The Belgian coast has some of the cleanest, widest and gently shelving soft sandy beaches in Europe, yet it is relatively unknown in the UK as we drive off the ferry or the tunnel and think surely we must need to drive longer than an hour to get to somewhere holiday-worthy!
There are many resorts along the Belgian Coast and they are all linked by the longest tram line in the world, the “Kusttram” which runs all the way from the French border to the Dutch border, stopping at all the resorts along the coast! So, you can just keep on going! Simply travelling on the coastal tram makes for a fun day out with little ones and some of the sea views are breath-taking! All resorts are child friendly and have wide car free promenades which are perfect for walking with buggies and for babies learning to walk in a safe environment.
The resort De Panne has the widest beach on the coastline, making it perfect for sand castle building, shell collecting or simply running around and breathing in the sea air! De Panne is also where the toddler friendly theme park Plopsaland can be found! Further along is de Haan which is not only famous for its huge beaches dotted with play boats, but also for its sand dunes and the many walks you can do in the “Duinbossen” or the dune forests. Perfect for long quiet walks with your baby this woodland area stretches for 9km and has two main play zones with wooden equipment for your toddlers to walk along. De Haan also has a lovely little park called La Potinière park. Right by the sea and in the heart of de Haan, it has two large play areas: one for younger children and one for older children, and a nice café overlooking it. It is a great place for children to learn to ride their bikes. Nieuwpoort has a long pier where you can watch the boats come in for hours on end! It’s also fun to watch people fishing (or have a go yourself). This resort is also home to several European markets which set up shop during the summer. Closer to the resort centre you can find the De Lenspolder children’s farm, a small petting farm with pigs, rabbits, sheep, horses, a duck pond and a small playground.
The Belgian coast is also home to one of the most famous sand sculpting festivals in the world! Visit Ostend in July and August to see the sculptures and let imaginations run wild!
What we love about the Belgian Coast is its 1950s retro feel with its old-fashioned carousels and merry go rounds and stripy beach huts to hire and the feeling of space you get at the coast. Even though Belgium is a small country, the wide, open beaches and the wide beach promenades mean it never seems crowded even in the height of summer. You can hire family bikes and toddler bikes and family go-carts and there are plenty of little shops selling beach toys. Many also have a beach playground with bouncy castles, plastic play equipment, and trampolines. Try and visit the Beach Village in Koksijde which comprises several bouncy castles and inflatable games, trampolines, little boats, giant connect four, small plastic slides and ball pools. It is also has a laid back beach bar with seating areas for adults and little children. Koksijde is a bustling resort with many shops and is also home to old-fashioned beach carousels. It is one of the more retro seaside towns!
There are plenty of places to stop off for ice creams, waffles and beach bars where parents can enjoy an excellent Belgian beer while the kids play. There is also often entertainment along the beach front, making it even harder to leave!
Using local knowledge to bring you the best baby and toddler accommodation, attractions and toddler friendly activities.