City to County: James and fam­ily hit the beaches

James and fam­ily have been im­mers­ing them­selves in the sim­ple joys of days at the sea­side

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE -

My long, hot sum­mer started back in May when I vis­ited Corn­wall for a fam­ily wedding. The bride and groom were al­most for­given for caus­ing me a 16-hour round trip when I wit­nessed my son dis­cov­er­ing the joys of the beach for the first time.

He’d been pushed along a chilly, windswept board­walk in a buggy in the past, but he’d never en­joyed an au­then­tic, sunny sea­side ex­pe­ri­ence. At first he was a lit­tle un­nerved by the ab­sence of the terra firma he’d be­come ac­cus­tomed to. While still cling­ing to the legs of his mum, a few sec­onds later he was ten­ta­tively stick­ing a toe back into the new, un­sta­ble sur­face.

And once he’d fi­nally mas­tered ma­noeu­vring him­self around the golden sand he de­cided he wanted to see how it tasted. But within an hour he was fill­ing up a bucket with a spade (hastily pur­chased from a seafront stall by an un­der-pre­pared fa­ther) and mak­ing a bee­line to­wards the sea for a pad­dle when­ever we dropped our guard for a mo­ment.

Af­ter see­ing the plea­sure a cou­ple of hours spent on a beach (and a £1.99 bucket and spade) brought our son, my wife and I were rather ashamed it had taken an eight-hour trip to the other side of the coun­try to do it. Espe­cially when our county boasts over 90 miles of coast­line on our doorstep – and prob­a­bly a few more when the tide’s out.

I have friends in other ar­eas of the UK who, due to their prox­im­ity to the coast, never visit an English beach, only hit­ting the sand when abroad on hol­i­day. But as Nor­folkians we had no ex­cuse. On our re­turn home we promised our lit­tle boy a few more trips to the sea­side. And we kept it.

So I’ve spent this sum­mer back on the beaches I used to visit as a child. Like my par­ents back then, we’ve packed up the car with blan­kets, beach games and snacks – or some­times just the bucket and spade – and headed to­wards the shore.

We’ve built sand­cas­tles, buried our­selves, pad­dled in the sea and gen­er­ally had a lovely time. I even gave up try­ing to sup­press the eight-year-old me who just wanted to dig an enor­mous hole (be­fore re­spon­si­bly fill­ing it in again).

You see, I was once told that if you dig deep enough you can reach Aus­tralia…or at least en­joy the thrill of hit­ting wa­ter.

And, bar the cost of an ice cream at the end of it, it’s one of Nor­folk’s free days out, a bonus when you’ve made it your mis­sion to visit as many of our county’s ex­pan­sive stretches of sand as pos­si­ble. I’ve re­dis­cov­ered I re­ally do like to be be­side the sea­side.

ABOVE:Sea and sand – what more do you need?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.