I drew inspiration from Twitter for this, in particular a tweet from the lovely Rui:
Where I live, I am not far from the seaside town of Southend-on-Sea. Southend has some rough edges, but it is also a typical seaside town, complete with numerous arcades (where among the coin-operated video games, you have crane machines and the coin-slot games), ice cream parlours (I love ice cream), and fish ‘n’ chip shops. I have enjoyed many a trip to Southend, though admittedly, not so much for the beach element, but rather, for the elements that exist largely because of the beach. Southend’s beaches are alright, but far from amazing, though in truth, the best UK beaches are nowhere near my neck of the woods, and personally, I think the best beaches are found elsewhere in the world.
That’s not to say that you can’t play in the sand at Southend, because you can, and I have. This is largely because my daughter would require me to build a sandcastle, then give me a cheeky grin and a little laugh as she smashed it. Rinse and repeat.
When I was a kid, many, many moons ago now, I went on a few holidays with my folks, including some UK breaks. There are sandy beaches near Great Yarmouth, though I don’t recall their quality. I think they’re better in terms of beaches, but not necessarily for all the associated stuff. I do recall some lovely beaches in Portugal’s famous Algarve region, and those beaches benefit from having nicer waters. The UK is straddled by the North Sea, English Channel, the Irish Sea, and in small bits and pieces, the Atlantic Ocean. None of them compare to the beautiful warm, clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea. In fact, our most recent holiday abroad, to the isle of Menorca, treated us to some of the most glorious beaches, and most gorgeous waters, that I have ever been lucky enough to see.
The beachside settings in Europe are a little different to those in England. They do bear some similarities, but the cafes and restaurants that line the seafront in places like Menorca are more relaxed, and they offer a beautiful view. I dare say the food options are somewhat healthier as well! The sand is probably not so great for sandcastles, but it feels… purer? That’s the only word I can come to that fits.
So there you have it, there is my ponderance over what it means to spend time at the beach!