Life's A Beach: Susie's guide to making the most of a beach day
Hello from the other side of the world! We’re in the midst of our annual 3 month stint in the U.S for my other half’s warm weather training (I know, who knew Milton Keynes just isn’t balmy enough at this time of year?) and currently living out our days in Laguna Beach, California. The house we’re renting is one whole minute from the beach (I thought that was a bit of an exaggeration on the write up before we arrived, but if I was fit enough to break in to a jog, I could get there in around 30 seconds) and if there’s ever part of a day where we’ve got some time to kill, we grab our buckets and spades and head down to the sand.
While you’ve got the obvious; splashing in the sea, building sand castles, digging holes etc, there’s so many other things you can get stuck in to while at the beach and it doesn’t even have to be particularly hot (thankfully, because we’re more likely to have snow than sun these days). I grew up in a seaside town (Dover) so became a bit complacent about having a coastline on our doorstep. However, now I can experience it again through our two boys (who live in the most landlocked part of the U.K), it reinforces why trips to the seaside are so exciting and so popular.
Our favourite activities since we arrived have included gathering rocks and adding googly eyes/making artwork on them using chalk pens, marking out our own long jump pit (we’re nothing if not predictable), collecting sea water in a jar and adding glitter, sand and pebbles to make a potion and making our own beach wind chimes using any shells we find, driftwood and some string. We’re lucky enough that this particular beach offers up sand and rock pools, so there’s plenty of variety but with a little bit of planning before you go, it’s a great destination to spend a few hours and fun for all the family. We were a bit dubious Rex would enjoy himself and spent the first few excursions finding him face planting sand every few minutes but now we’ve stocked up on all the towels, keep him in the baby carrier til he’s nodded off and take him for a paddle if it’s not too cold.
We’ve got plenty of other ideas at the ready for the next month we’re staying here; already on the list is making a scarecrow out of sticks, seaweed and shells, a Rock Zoo, making inventions out of whatever’s in our beach bag and making our own fruit kebabs (it means bringing strawberries and marshmallows to the beach but I’m definitely not about to complain about that). And the weather, while warm, isn't always crazy hot or sunny so it’s nice to know we’re still able to enjoy the relaxation of the crashing waves with enough stuff to keep our three year old from wanting to go home.
Back in the U.K some of my favourite beach resorts are Deal (think idyllic, quiet, streets lined with independent boutiques and ace fish ’n’ chip shops), Margate (old school naff, arcades and Dreamland), Broadstairs (beach huts, ice cream and the most beautiful stretch of sand), Staithes (tiny village to escape to in North Yorkshire, lots of cliff top walks and crab fishing), St Ives (hel-lo palm trees in the U.K) and of course Brighton, for all the reasons I don’t think I need to go in to.
Holidays don’t always need to mean a week abroad somewhere scorching and quite honestly if you’re travelling with little ones it’s sometimes better for your own sanity to just kick back at home anyway. Trips to indulge in some sea air are good for the soul and ordinarily only a couple of hours away at the most; if you’re toying with the idea of treating the family to a seaside adventure then I absolutely recommend taking the plunge!
Looking for beaches near you? Check out our guide below:
Beaches in Cornwall | Beaches near London | Beaches in Devon | Beaches in Kent | Bristol Beaches | Beaches near Birmingham | Beaches in Essex | Beaches in Dorset | Beaches in Southampton | Beaches in Portsmouth | Cardiff beach | Edinburgh beach