The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel
‘The path opens up, providing the first glimpse of an opalescent blue sea’
From Cornwall and Devon to Lincolnshire and North Uist, Britain’s beaches inspired you as much as those of the Med
Worthing Beach, in West Sussex, isn’t sandy but is made up of lovely pebbles and shells. So shallow is the water, children can doggy paddle out a fair distance and still be able to stand.
In the summer, there are funfairs, a London Eye-type wheel, coffee kiosks, an ice cream parlour, and even a sauna in a trailer. The Grade II-listed Art Deco pier stretches out into the English Channel, with more than 200 beautiful windows running down the centre of the windbreak. There are amusements, good fishing spots and an interesting and popular restaurant.
Even in winter, the five-mile stretch of esplanade is a joy, with views of Brighton in the misty distance. Geraldine Blake, West Sussex
HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
Hope Cove: my only regret is not discovering it before my seventh decade. This village near Thurlstone in South Devon boasts not one but two sandy beaches. Thatched cottages in pastel hues add to its charm.
The approach road is narrow, deterring day-trippers. Swimmers can enjoy calm, clear waters and the coastal path offers fine views. Walking to Bigbury on Sea to travel by sea tractor to Burgh Island, we met a wedding party on the beach. Heels discarded and champagne glasses in hand, they awaited transport to the Art Deco hotel that inspired Agatha Christie. We watched the sunset, promising yet another perfect day. Anne Crittenden, Berkshire
A-STAR IN GEOGRAPHY
As an 11-year-old, I was charged by my geography teacher with gathering the best collection of sea shells in my class. We went to North Uist in the Outer Hebrides and headed for Baleshare on the west coast: endless soft sand, clear waters and only the Atlantic rollers separating us from Newfoundland.
There was nothing but kelp to mark the tideline – apart from a bottle with a message inside it, jettisoned by the Guinness brewery in 1959 to mark its bicentenary. A corncrake called from afar and the air was filled with the cry of sea birds. The warming current of the Gulf Stream provided excellent swimming. And yes, I won the prize for the best collection of sea shells. Bill Webb, London
Think of the Lincolnshire coast and Skegness probably springs to mind. However, we like to travel a few miles north of the lively, bustling seaside town to the beach at Chapel Point.
After taking time to look around the fascinating North Sea Observatory, we continue walking north along a section of the England Coastal Path. Immediately, we are in a different world. Funfairs and slot machines are replaced by acres of golden sand and sheltered dunes where we can relax and take in the views of vast skies (and wind turbines) as far as the eye can see.
As we continue our walk, we pause to look at the concrete Cloud Bar and Sound Tower which are built among the dunes. Afterwards, we head for Sutton on Sea for perfect fish and chips.
IN TWO MINDS
Eype is a quaint Dorset village with a secluded beach tucked away at the end of a winding lane. This hideaway is unspoilt by commercialism, a place where sunbathers can relax to the sound of waves lapping the shore while the more energetic can walk on the cliffs with superb views of Lyme Bay.
Torcross, in south Devon, is livelier but no less charming. A picturesque, freshwater lagoon inhabited by ducks sits behind the pebbled beach, separated by a strip of land. There are no garishly loud entertainments, just a few shops and eating places with a traditional seaside vibe. The shoreline is lengthy, with plenty of room for beach activities – though the bay has seen tragic times. In 1944, more than 1,000 lives were lost in practices for the D-Day landings – yet another reason why people choose to visit Torcross. Margaret Reed, Wiltshire
KESTRELS ON THE CLIFFS
On a cloudless morning, unseasonably warm for early June, we decided to leave the bustling resort of Salcombe in Devon for a more peaceful paradise. We meandered along the south-west coastal path towards Bolt Tail, marvelling at the sight of the sparkling sea and the bucolic landscapes before coming across Soar Mill Cove.
This tiny, isolated beach hidden among the cliffs has lots of rocky outcrops but offers gently shelving access to the sea. The sand is pristine and the sea warm and shallow. In a shady spot, we absorbed the sights and sounds of nature all around – the gently lapping waves, the salty breeze on our faces, the scents of wildflowers, the hovering kestrels. We discovered this coastal idyll over 50 years ago and have returned many times since. Its rugged beauty remains undimmed.