be ample opportunities to get out on the water – kids can try raft-building or canoeing. The accommodation consists of en-suite bunk rooms. From £179 per adult and £159 per child (aged 5-18; 2-4-year-olds free) for an all-inclusive Multi-Activity weekend break (0333 3212114,
Brownscombe, Nr Totnes, Devon
At Brownscombe, four family-sized safari tents stand in a secluded valley, enabling a back-to-nature experience close to the coast. On the farm, there are woods and meadows to explore. Youngsters can help to feed pigs and ducks, or to collect eggs. The den area, games room and go-karts are free for them to use. Farm eggs, sausages and bacon are available at the honesty shop, and for offline days out, the sandy beaches of South Hams are just a short drive away. From around £125 per night (safari tents sleep 6); minimum three-night stay (
Forest Holidays, Ardgartan, Argyll & Bute
At this site on the shores of Loch Long, the mountainous landscape should provide enough wild entertainment for even the most tech-savvy of youngsters. Under the guidance of the on-site forest ranger, families can engage in nature walks or learn useful outdoor survival skills. There are bikes to hire, and the chance to go fishing, canoeing or gorge scrambling nearby. The contemporary log cabins – some of which are dog-friendly and wheelchair adapted – have a hot tub and views of the water. From around £445 for a three-night weekend in a 2-bedroom cabin sleeping 4 (03330 110495,
Pentewan Sands, Nr St Austell, Cornwall 
With its own half-mile-long, private beach, Pentewan Sands – a waterfront holiday park on Mevagissey Bay – is ideal for an adrenaline-fuelled break. As the park partners with Cornwall Watersports based on the seafront, guests have access to everything from wetsuit hire to kayaks, paddleboards and RYA sailing courses. Also on site are two indoor swimming pools and a soft play zone, plus a children’s play area. Prices for a holiday home sleeping up to 6 start from £88 per night (01726 843485,
Dryad Bushcraft, Parc-le-Breos, Gower 
Run by Dryad Bushcraft founder (and ITV Wales presenter) Andrew Thomas Price, this camp is based in ancient woodland on the Gower Peninsula. Have a true off-grid experience while learning outdoor skills such as natural navigation, ways to track animals and people,  plus how to identify plants for food or medicine. Meals are cooked over a fire and you can sleep in a jungle-style hammock, a natural shelter or bring your own tent if you prefer. Adults around £75; child around £55. All food is included in the price (07901 873343,
Lochhouses Farm, Tyninghame, East Lothian
The family-friendly treehouses at Lochhouses Farm are ideal for glamping and imaginary play, and come with their own rope swings and hammocks. Meanwhile, the cosy, cabin-like interior is divided into two pods – one for the bedrooms and shower room/WC, and the other (across a covered walkway) for the living/kitchen area. On the farm, you’ll find bike hire available, along with chicken coops to rent for eggs during your stay. The sandy beach is within walking distance, while a pony trekking centre is handily next door. Treehouses sleep 5, from £148 per night, minimum two-night stay (
Giants, Myths & Legends, Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
This guided package tour run by Wilderness Ireland allows families to go on a private adventure along the iconic Causeway Coast. Starting in Belfast, one of the highlights is a hike beside the Giant’s Causeway. But the itinerary also includes a canoe expedition, plus a two-night retreat on Rathlin Island – home to Northern Ireland’s largest seabird colony – to see the resident puffins. Historic Dunluce Castle features, as does a walk on the Gobbins Path (which hugs a cliff face,) and a visit to Titanic Belfast. From around €1,850 for six nights, including accommodation, breakfast, 4 lunches and 2 evening meals, private guide and transportation (+353 91 457898,
Thornwick Bay Haven Holiday Village, Nr Flamborough, North Yorkshire
A new addition for Haven, this holiday park is close to wildlife-rich Flamborough Cliffs. Its Nature Rockz programme invites families to explore the coast while learning survival skills, such as fire-lighting, shelter-building, animal tracking and foraging, under the guidance of park rangers. On the park, guests have free entry to an indoor swimming pool with water slides. Additional sessions, such as pool kayaking and aqua gliders (a cross between a dodgem and a jet ski), can also be booked. Prices from around £299 for a three-night break based on a family of 6 sharing deluxe accommodation (0333 2025250,
Gupton Farmhouse, Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
(Image: National Trust Images/Ben Selway)
The big advantage of staying at Gupton Farmhouse – a newly launched National Trust cottage in Pembrokeshire – is that it is walking distance from Freshwater West, one of the best surfing beaches in Wales. Based on an NT campsite, it is also next door to a surf school, so avid boarders can hit the waves every day. To mix things up, head to nearby Stackpole Estate, which offers kayaking, abseiling, walking and fishing. Back at the farmhouse, which sleeps up to 10, you’ll find board racks and drying rails for wetsuits – along with large sofas to sink into after an energetic day. From £299 for a three-night stay; around £720 for a week (0344 8002070,
If you’re searching for fun for the whole family, and you’re not wanting to leave behind your beloved pooch, try out these dog-friendly hotels by the coast.