For Anglophiles

Brits at the Beach

With thoughts turning to warm days and gentle breezes, I was revisiting some of my previously published articles and came across this lovely piece from last summer’s House of Fifty magazine, British Summer Traditions:

House of Fifty magazine

While many Brits make a point of escaping their home island in search of summer sun, there’s no denying that a traditional day at the beach carries a distinctive English charm, even if there’s no guarantee the weather will behave.

For classic British fun, consider visiting Bournemouth, Brighton or Scarborough. In Suffolk, Southwold is beautiful with appealing small shops and wins the approval of the main character in Saving Saffron Sweeting. 🙂
For slightly quieter beaches, try Devon or North Norfolk.

Your traditional day should include:

  • Southwold, SuffolkA stroll on the pier or promenade.
  • A picnic on the beach behind your wobbly windbreak. There are great beach supplies at The Seaside Company. Or, if you’re determined to be extra-stylish, rent a beach hut for the day.
  • A donkey ride (only for little people and those not too concerned about animal welfare).
  • Candy-floss (cotton candy) on a stick. Bonus points if the wind blows it into your hair.
  • A game of bingo. (When I was small, the seaside was the only place where one could indulge in a little light gambling. These days, of course, you can do it online too: check out FoxyBingo.com.)
  • Fish and chips – extra points here if you have to fight off the seagulls.

Nutters, SouthwoldI freely admit that, since moving to California, I may be remembering British beach days through rose-tinted spectacles. But, with the right frame of mind and an appropriately dogged attitude, there are few things to beat North Sea salt in your nose or English Channel sand in your toes.

A contributor assisted in writing this post.


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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    Joanne Phillips
    May 18, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I grew up visiting the beaches of the North Wales coast, including Talacre where you drive your car right on to the beach! We still visit Llandudno – it’s the nearest beach to us, one and a half hours away – and WILL be visiting it at half term no matter what the weather’s like 🙂 Think seagulls dive-bombing you for your chips, the tackiest pier imaginable, beautiful scenery with snow-topped Welsh mountains behind Victorian villas – and a freezing cold wind to turn your knees blue! Ah, the British summer. Love it xxx

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      May 19, 2013 at 8:53 am

      Delighted to hear you’ll be making a beach visit regardless of weather! It really isn’t the same if you’re not freezing cold at some point during the day. Love the rusty implications of driving onto the actual beach at Talacre!

  2. Reply
    Martina
    May 19, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I could not resist commenting on this post, as I come from Sardinia and we’re spoilt when it comes to beaches there 🙂

    Last summer we went to the beach on the Norfolk coast in England, and the experience was so different from a trip to a Sardinian beach that I wrote a blog post about it.

    I don’t know if we’re allowed to post links to our blogs, if we are, here it is:

    http://www.adealwithastranger.com/blog/2012/08/a-day-at-the-beach-un-giorno-al-mare/

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      May 19, 2013 at 8:55 am

      Martina, I will come check out your post! It sounds like you were in the quieter part of North Norfolk rather than the eastern parts?

      1. Martina
        May 19, 2013 at 10:12 am

        You’re right Pauline. My favourite beach on the east is Southwold, which you mention in your post. I spent a whole week there in 1998, it was a very hot summer.

        The town is so pretty, and the people are just SO friendly! I’ve been there many times since, I love it.

  3. Reply
    vikki
    May 19, 2013 at 11:55 am

    I love going to the beach….you’ve made me long for it now 🙂

    xx

  4. Reply
    Pauline
    May 19, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I think we should start a Southwold fan club. Maybe I could buy a beach hut there and rent it out to writers for retreats? …When I find five-figures in change down the back of the sofa, that is… 🙂

  5. Reply
    Trish
    May 20, 2013 at 7:11 am

    Never been to Southwold but imagine that it’s lovely! I like the Brighton seafront (if a bit pebbly!) …

  6. […] This is a long way from last week’s discussion of fish & chips, bingo and seagulls. […]

  7. Reply
    Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
    May 26, 2013 at 10:05 am

    I’m one of those people who would prefer “slightly quieter beaches,” so I’d like to try one in Devon. And no worries about the weather, I think sunshine is highly overrated! One could always nip away for a cream tea.

    1. Reply
      Pauline
      May 26, 2013 at 11:10 am

      Well said, Jean: a cream tea can solve most weather problems!

  8. Reply
    Samantha
    May 30, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Candy floss . . . it sounds so pretty.

    I was introduced to fish and chips eaten outdoors while in New Zealand a few months ago – with only newsprint between your meal and the table and eaten with your hands.

  9. Reply
    maillot de foot pas cher
    June 11, 2013 at 4:47 am

    maillot de foot pas cher…

    Many thanks a whole lot for sharing! I will definitely be back….

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