It’s fair to say that I love a beach, however I’m particularly fussy when it comes to where I want to wiggle my toes and will fully admit to turning up my nose to many a so called ‘amazing’ beach that I’ve come across over the years. I sometimes feel that I’m stuck in my own personal Alex Garland novel in my search for the perfect beach, although mine would not contain DiCaprio and a bunch of hippy casualties re-enacting Lord of the Flies for the druggie generation but search for The Beach continues for me none the less.
Now I may live on a cold grey wet rock in the middle of the North Atlantic but this sceptred isle has a coastline the envy of many a place, fantastically varied and in several areas I’m lucky enough to have found several candidates for The Beach – namely in Northumberland, South and South West Wales.
So what, for me makes The Beach? Firstly it must be sandy, pure fine sand that you sink into as you walk; it must have some sort of barrier between it and ‘civilisation’ either dunes or cliffs for example which prevents shops etc being built; which leads me on to; no commercialisation, (apart from one exception which I’ll come on to) I don’t want chairs, umbrellas, food outlets, if you want those things then you are going to have to bring them yourself; space, ideally The Beach will be deserted or perhaps just a couple of Lowryesque figures walking in the distance.
When I stumble on a contender for The Beach (like the one in Northumberland that I was at recently in the picture above) then I love to stroll along letting the space envelop me and listening to the sounds of the sea, the waves seeming to mirror my heartbeat and any troubles seem to vanish. For that brief moment in time as I walk along the sandy strip, dunes/ cliffs on one side, ocean on the other I feel as calm and peaceful as it’s possible to be moving into an almost meditative state as I stroll along.
There is of course one final element that is required for The Beach and it is the one bit of commercialisation allowed – a cracking pub just a few yards away from the sand that you can retire to at the end of all that strolling and contemplation. Perfect. So do you know any beaches that fit my criteria? or do you have your own perfect beach and criteria?