The May half term is just around the corner, and it's high time the kids got some sea air. With poor euro exchange rates and forecasts of an impending heatwave at home, more of us will be shunning the Med and building sandcastles on British beaches this year.
But that doesn't mean that all the good stuff has already been booked: there is still some cheap-as-chips seaside accommodation to be snapped up this half term, if you're quick.
Dorset Coastal Cottages (0800 980 4070; dorset coastalcottages.co.uk) still has some availability around glorious Studland Bay for the end of May, including Pipit's Meadow, a cottage sleeping five, which costs £565 for the week. Hire your own beach hut for £78 per week at Studland Bay and the kids will love you for ever. Sands Resort in Cornwall (01637 872864; sands resort.co.uk) is offering free child places during May, including the half-term week. And when your mini-beachcombers have had enough of paddling and rock-pooling, there's plenty more for them to do, including lots of organised activities while you hit the spa.
There's also some fun to be had in Devon, where companies including Helpful Holidays (01647 433593; helpfulholidays .com) are offering a number of alluring accommodation discounts, with special offers galore. Pick of the crop is a huge house in beautiful Salcombe, south Devon, which has just had its price reduced by more than 30 per cent. Underbeck sleeps up to 12 and is set just above a beach, so it has the perfect back garden for beach bums to while away their time.
And don't miss out on the decent offers from Coast and Country Cottages (01548 843773; coastandcountry .co.uk), which still has reasonable availability on many seaside abodes, including some brand new family apartments with sea views in Torcross, which cost £100 per person per week.
Better get booking and fast.