If you’re in the UK, you may be counting down the minutes to the bank holiday weekend. Well, I certainly am!
Hopefully I will soon have another coastal walk to enchant/thrill/bore you with, but until then, I thought that I would leave you with some of my top tips for heading to the beach and powering along the coastline.
1. Go early
Lie-ins are lovely on a long weekend, but try not to waste the best part of the day sleeping. I like to get to the coast pretty early – I love having the place to myself and it also means that parking is much easier. Starting early also means that by the time it’s lunchtime, you will have earned those fish and chips!
2. Head to a less-popular destination
At this time of year, the beaches on the British coastline are still pretty deserted, but if you fancy a coastal walk later in the year, then it pays to think outside the box. Beaches with few/little amenities mean that families stay away, so you may find a stretch of perfect sand completely unmarred by masses of bathers. Heaven.
(See my post on Walcott for an empty bit of beach.)
3. Be prepared for wind, rain and sunshine all in one visit
The coast can be an odd place. It can be still and scorching hot at home, but as you drive towards the coast, the weather can darken and the wind can start to howl. Good weather at home has often lured me in to making this mistake.
The solution to this problem is to be prepared for all weathers. Waterproof jackets double up as excellent forms of protection from both wind and rain, so they are a must for a coastal walk. Waterproofs are also lightweight, so they won’t be too arduous to carry around if you don’t need them. Sun cream is also a good idea, especially if you are fair. It’s easy to get burnt on the coast, and the clouds won’t protect you. Sunglasses are also handy. They can protect your eyes from the sun and from particles of sand that get whipped up by the wind. Cool AND practical.
4. Take a small towel
I dread to think of how many times I have wished that I had a nice dry towel with me. If it’s a good day, I am always the first one to dip my toes in to the cold, briny water. However, I am then left trying to dry off my sandy feet with whatever comes to hand in order to shove them back in to my boots. Solution, TAKE A SMALL TOWEL. I will definitely not be making this mistake this weekend.
5. Know the tides
If you are planning on walking right by the edge of the sea, check out the tide times. They are usually written up on the lifeguard huts, but you can also check out this website. There is nothing more disappointing than turning up at the beach only to find that the whole place is covered in water. Similarly, don’t get caught out by rising water as you head for home.