Life is a beach…

Hi everyone

After nearly 2 weeks away, I am back in Cheltenham preparing for my next trip which is to Scotland next week.

I’ve been down to the south coast of England and when I arrived, it was so cold, I woke to snow outside. Little did I realise that I would be visiting a few beaches over the next few weeks…

I spent some time photographing a beach called Selsey Beach. It was cold, windy and grey but there were still plenty of photo opportunities about.

I then headed inland for a week. The weather was still freezing cold and this is what the washing line looked like outside the house I was staying in…

Then some WONDERFUL birthday celebrations in London which involved realising how old I was when meeting some school friends who I haven’t seen for nearly 22 years. Cocktails were drunk with ridiculous enthusiasm and later, with a wobbly head, I headed to China Town where my sister and her husband, joined by my brother, treated me to a chinese dinner.

On the road again, back down to the coast but this time in Kent. First stop was Whitstable and Herne Bay, both on the north Kent coast. It was so weird because having just come back from South Africa and experienced hot, muggy weather and powerful (warm!!) water crashing into me as I frolicked in the waves, here I was in my jeans, coat, scarf and hat watching flat, chilly water, rippling on the sand. It was so chilly, my cheeks actually ached and the sun was doing its best to warm me up and failing miserably.

Saying that, the beaches here in the UK *can* be pretty. The colourful beach huts and beachfront amusement arcades give you a wonderful ‘holiday feel’ although it is far from the ‘holiday feel’ you’d get in somewhere like South Africa. But let’s face it, warm waves; pristine beaches; palm trees; banana trees; hot sunny weather and sun bathing aren’t everyone’s thing…..I think.

But there are some similarities. Sand (not all UK beaches are pebble beaches!), waves (albeit different sizes), beachfront seafood restaurants, arcades, ice cream parlours, bars, people walking their dogs, runners, kids building sand castles, etc. It’s just the feel of being by the sea that is the attraction for so many people.

One beach which really stood out was Botany Bay. Think white cliffs of Dover in miniature – so striking. I loved the way you could walk between the stacks and explore the private beach around the corner…but watch out for the tides!

In a small town called Reculver, you are treated to a pretty ruin, called Reculver Towers, best viewed at sunset. They stand on a hill directly on the coast and at sunset, you are treated to the most incredible golden colours washing over the rough stone. Now I’m not sure if you get ruins like this on beaches in South Africa.

I also stayed in the little seaside town of Ramsgate and, in true Colleen-Foodie style, ate some seriously good food. I had mussels one night in a quaint little restaurant nestled into one of the harbour walls. A huge bowl for under £7 was well worth it.

All in all, I had a great trip. I’ve discovered that I love beaches no matter where they are and even though I love the hot, sunny South African weather, I also love being wrapped up warm with my coat and hat and just enjoying being on the beach.

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