What images, memories, scenes do you picture when you think of the British seaside? I guess for most people it would maybe involve sunbathing on a beach on a warm sunny day? Ice cream? Fish and chips? Maybe donkey rides or braving the chilly sea? Wha most of these have in common, however, is that they all usually take place during the summer. Afterall it’s no secret that the British winter can be by no means pleasant and that jobs and businesses in our seaside towns are quite often seasonal.
As much as the seaside on a hot summer’s day is appealing, I also find that it can be just as appealing during the winter too. For one, there are certainly less people! On dry, bright crisp day (it’s not so much fun in the rain) I love the different colours that can be seen but equally the different shades of grey on those dull overcast days.
My family has a boxing day tradition that we all head to lytham st annes (down the road from Blackpool) for a game of beach cricket. This is essentially garden cricket rules but with the garden fence boundaries. Last year things got a little be more serious with the addition of a wicket (a matt to allow the ball to bounce) and an umpire. As in all good cricket games there was a break for tea which included christmas dinner leftover butties, hot drinks and of course chocolate.
Last week I had another mini-adventure to the South coast, to Torquay. Home to the sitcom Fawlty Towers, Torquay is a part of the English Riviera – a term coined by fashionable Victorian tourists. it has been a favourite spot for many famous Brits including Flora Thompson of Lark Rise novels, Charles Kingsley who penned the Water Babies, Rudyard Kipling and poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Torquay and it’s horse-shoe bay’s popularity is tied up in the Napoleonic Wars. The seaside town became a destination for the rich elite who could no longer visit continental Europe. As a place to visit now, it has everything you would expect from a seaside town.
From great coastal views…
A busy harbour…
To a coastal sealife centre, Living Coasts, where I got carried away taking photos of penguins and fur seals – to be fair one particular seal was very photogenic!
Torquay even has it’s very own abbey, or what is left of one (cheers Henry VIII) with a very picturesque spot just on the other side of the promenade sandwiched between the train station and crazy golf (which I won hands down by the way! – not competitive at all, honest).
Well, as you can see I had a lovely few days by the seaside and next time you are thinking of a weekend away autumn/winter time maybe you should take a chance on the seaside, it may just surprise you.
Until next time,