SEASIDE holidays taken in August are out of reach for one in five families because their incomes are so low, says Barnardo's.

The children's charity calculated the cost of an August bank holiday, looking at the cheapest train fares for a family of four from cities and towns to their nearest seaside resort. The research also analysed the family price of sun-cream, fish and chips and ice-cream.

It showed a no-frills day trip cold cost a family in the Midlands around £134.

Javed Khan, Barnardo’s Chief Executive, said: "Family holidays have a special place in the childhood memory box, and every child deserves to have a day out once in a while, no matter what their circumstances.

“Whatever the weather, a day at the seaside with the family is a day to treasure. It is an opportunity for children to spend a healthy, happy time and experience a British cultural tradition; to play on the beach, splash in the sea and build sandcastles. It is an opportunity every child should enjoy.

“Yet for hundreds of thousands of families struggling to make ends meet, a trip to the pier is but a pipe-dream.”

The research showed the poorest families have too little money to cover basic weekly living costs, let alone a trip to the beach.

One in five families currently bring in less than £423 a week for their families. Barnardo’s calculations also reveal - after covering basic living costs - a family of four on this income could not afford a seaside trip in any location across the country.

Minimum disposable weekly income for the poorest one in five families is £39.