As I’m on a quest to Walk 1000 miles this year, I seem to be manifesting some fantastic microadventures to make my quest even more interesting. I found myself recently heading to the North Wales coastline (one of my favourite coastlines), to glamp by the sea. Did you know there’s around 250 miles of North Wales coastline?
A trip to the coast is a delight for all of your senses. Take a deep breath in and then release slowly. Taste the salty air, and let your taste buds imagine what treats are to come. Stand near to crashing waves and let your skin feel the refreshing spray. Curl bare toes in the sound, letting the grains of rocks and minerals which make up the sand, caress and exfoliate. Block out any negative thoughts with the sound of the sea lapping lazily on the seashore or the swirl of the waves as they build up, find momentum and then violently spill out all over the rocks and cliffs. Cast your gaze to the gulls drifting idly out to sea or to the boats bobbing to the motion of the ocean.
When I was young, the seaside played a big part in my life. Since my Nan’s ultimate dream was to move to North Wales by the sea, our holidays were always heavily beach related in North Wales. Buckets and spades, frilly hats, jelly shoes and sun block were on the ‘to pack’ list whilst burying cousins in the sand, over eating ice cream, shell collecting and my Nans’s favourite ‘paddling’ was on the ‘to-do’ list. As I reached the age of 10 or 11, school friends would holiday in the south of France, Spain and even more exotic places. They’d ask me why I never went on holiday? I can remember my favourite teacher stepping in and explaining to them that you didn’t need to go on a plane to go on holiday.
Going to the seaside is a typically British thing to do isn’t it? The seaside holiday was at its peak in the 1950s and early 1960s. Families flocked to the coastline to stay in guest houses, B&Bs and campsites, a stone’s throw from the promise of a splashing good time and a distraction of the previous decade. I think seaside holidays are coming back in fashion - I don’t think they ever really went out….
The health benefits of spending more time around water and in particular by the sea are of increasing interest to science. There are many reports of people ‘feeling calmer’ by the sea, perhaps some clue in that is our body is made up of mostly water. Still, I’m not one for needing hard facts and evidence to convince me that exposure to the sea is good for my wellbeing. I’ve seen it first hand time after time!
Now an adult, I’m extremely fortunate to live so near to the North Wales coastline. These days, beach time is a little different compared to the microadventures I shared with my Nan, but I love her for sharing and passing on her adoration for the seaside. I lust beaches which offer coastal walks (Aberystwy to Clarach Bay is a lovely coastal walk) so I’ve to trade the jelly sandals in for more sturdy hiking boots. I prefer to stay in quaint, quirky and more natural accommodation like the Wig-Wam I recently stayed at, which was adorable, rather than jam-packed caravan sites (sorry Nan). I love to visit beaches out of season when they’re less crowded and dog friendly (Porthor - Whistling Sands being one of my favourites). Although, some things don’t change…. Bel seems to insist on digging herself or me in the sand, and I still over-eat on ice cream!
The UK is made up of such small islands that you’re never that far away from the coast or a beach. It’s a perfect place for a microadventure combined with a spot of camping or glamping. I’ve not yet satisfied my salty appetite (I never will) so next month, I’m travelling to South West Wales to enjoy the Pembrokeshire award winning coast whilst at The Big Retreat Wales.
You, me and the sea - won’t you microadventure with me?