Summer is now well and truly upon us, and Britons across the land will have thrown their bucket and spade into the back of their cars and taken a day-trip to the nearest stretch of seaside. While the English coast doesn’t enjoy quite the same levels of sunshine as those on the Mediterranean, it’s still more than possible to enjoy all of the same activities one might associate with St Tropez in Skegness. With that in mind, let’s look at five activities one might enjoy on an English Beach.
We in Britain love to swim. The nation is stuffed to bursting with leisure centres, each of which is equipped with a sizeable swimming pool. In fact, size is the one quality by which we normally judge swimming pools.
But while an indoor swimming pool might have its advantages – particularly during winter – it offers an entirely different experience to the sea – a body of water whose distance is measured not in metres, but in kilometres.
Even better, the sea is very gradually sloping, offering novice swimmers a chance to gradually get out into the water: paddling at first before eventually plumbing new depths with the help of sophisticated scuba equipment.
If you’re taking young children on a trip to the beach, then getting them to interact with the sea might present an opportunity to teach them the basics of swimming – or hire a professional instructor to do it for you.
Swimming in the sea is quite a different experience from swimming on land, and so it’s best to be familiar with the dangers it poses in order to be safe while enjoying it. The only way to do that is to get your feet wet!
The beach is also a perfect place to indulge your artistic streak – or those of your children. And what better way to do this than with the help of a sandcastle. You’ll be able to start with just a simple bucket upturned, and from there progress to ever-more sophisticated constructions. But remember, time is of the essence – because when the tide finally comes out, your construction will be demolished.
Leaving to one side any philosophical lessons you might draw from that, building sandcastles is a fun pastime that builds a number of practical skills. You might have friendly competitions among your family and friends, concerning who can build the sturdiest and most impressive sandcastle. Nominate some impartial nonparticipant (or even a passer-by) to be the judge. If you’re feeling especially brutal, you might even allow the winner the honour of kicking the loser’s castle to smithereens – though this might be a recipe for tears if the loser is a particularly young child.
Of course, part of the thrill of paying a visit to the seaside is the opportunity to indulge in the traditional food found there. In the modern age, we’ve greater access than ever to exotic and unusual recipes imported from far away, like the kebab and the hamburger, and entirely new creations. But it’s the traditional favourites that we keep returning to.
Fish and chips are undoubtedly the food that most of us most readily associate with sea, sand, and (perhaps unfortunately) seagulls. Indeed, a seaside resort without a chippy has no write to describe itself as such at all. Be sure to go for the chip shops that source their fish from the local fisheries, and you’ll be sure of a freshness that can’t be matched by their inland counterparts.
For desert, there are no more suitable foodstuffs than a classic iced cream. You’ll be able to secure these from vans, or from dedicated shops with row upon row of freshly-made iced creams. While traditional flavour combinations like vanilla, strawberry, rum and raisin are sure to pack the same punch they always have, it’s also worth investigating stranger new flavours – a high-quality shop will be keen to recommend you their latest (and strangest) concoctions.
Of course, part of the fun of having a holiday is that you’re allowed the luxury of not doing very much at all. And while you’re doing so, you might as well top up your tan. By lying in direct sunlight while not wearing very much, you’re able to enjoy the radiating heat energy of the sun.
Exposing your skin to sunlight in this way feels great. But more than that, it’ll bring about demonstrable health benefits, too, stimulating your body’s production of vitamin D, and thereby helping your bones to grow strong and healthy.
Of course, if you’re going to be sunbathing – or exposing yourself to the sun at all – it’s vital that you do so safely. This means ensuring that you’re adequately covered by suntan lotion of the required factor. Since children are at greater risk from sunlight exposure, be sure that they’re covered, and that you regularly top up in order to guard against the harmful effects of those rays.
Of course, swimming isn’t the only means we have of getting out into the sea. In fact, if we want to truly explore the ocean, the best way is with the help of a boat. Fortunately, visitors to the seaside with have access to a variety of different boats, ranging from small speedboats to enormous yachts. Whichever mode of transport you prefer, the beach is a great opportunity to get out onto the sea – whether you’ve a view to literally learning the ropes and becoming a qualified sailor yourself, or you’d just like to come along for the ride.
As well as allowing visitors the opportunity to jump into a boat, a trip to the seaside will also present the chance to use smaller craft. For example, you might try your hand at water-skiing, wakeboarding, surfing, windsurfing, or even paragliding.
With so much choice available, it’s possible for visitors to the seaside to enjoy the experience in an unprecedented number of ways – so why not pay the English coast a visit this summer?