The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
‘The tide and our spirits rose as we forecast a week of paddleboarding and picnics ahead’
Can a summer holiday in Britain offer the same glorious weather as the Mediterranean? This week’s letters suggest it can
Salcombe in Devon is, in our view, as delightful as the Med. We have often sat on the harbour front as reflections of the sunset kissed the water with streaks of orange, and a crescent of lights came on in the pretty town. With our children, we enjoyed these pleasures without having to travel for hours to another country. They grew up swimming off clean sandy beaches, mastered dinghy racing, then took sailing courses to RYA instructor level.
At dusk the busy main street recalled an Italian passageata. There were beach barbecues, garden visits and walks in a lush green landscape. Days ended with a special treat not available abroad: real English beer! David Innes-Wilkin, Bristol
I have enjoyed summer days to rival those of southern Europe on several holidays to New Polzeath in Cornwall. My first was in 1961 at the age of 13 and I have returned often with friends and family, most recently as a pensioner.
The magic of that first sight of the Atlantic from the cliff top never diminishes. Below is the surfing beach and, at low tide, a treasure trove of rock pools. The trusty wooden body board on which I caught my first wave is still in use now and has never let me down – and nor has my age. What joy.
We often stayed at a family-run hotel, which is now a swish apartment complex with an unrivalled view of the setting sun. It is my happy place. Angela Drage, Kent
BONNIE, BONNIE BANKS
August in London is cold, grey, rainy. It is time for the boring seven-hour drive to Loch Lomond to spend seven boring days on a small motor boat with two young boys. We pack sweaters, anoraks and sou’westers but, as we drive through the Lake District, a tiny patch of blue appears in the sky.
A small craft awaits at the jetty. We heave aboard junk food, wine, beer and Coke. The loch is flat calm under a clear sky. Our 12-year-old son takes the tiller, the 10-year-old casts off.
After seven days of catching fish, watching birds and tying up overnight to roots and trees, the sun was still shining. The boys want to go back next year to escape the southern rain. Patricia Leckie, Buckinghamshire
Are you longing to go on holiday to an island where you can sit by the water at sunset, savouring a glass of chilled local wine with your supper of freshly caught local seafood? Then you might want to hop aboard a boat and head up the Solent to our very own Isle of Wight.
Last summer, as temperatures soared, we almost fooled ourselves (as well as the children) into thinking we had travelled across the Channel to France. Driving along the Esplanade at Cowes, we marvelled at the sea full of
sails, then paused at charming Yarmouth to admire the grand yachts in the marina and compare ice-cream flavours on the pier before debating whether
we should head to the warm sands of Ventnor or the shady palms in the
Botanic Gardens. That evening, a stroll around the cliff path led us to the multicoloured beach shacks at secret Steephill Cove, where the tide and our spirits rose in unison as we forecast a welcome week of paddleboarding and
Juliet Clark, from London, wins a £450 holiday voucher courtesy of
As the photographs on my iPad remind me, the cloudless skies and calm, royal-blue waters of Suffolk last summer could have been in the Caribbean, let alone the Med. Admittedly, the pebble beach was no match for the fine golden sands of the French Riviera – but with the right footwear, my wife and I were able to reach the sea and swim (or rather float) for half an hour in the mild waters of Thorpeness beach.
On the walk back to our lodgings we were too hot in just T-shirts and shorts. A cold beer at the Parrot at Aldringham pub helped. The highlight, though, was the “beach” at Shingle Street, north of Felixstowe. It is a vast moonscape of grey shingle where, once again, the sky was pure blue and the warm sea breeze reminiscent of Italy, Spain or France. Jenny Cooper, Hampshire
CLOSE TO HOME
There can be few places in Britain where two venues with similar southwest-facing coastal views, just a couple of miles apart, are so clearly suited to entirely different clientele. One of them is the Wight Mouse Inn, a sprawling family hotel and pub off the main road through Chale on the Isle of Wight, with extensive gardens and a well-equipped children’s play area. The other is Castlehaven Beach Café, a licensed hideaway at the end of a narrow, potholed lane which appears to lead nowhere. It offers gorgeous unusual food, plus peace and quiet – and, unsurprisingly, very few children.
Add secluded beaches – some of them with fossils – balmy weather on some days and sunshine, which is surprisingly common in summer, and being here feels like a perpetual holiday. Why go anywhere else?
Bruce Denness, Isle of Wight
Perhaps we were lucky, but the July week we spent in Poole, Dorset, brought uninterrupted sunny weather on every day but one – fortunately our last. We took the chain ferry from Sandbanks to the Studland Peninsula where we swam (no pain!) from the sandy beach before continuing our walk to Old Harry Rocks, the spectacular sea stacks captured on so many social-media feeds.
Another time, we took the ferry to Brownsea Island and stepped on to dry land to the scent of hot vegetation and the warmth of a winnowing wind. Deer wandered by the forest trails and red squirrels scampered up the pine trees, but apart from that it could have been the South of France. The water in Poole harbour was mirror-calm and almost eery in its stillness, with the reflections of bright fishing boats cast in the water.