Sunday, 4 October 2020

Britain’s Beautiful Beaches – Ending with England and whelks…

Britain’s Beautiful Beaches – Ending with England and whelks…

Dear Readers,

As the weather has turned somewhat inclement in the UK (well, it’s October: what can we expect?) we thought we’d better hurry up and finish our beach series. Having said that, of course, I am not sure if you’d agree with me or not, but sometimes there is nothing better than a wind-swept beach on a Winter’s day…

Heading further East and South we break the border to England. Let’s start our English beach tour in Devon. One of your Hapless Blogger’s favourite places is Bude. This whole coastline is stunning, and Bude is a lovely, surfy little town next to a gorgeous beach. Take the road out of Bude along the coast and you won’t be disappointed: Widemouth Bay does, once more, what it says on the tin. It’s a glorious view, and we thoroughly recommend a place called Elements (http://www.elements-life.co.uk/restaurant-in-bude-cornwall), for a bite to eat. Follow this road round, and honestly, you enter the most wonderful Daphne Du Maurier country (yes, we are heading into Cornwall and yes we all know that most of her stuff was based in South Cornwall, but you can imagine it). It is simply beautiful.


Dear Readers, I would recommend that you did this route around this time of year, when the majority of tourists have left, it’s still warm enough and I strongly recommend a small car. Preferably one with a roof you can take down to enjoy the scenery all the more (weather permitting, of course), but the roads are not what you would call, er, wide. Especially where I am about to take you next! So we want to stay on the coastal road from Bude to Boscastle. Now, never a stranger to a nice place for a pit-stop (do we feel a theme here?) we want to be heading to Crackington Haven (commonly and affectionately known in the Halpless Blogger household as “Crack”). At Crack you’ll find the most stunning cove of warm(ish) water, perfect for young children (if you happen to have them) or a brave paddle, even in Winter! (See above). Another reason you have to stop at Crack is the coffee: oh my Lord, Readers, the cappuccino at The Cabin (https://www.cabincafecrackington.co.uk/) is the best cappuccino since New Zealand (they take their coffee so seriously there, they outdo the Italians – check out our blog on New Zealand https://www.traveltrendsbyglobalgreathotels.co.uk/2019/02/backpacking-part-3-new-zealand-most.html). Probably because it’s run by a New Zealander. You have to stop there. Fact.

Once caffeined-up (you’ll need it for this bit) worm your way along the coast to Boscastle and thence to Tintagel. Because you have to. It’s all just so pretty. Although there isn’t a beach as such, Port Isaac is 100% worth a visit, but remember what I said about small cars. It’s a tight squeeze through these villages…

However, we’re digressing from our beach theme. Back to the sands we go, and I can honestly say, with my hand on my Hapless Blogger heart, this is my favourite beach in the UK. Keep your Welsh beaches. Here, dear Readers, is the jewel. As a bit of preamble, when your Hopeless Blogger lived amongst the unsuspecting Cornish, she asked where a chic place was to go. Once they’d finished laughing, they pointed her in the direction of Rock on account of William and Harry frequently spotted there. Oh but Readers, I wasn’t prepared for how pretty it is. Accessible either from the A39 “Atlantic Highway” (still makes me laugh) from Wadebridge, or through teeny tiny roads if you were come from Port Isaac, follow the road down to Rock. Chic? Yes, absolutely, and now Gordon Ramsey lives there, well, who knows. But even back then, it was chic, with gorgeous little shops on the way in, to the pubs and the bars, to the obligatory Jack Wills (before it was too commercialised). Put it this way, it’s very Jolly Hockeysticks. However you take that, it’s the most glorious beach with white sand, water blue as the Aegean, and a wonderful view of Padstow on the other side. In fact, you can take the foot ferry from Rock to Padstow which is great fun. It’s sheltered, too, which makes for great sunbathing opportunities when you least expect it. My record is actually February! Additionally, you can walk round the peninsular to Polzeath, which is bigger and more touristy but still pretty. Although it is Rock which will always have my heart. But wait, I hear you cry, what about pit stops?! Well, if you want to see Gordon Ramsey, you’ll find him at The Mariners at Rock, however if you want to the best view, you should really go to the Blue Tomato Café (http://www.bluetomatocafe.co.uk/) – best iced coffee ever.


Other beaches of note: well of course you have Watergate Bay/Newquay which are lovely, very Atlantic-ish and remind me of Freshwater West in West Wales. They do get very busy and feel less intimate, somehow, to the others we’ve just visited together, you and I, dear Readers. Perranporth is worth a mention, and of course, St Ives is lovely. Completely worth a visit, making sure your car hasn’t grown…


Heading, now, to South Cornwall, and we’re going to go slap, bang into Daphne Du Maurier country: Par. Now, for those who don’t know, the difference between North and South Cornwall is huge. And somewhat undiscernible, certainly to articulate. It’s a bit like trying to explain the difference between the North and the South of Corsica…you just prefer one to the other, no rhyme nor reason, usually. So, I am afraid, I do prefer North Cornwall, but that’s just my preference. However, that doesn’t stop South Cornwall being stunning: take Par Sands for example. This is a hidden gem of a place, and the site of Menabilly, Du Maurier’s inspiration for Mandalay, and her family home for most of her life. Par is gorgeous: white, sandy beach and wild flowers. Not a beach, but definitely a place to visit nearby is Fowey. A firm favourite: a bustling little town with a gorgeous harbour and plenty of fresh fish!

Now, leaving Cornland, we head East for the first time…is it true? Is West best? For beaches? Possibly. However, we can’t deny the fact that there are some right stunners in the East. Now, again, dear Readers, this blog is based on personal experience, therefore there will be trillions of stunning beaches I feel sure we’ve missed. Please never be afraid to comment below on these blogs: we love to hear your opinion, and it’s all in the spirit of sharing information with each other which someone might find useful! Our next stop is on the Jurassic Coast at Dorset: Lulworth Cove. Now, the old memory is going somewhat as this was a geography field trip some time ago, however, I will never forget the colour of the water and the fascinating rock formations. Stair Hole is worth a mention, as is Durdle Door and further along at Swanage, you’ll find a lovely beach. It goes without saying that of course you have the Isle of Wight, however, with no personal knowledge, we’ll visit this one another time. Next we have the Witterings. Sheltered, somewhat, by the Isle of Wight, the Witterings are lovely, if somewhat packed in the Summer. They are very picturesque, and a lovely spot to watch the little boats and dinghies scudding across the water.

Next, dear Readers, we come to our first pebble beaches: Hove and Brighton. We have covered Brighton in previous blog posts (https://www.traveltrendsbyglobalgreathotels.co.uk/2019/10/unusual-city-breaks-dear-readers-in.html) but safe to say, Brighton offers a different beach experience than, let’s say…Pendine…Having grown up next to pebble beaches, I suppose one is used to them. However, I think you’ll agree, dear Readers, there is nothing like the pain of trying to walk across one with no shoes on…Before we leave our pebble beaches, and our tour of beaches in general, let’s just pop to Hastings. This is quite unlike any other beach because, yes, it’s pebble, and looks just like Eastbourne, Brighton and Bexhill, but it has a menagerie of fishing huts and trawlers on the beach. You can buy fish caught right off the boats, right there. The industry is right there, not for the tourists, but real. It’s a working town using its beach to its best advantage. And of course, who isn’t partial to a whelk? Oh…just me, then!


Fresh delicious Whelks - Picture of Bob's Seafood, Folkestone - Tripadvisor

And now we conclude our tour of British beaches – whether in rain or shine, I think we can all agree that we, without a shadow of a doubt, have some of the very best in the World. Keep your eyes peeled for our next spoooooooooooooky instalment of Travel Trends. But for now, dear Readers, stay safe, stay dry and keep warm!


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