Coast January 2022

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OUR YORKSHIRE FARM’S AMANDA OWEN: MY BEST BEACHES

JANUARY 2022

SECRET WALES 10 hidden beaches, top properties to buy,

spend a weekend in New Quay

10 BEST FOODIE TREATS FOR CHRISTMAS

WIN A LUXURY STAY AT AN ICONIC ART DECO HOTEL

25 WAYS TO SUPPORT MARINE CONSERVATION

DISCOVER THE ORIGINS OF SAND SEASIDE HOMES SCANDI STYLE IN SHOREHAM

£4.99

COASTAL ESCAPES

Explore Falmouth Marina

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From charming, dog friendly cottages to romantic boltholes and luxurious retreats; close to beautiful sandy beaches, in rural hotspots or in the middle of quaint market towns, we have something for everyone in our collection of beautiful self-catering holiday homes.

Find your perfect Christmas hideaway

Our expert local teams are always on hand to help find your perfect getaway and assist you throughout your stay, so why not escape to one of our properties today?

cornwallhideaways.co.uk

cotswoldshideaways.co.uk

dorsethideaways.co.uk

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73 CONTENTS

Cover story

JANUARY 2022

FEATURES COVER PHOTOGRAPH STRUTT & PARKER (01244 354880, STRUTTANDPARKER.COM). SEE PAGE 93

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SCANDI STYLE IN SHOREHAM A Danish couple have brought a slice of Denmark to the Sussex coast, with their cool contemporary coastal home 39 10 BEST COASTAL FOODIE TREATS FOR CHRISTMAS Check out delicious fare from innovative producers all around the coast 46 CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE Ideas to inspire if you’re starting to think about Christmas shopping... 49 INSPIRED BY THE COAST Artist and printmaker Tess Willoughby on the latest incarnation of her exciting

Seastrand project in Scarborough GIVING BACK TO THE OCEAN Thought about buying a gift from or making a gift to a marine conservation charity this year? 65 SANDS OF TIME You might think sand is bland – but what does a closer look reveal? Find out, thanks to some fascinating photography 78 WEEKEND IN NEW QUAY This low-key Welsh location might be less well known than its Cornish counterpart, but it’s wonderful for wildlife and a relaxing weekend away 84 10 BEST SECRET BEACHES

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PLUS A FREE GIFT! GIVE A SUBSCRIPTION TO coast TODAY! Pay £42.99 for 12 issues as a gift, plus get a free travel candle. See page 24

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CONTENTS

JANUARY 2022 IN WALES Discover some gems among the rocky coves and tiny sandy beaches scattered along the long and varied Welsh coastline 97 SONGS OF THE HIGH SEAS The rise of an old tradition – the humble sea shanty is popular again 104 MARINA LIVING William Thomson starts a new 12-month series on some of the UK’s best harbours. This month, it’s Falmouth

HOMES & PROPERTY

73 PROPERTY NEWS An exciting new development in Seaton, plus a great money-saving kitchen idea and holiday home tips 75 10 HOMES TO BUY BESIDE THE SEA From Orkney to Cornwall – is your dream home among these latest properties on the market? 93 10 HOMES TO BUY IN WALES Whether you’re after turnkey condition or a renovation project, here is a selection of the properties currently for sale on the Welsh coast

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REGULARS

8 PICTURE THIS Solace seekers 11 BEACHCOMBER News, art, food, people, style and events by the sea

17 COASTAL WARDROBE Look cool 21 23 24 26 112 114 117 122

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when the weather’s feeling cold, with these picks from stylist Polly Banks COAST CHARACTER A fashion designer from Orkney coast COMPETITION Win a luxury hotel break at an Art Deco icon – The Midland in Morecambe SUBSCRIBE TO coast AS A GIFT Because a magazine subscription makes a great present HOT HOTEL The Star, Alfriston, East Sussex SEADOGS Products and holiday ideas for coastal canine owners, plus Dog of the Month YOUR COAST Your letters, tweets and photos… WHERE TO BUY Plus how to contact coast MY COAST Author and TV star Amanda Owen on why she loves a dip in the sea off North Yorkshire

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Join the South West Holiday Letting Experts If you’re thinking of joining a new holiday letting agent for the 2022 season, now is the perfect time! Request a free copy of our Owners Guide to find out how we could help you. With 40 years’ experience in holiday letting, we can deliver industry leading booking levels and national marketing coverage, combined with hands-on support from our team of South West experts, based in our office on Dartmoor. We also offer property management solutions, organising everything from changeovers to 24/7 guest call-outs. For more information, or to arrange a free no-obligation income appraisal, contact our experienced team today.

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A local agency with

big

aspirations

Book your 2022 stay...

Considering letting your holiday home? Our experienced team of property managers have the knowledge to ensure that your investment fulfils its potential throughout the year. We’re privately owned and locally based, meaning we’re always on hand to meet owners, advise guests and pop to properties should an issue arise. Call us now for free and honest advice. Whether you’re after a dog-friendly break, beachside cottage or luxury family home, we’re sure we have the ideal escape for you. Choose from over 850 coastal, waterside and rural cottages throughout the South West.

For special offers and a free copy of our brochure call us or check out our website.

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ed’s LETTER

WELCOME W

hat are your plans for the festive season? I’d love to know if they include a trip to the sea, a Christmas hotel stay, or a Boxing Day walk by the ocean? For those of you who are staying at home, this issue includes our top selection of artisan coastal treats that you can order online to bring the coast to you. Turn to page 39 to find out more. Alternatively, if you are looking for a divine hotel for a treat over the holidays, take a look at page 26 to read about the latest project from brilliant mother and daughter team, Alex and Olga Polizzi, who opened The Star in Sussex just this year. Christmas is a time for giving gifts to the people we love, in this issue we suggest extending that to the ocean we love, and on page 58 you’ll find a feature offering myriad ways to make a gift to or buy a gift from charities that will help protect our beautiful, blue planet. In our next issue we’ve researched some the country’s best staycations for you to book for 2022, along with some amazing wellbeing breaks to help you restore your energy in preparation for the new year. Last, but not least, I’d like to wish all our readers a very happy and healthy Christmas and New Year, and say that I am looking forward to spending 2022 with you all!

FOLLOW US ON @coastmag @coastmaguk facebook.com/coastmagazine

Alex Fisher, Editor-in-Chief @alexfishermedia

You can email us at coast coast.ed@kelsey.co.uk. For existing subscription queries, please use the link https://help. kelsey.co.uk. For new subscription offers, go to https://shop.kelsey.co.uk/subscription/COA. To buy a single issue, go to https://shop.kelsey.co.uk/issue/COA. To receive our free weekly newsletter, sign up at coastmagazine.co.uk/newsletter.

THE CREW

This month’s contributors share their coastal musings MAXINE BRADY

Interior stylist Maxine has spent the past 20 years reflecting and recreating trends and fashions for leading home décor titles, as well as TV shows and events. Based in a peppermint-green terraced house in Brighton with beach-loving dog Teddy, she also writes an award-winning lifestyle blog, maxinebrady.com. When she visited the seaside home of Mette Bergmann in Shoreham, West Sussex (page 28) she was impressed by the way the 1950s property had been transformed into a timeless temple of Danish simplicity and elegance, where Christmas is celebrated Scandi-style.

MATTHEW PIKE

Matthew is an outdoors, lifestyle and travel writer who lives in the Welsh hills, not far from the Gwynedd coast. Previously, he worked for a hiking magazine in New Zealand, sampling the finest landscapes and seascapes the country has to offer, and now intends to explore every corner of Wales’s glorious coastline. New Quay in Ceredigion was the very first place he took his young family on holiday, so it holds a special place in his heart. Discover the easy-going vibe, as well as the spectacular beaches and wildlife that drew him back there on page 78.

JADE BRAHAM

Jade is a freelance travel writer, photographer and videographer based in South Wales. From a love of exploring lesser known landscapes and heritage sites, she created a blog that provides guides to travelling around the UK, jadebrahamsodyssey.com. As well as her blog, she also writes for a variety of travel publications including Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, and South Wales Life. Creating the feature on secret Welsh beaches (page 92) brought her to parts of Wales she didn’t know, and gave her a new appreciation of its phenomenal coastline and geological wonders.

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SOLACE SEEKERS

On Midsummer’s day last June, Mary Green and Cynthia Byers of The Beach Labyrinth Norfolk group used wooden sticks to draw out a giant, triple Celtic spiral on Overstrand Beach near Cromer. Created at low tide, the labyrinth was then lined with 1,800 pebbles – one for each Norfolk life lost during the Covid-19 pandemic. It looked a little like a maze, but there were no wrong turns. Instead, mourners made their own path to the centre while silently reflecting on life and those who had died. Afterwards, they were invited to write words of remembrance in the sand. In the evening the tide came in and washed everything away – lost but never forgotten. Watch a video of this sombre yet life-affirming event at lawrencedsilva.com. Photograph: Lawrence D’Silva

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• SHOPPING • EVENTS • PEOPLE • PLACES • CULTURE • NEWS • WILDLIFE •

BEACHCOMBER

Every month, we trawl the nation’s coastline to bring you news of the people, places and exciting goings-on that are worth knowing about

FIND OF THE MONTH Create a tranquil mood with the new Wellness Collection of glassware by Dartington Crystal. Available in three gentle colours, each comprises tall, small and orb vases and a candleholder. This sea-blue tone is ‘Calm’, with prices starting at £28, going up to £37 (dartington.co.uk) c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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• SHOPPING • EVENTS • PEOPLE • PLACES • CULTURE • NEWS • WILDLIFE •

CATCH OF THE DAY 1 THESE SLIPPERS Stay cosy with these vegan slippers, free from leather or animal by-products. A contemporary clog with a Scandi vibe, they have a faux fur lining and come in three colours with a contrasting sole (£25, bedroomathletics.com).

2 THIS WATCH The Dart is a limited-edition self-winding watch designed by Devon artist Bert Fowler with Marloe Watch Company. Its features a boat motif and the coordinates of the mouth of the River Dart (£349, bertandbuoy.com).

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3 THIS BLANKET Perfect for wintry days at the coast, The Jubilee is a 100% pure new wool picnic blanket with a waterproof backing and leather carry strap. Machine-washable, it comes in 22 colours (£125, heating-and-plumbing.com)

Sophie Allport has created an array of kitchenware, china, bed linen, bags and cushions decorated with marine creatures. Trays come in two sizes and are made from FSC-certified birchwood (£33, sophieallport.com).

WHAT’S FLOATING YOUR BOAT? Let us know on our Facebook page, facebook.com/coastmagazine, or email us at coast.ed@kelsey.co.uk

SAFER CETACEANS

A memorial to Danny the dolphin has been unveiled in Portland, Dorset. Danny, a male bottlenose, was a regular visitor to Weymouth and Portland but was the victim of a vessel strike in 2020. Locals wanted to create a lasting tribute, so Marine Connection took up the cause, organising a memorial of limestone and granite donated by Portland Stone Firms, with additional funding raised by local businesses and public donations. The memorial underlines an important message: solitary dolphins need the space to be truly wild animals (marineconnection.org).

DOLPHIN PHOTOGRAPH MARINE CONNECTION

Eco handplanes

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Finding ingenious uses for recovered ocean-waste plastic, Odyssey Innovation has launched recycled surfing handplanes, each of which contains the equivalent of 129 bottle tops alongside upcycled neoprene. Designed by and for ecoconscious surfers, the handplane allows you to gain full body contact with the water as well as experience superior paddling, more speed, longer rides and a sense of being at one with the waves. From £78, odysseyinnovation.com.

BOOK of the MONTH

The path less travelled

Discover a host of secret seaside haunts along a coastline that stretches from Morecambe Bay to the Solway Firth in Kevin Sene’s latest book. A one-time resident of the area and still a regular visitor, Kevin cycled the length of its coast to gain insight into its lesser-known delights, visiting ports, museums, lighthouses and tidal bores along the way. He also guides you through the many nature reserves that dot the shoreline, recommending the best places to see wading birds, seals and ospreys. The Cumbria and Lake District Coast by Kevin Sene (£19.99, paperback, Matador).

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• SHOPPING • EVENTS • PEOPLE • PLACES • CULTURE • NEWS • WILDLIFE •

COCKTAIL OF THE MONTH

Serving up sustainability

Salty Dog A Salty Dog is a classic gin-and-grapefruit cocktail that dates back to the 1920s. Wonderfully refreshing, it is the perfect cleansing tipple to bring a taste of the sea to your Christmas and New Year celebrations. Cheers!

• 1 tbsp Maldon Salt • 100ml pink grapefruit juice • 50ml Tanqueray No. Ten gin

Fish and chip shops are becoming more eco-savvy – so much so that around 90% of UK chippies now use produce from sustainable fisheries. Be sure to look out for the Marine Stewardship Council’s logo and blue tick when you next visit. In a drive to improve things further, some businesses are looking for vegetarian and plant-based alternatives to seafood, while others are exploring digital processes that will save wasting thousands of sheets of paper on daily food safety checks. With an estimated 10,500 fish and chip shops in the UK, every little helps. Find out more about digital safety checks from Navitas Safety at navitas.eu.com.

• Slice of pink grapefruit, to garnish

Method (SERVES 1) 1. Place the Maldon Salt on a small, flat plate. Run some of the fresh grapefruit juice around the rim of a tall highball glass. 2. Turn the glass upside down into the salt and revolve the glass so the salt sticks to the edge of the rim. 3. Carefully fill the glass with ice. Pour in the Tanqueray No. Ten gin and then fill the glass with the grapefruit juice. Stir gently and garnish with a slice of fresh pink grapefruit. Recipe: Maldon Salt (maldonsalt.com).

SAILING INTO THE FUTURE

Plymouth-based charity Greenhook Fishing has launched its first sustainable fishing boat to support Armed Forces veterans. The sail-powered vessel, a traditional Plymouth Hooker called Geoffrey Rowe, will provide training and employment in boatbuilding, fishing and related industries for ex-Services personnel, helping them adapt to civilian life. The launch marks the culmination of months of planning and training by a team of Greenhook Fishing volunteers, which includes ex-servicemen from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Air Force and the Army. For more information, visit greenhook.org. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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SEA-INSPIRED HOMEWARE Octopuses, lobsters, mackerel, crabs, seahorses and jellyfish all make an appearance on Cream Cornwall’s Classic Collection of bone china, part of the elegant coastal homewares range founded ten years ago by Rebecca Heane and Alison Hughes. We love these cute espresso cups and saucers, £18 each, available from creamcornwall.co.uk and at the Cream Cornwall shops in Falmouth and St Ives.

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• SHOPPING • EVENTS • PEOPLE • PLACES • CULTURE • NEWS • WILDLIFE •

SHOP OF THE MONTH

I

Whitby Yard, Whitby, North Yorkshire

nspired by a holiday to New England and the rich nautical heritage of the Yorkshire coast, Jacquie Fox set up Whitby Yard in 2019 as an online business selling clothing and accessories that evoke the memory of long, lazy summer days by the sea. Her recently opened shop in the alleys and passageways – known as yards – of this former whaling port is filled with goodies. Clothing is made from organic Indian cotton and is Earth Positive, meaning that it comes from manufacturing facilities powered by green renewable energy using lowimpact raw materials. As well as T-shirts, hoodies, sweatshirts and aprons, you’ll find bags made from recycled sailcloth and 100% natural rubber flip-flops (whitbyyard.com).

SHOP PHOTOGRAPHS RICHARD PONTER

A glass act

Kent glass artist Roberta Mason received a huge accolade when two of her pieces, including Shorebreak (left), were selected from more than 4,200 submissions for the Turner Contemporary Open exhibition 2021. Inspired by underwater experiences, her work explores the language of bubbles and the amazing world of marine creatures, using traditional glass techniques in a host of non-traditional ways. The show runs until 20 February 2022 at Turner Contemporary on Margate seafront. Book online at turnercontemporary.org.

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Swedish design with a green soul

DECEMBER

artistic

2021

“Margrethe” organic-cotton tablecloth, £45

SHOP ONLIN E

www.gudrunsjoden.com

Welcome to my store at 65-67 Monmouth Street, Covent garden, London

You can also visit our webshop, call 0800 056 9912 or e-mail order@gudrunsjoden.co.uk. Free shipping, fast delivery and 30 day return policy!


coast FASHION

HER COASTAL WARDROBE Coddle yourself on chilly wintry seaside days with the best cold-weather-wear, selected by fashion stylist Polly Banks

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1 Downdrift parka, £320, Patagonia 2 Striped knitted cardigan, £49, Oliver Bonas 3 Dillan tie-dye cashmere hat, £75, Brodie Cashmere 4 Glendevon knit chunky cardigan, £99.95, Barbour 5 Finisterre Palladium boots, £135, Finisterre 6 Striped knitted skirt, £55, Oliver Bonas 7 Mini Laire leather saddle bag, £89.95, Barbour 8 Darlington country socks, £15, Burlington For where to buy, see Stockists, page 117

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TRADITIONAL WORKWEAR FOR MEN AND WOMEN MADE IN THE UK. carriercompany.co.uk +44 ( 0 ) 1328 820699

Creekside Cottages® Near Falmouth, Cornwall Situated by the wooded creeks around the Falmouth Estuary and the sailing waters of the Carrick Roads, we offer a fine collection of individual waters edge, rural and village cottages sleeping from 2–10 persons. Whatever the time of year, there is always something happening that makes Cornwall special; perfect for family and friends. Contact us via 01326 375972 or martin@creeksidecottages.co.uk creeksidecottages.co.uk


coast FASHION

HIS COASTAL WARDROBE

Get ready for stormy weather and bracing walks with the pick of winter gear, chosen by fashion stylist Polly Banks 2

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1 Stanley x Danner Master vacuum bottle, £51.13, Danner 2 Downdrift jacket, £280, Patagonia 3 Leather gloves, £115, Scotch & Soda 4 Repeat vintage pullover hoodie, £60, Merrell 5 Black Hole 40-litre duffle bag, £95, Patagonia 6 Utility pants, £80, Dickies 7 Mountain Light leather hiking boots, £360, Danner 8 Plaid overshirt, £150, Lee Jeans For where to buy, see Stockists, page 117

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60% SOLD S

CHA RL E STOWN, CO RN WAL L

TC

A BESPOKE COLLECTION OF 15 LUXURY CORNISH HARBOURSIDE HOUSES ONLY 3 & 4 BEDROOMS REMAINING · PRICES FROM £745,000 Set within an UNESCO World Heritage Site, Charlestown, Cornwall is as picturesque as it gets. Beyond the harbour lies a sheltered beach, ready-made for wild swimming. A short wander in either direction immediately immerses one in the lush countryside that borders the cove sprinkled South East Cornish coast.

11,500 The Nest Full page advert Coast magazine 220x285 with 3mm bleed.indd 1

The Nest’s houses feature historical flourishes beautifully merged with huge sections of contemporary glass windows, glazed links and sleek, seamless finishes. The homes, each with parking for two cars, are topped with living grass roofs and outside, ‘rubble’ stone walkways lead the way into calming gardens. Available to reserve now.

Due to complete Spring 2022

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COAST CHARACTER

The creative roots of fashion designer Kirsteen Stewart burrow deep into the island archipelago of Orkney, where calm days are as beautiful as stormy days and the wild environment nourishes her imagination WORDS CAROLINE WHEATER

I

have lived on mainland Orkney since I was three, when my parents moved to the archipelago thinking they would stay a couple of years. We never left, and now my home is a tiny cottage right by the sea on the Tankerness peninsula with my dog Pip. It’s got its own pier that I go swimming from, and the sea and the beach are my garden. I’ve become fascinated by the ebb and flow of the tides and I walk on the beach daily to collect beautiful amber coloured stones, white quartz pebbles and shards of china that wash up. I’m a real outdoors person and enjoy

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PHOTOGRAPH TRACEY MAREE GORDON

horse riding, surfing and sea swimming. My new-found love is sea kayaking and I’ll often paddle out to see the seals basking on the two skerries about 10 minutes from the house. I’ve discovered an enchanted garden underneath the sea – a forest of seaweed, studded with starfish and periwinkles that inspire my fashion designs. I like bright, unexpected colours, such as the neon orange and red of seasonal seaweeds. Creatively I need solace and quiet, but there’s a fantastic social life on Orkney when work is done. It’s a really musical place and attracts artists from all over the

world to perform at The Sound Archive and various festivals. It’s a very creative community – everyone here makes something, from art and craft to food and music. I’ve spent a lot of time travelling, but Orkney has always been my base; it’s so nurturing being close to nature and by the sea. My favourite beach is Skaill, near Skara Brae prehistoric settlement. Going there when there are just two or three people on the beach is an absolute luxury. • Find out more about Kirsteen’s fashion and homeware designs made on Orkney at kirsteenstewart.co.uk.

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coast COMPETITION

WIN A LUXURY STAY IN MORECAMBE BAY This month coast has teamed up with The Midland Hotel to offer our lucky winner a one-night dinner, bed and breakfast stay with sea views

T

he Midland has been described as the jewel in the crown of England’s North West coastline. An iconic building dating back to 1933, The Midland has a story of Art Deco sophistication, glamour and architectural genius. In its time it has hosted some of the international leading lights in music, film, comedy, dance and politics. The unmistakable and remarkable outline of this 4 star hotel graces the Morecambe Bay promenade, and guests enjoy far-reaching views and stunning sunsets across the bay to the Lake District fells beyond. The bedrooms are a modern twist on Art Deco design and

afford every comfort and a few quirky and delightful surprises. Enjoy an à la carte three-course dinner in our award-winning Sun Terrace restaurant, which serves contemporary British cuisine using the best produce from Lancashire and Cumbria. Afternoon Tea at The Midland is renowned for its sense of occasion, quality home-made treats and beautiful setting. For more information visit englishlakes.co.uk/the-midland. Morecambe itself, offering everything from wide open skies and vast sweeping bay to great independent shops, is the ideal location for exploring the Lancashire coast and the historic city of Lancaster

and the nearby Lake District.

YOUR PRIZE

An overnight stay for our winner and their guest in a luxurious sea-view room with dinner, bed and breakfast at the iconic Midland Hotel in Morecambe.

HOW TO ENTER

Please go to the competition page at coastmagazine.co.uk and answer this question by 31 January: In which decade was The Midland built? A) The 1940s B) The 1930s C) The 1920s

TERMS AND CONDITIONS Prize stated is based on 2 adults sharing a twin/double room. Dinner reservation should made prior to arrival to avoid disappointment. Three-course à la carte dinner included – some supplements and beverages are charged as taken. Prize is valid until 22 December 2022, subject to availability. Bank holidays and 2021 festive packages are excluded. Prize is non-refundable, non-transferable and there is no cash alternative. These terms are in addition to English Lakes standard booking terms and conditions. See the website for details: englishlakes.co.uk/terms-and-conditions. No travel is included. Entries close at midnight on 31 January. The draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Entry is free. Open to residents of the UK aged over 18. Employees of Kelsey Media, The Midland Hotel and their family members are not eligible to win. Only one entry permitted per person, no bulk entries will be accepted. The first correct entry drawn after the closing date will win. Our winner will be notified within 28 days. If our winner fails to respond after three attempts at contact, a new winner will be drawn. There is no cash alternative and the prize is not transferable. We reserve the right to cancel the competition, if circumstances change that are beyond our control, and in that event, no financial compensation would be payable by Kelsey Media or its affiliates. coast is a Kelsey Media brand. Here at Kelsey Media we take your privacy seriously and will only use your personal information to provide the products and services you have requested from us. We will only contact you with news and special offers via the preferences you have indicated. We will never share your information with any third party without your consent. You can view our full Privacy Policy at https://www.kelsey.co.uk/privacy-notice/

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GREAT REASONS TO GIVE A SUBSCRIPTION

Got a friend or family member who loves the seaside? Subscribe to coast today for them! They can become part of our lovely coast community and discover the best places for amazing staycations, where to find deserted sandy beaches, excellent restaurants with sea views, and incredible wildlife encounters. Learn about the fascinating history and culture on our shores, and meet artists and makers who will share their craft tips, plus top chefs who share their recipes! As well as providing an immersive travel experience, we also seek out great coastal properties for sale by the sea every month. Those who are looking to move to the coast can learn about up-and-coming seaside locations, and find advice on decorating their home and making the most of a coastal life. Make someone smile with a gift subscription to coast this year. Have each issue delivered directly to their door in plastic-free, recyclable, biodegradable, carbon-balanced paper envelopes – plus they’ll receive a free travel candle from Coast Candle Co with this great offer. It’s time to join the coast community!

1 Save 28% on the 2 cover price They’ll receive a free Drift 3 Away travel candle worth £10 They’ll never miss an issue 4 of their favourite magazine They’ll receive 12 issues of coast magazine

F ree delivery direct to their

5 door – in 100% plastic-free packaging

Alex Fisher, Editor-in-Chief

TERMS AND CONDITIONS: Offer valid for UK subscribers only. Savings are based on the cover price of £4.99. Offer ends 31 December 2021. Your subscription will start with the next available issue. All orders will be acknowledged. Prices correct at time of print and subject to change. For full terms and conditions, please visit shop.kelsey.co.uk. Data protection: We take great care in handling your personal details and these will only ever be used as set out in our privacy policy which can be viewed at shop.kelsey.co.uk/privacy-policy. You may unsubscribe at any time.

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THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS GIFT

GIVE A SUBSCRIPTION TO coast Pay just £42.99 for a year’s subscription – saving 28% on the cover price

CONTENT THEY WILL ENJOY EVERY MONTH TRAVEL

LIVING

Bucketloads of inspiration for your next staycation

An insider guide to enjoying an active, outdoor life

FOOD

ARTS & CRAFTS

PLUS A

DRIFT AWAY

TRAVEL CANDLE WORTH

£10

Best shoreline restaurants, foodie trails and recipes

Coastal artists and simple, stylish craft projects

HOMES

NATURE

EASY WAYS TO SUBSCRIBE TO coast 1. Online shop.kelsey.co.uk/COA1221

Dream homes to buy beside the sea & interiors

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Explore the stunning natural world on your doorstep

2. Call us 01959 543747* quote: COA1221 *Lines open Monday-Friday, 8:30am-5:30pm. Calls charged at your standard network rate.

15/11/2021 10:36


coast TRAVEL

HOT HOTEL THE STAR, ALFRISTON, EAST SUSSEX

WHAT’S THE BUZZ? The latest project from the wonderful Alex Polizzi (known for Channel 5’s long-running The Hotel Inspector) and her hotelier mother, Olga, this exciting opening has already been the subject of a TV documentary. Despite being titled My Hotel Nightmare – the show followed the pair as they attempted to wrestle the huge renovation of this Grade II-listed 15th century building through multiple lockdowns – the final result is a resounding success, with attention to detail that is second to none.

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Originally a religious hostel built in 1345, The Star has been transformed by this formidable duo into a gorgeous 30-bedroom hotel with a 60-cover restaurant, internal courtyard garden and a lovely bar with open fires and great ales. WHAT ARE THE ROOMS LIKE? It’s so refreshing to see a hotel with its own unique style. Olga Polizzi has combined contemporary furniture with one-off antique finds, richly patterned wallpaper with sumptuous velvet textiles, full of colour and peppered with touches of irreverent

humour. Drawing on local artists and makers, there is a unique Elizabethaninspired stencilled wooden floor, painted by local artist Amanda Lawrence and beautiful trellises created by the area’s blacksmith. BEST SEA VIEW? The hotel is only a short drive from the beaches at Cuckmere Haven and Seaford, and there are river walks just across the road. HOW ABOUT THE FOOD? Head chef Tim Kensett, previously at The River Café, creates a simple, but perfectly formed, menu from local produce. The menu

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The Star, in the East Sussex village of Alfriston on the South Downs, dates from 1345. This Grade II-listed building has been transformed into a stylish hotel by Olga (below, left) and Alex Polizzi, and is perfect for a weekend escape from the city offering countryside and coast

changes with the seasons, but you might find fabulous fried sardines as a starter when you visit, and if they happen to have the South Downs lamb served with braised rainbow chard, wild girolles and horseradish, I recommend ordering it! WHAT’S IN THE AREA? Benefiting from both countryside and the sea, the location is perfect for an escape from the city. With Glyndebourne just up the road, Rathfinny wine estate on the doorstep and Charleston Farmhouse a few miles away, there are so many reasons to visit throughout the year!

WHAT WILL IT COST? Rooms are available from £190 per night, including breakfast. Extra beds for children aged up to 12 years old are charged at £50 per night and there is no charge for cots. Wellbehaved dogs are also welcome for a fee of £25 per night, and dog bowls and blankets can be provided. HOW DO I BOOK? Call 01323 870495 or visit thepolizzicollection.com/the-star. Alex Fisher @alexfishermedia

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coast LIVING

SCANDI STYLE IN SHOREHAM The fuss-free style of a 1950s seaside bungalow in Sussex was the base for its Danish owners to input their Scandinavian design principles WORDS MAXINE BRADY PHOTOGRAPHS DAVID WOOLLEY STYLING GEMMA GEAR

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coast LIVING

OPPOSITE Mette and John’s Shoreham-by-Sea home, which the couple purchased in 2007 despite it being in poor condition, having fallen in love with the location ABOVE The family spends most of the summer outside in their decked garden. Says Mette: ‘As our garden opens out onto the beach, it feels like we own a bit of it.’

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joyful childhood spent holidaying on the Denmark coast inspired Danes Mette Bergmann and her husband John to gift their daughter the same idyllic upbringing. ‘My grandparents had a holiday home right on the beach on the tip of Denmark called Skagen, where two oceans meet. Summers were spent by the sea and were magical,’ recalls Mette. ‘We’d go fishing for plaice and we would cook amazing seafood lunches. Living by the sea is part of my family heritage too as Grandad was a fisherman.’ So, after years of inner city living, the couple decided to swap London’s hectic pace of life and busy streets for the fresh sea air of the south coast.

The ‘now or never’ moment came when Mette fell pregnant with her daughter Liv, in 2007, and they began to house-hunt around Brighton on the Sussex coast. ‘When my daughter was a few months old, we sold our London home and started the search. We couldn’t believe our luck when we found this place right on the beach,’ says Mette. That place was a detached, three-bedroom 1950s house in Shoreham-by-Sea. It was in poor repair after being rented out for years and the salty coastal winds had taken their toll on the exterior of the building, but it was in a dream location which is part of a nature reserve and that swung their decision. ‘The views in Shoreham over the harbour and the rugged coastline are

outstanding. John loves the wild rugged landscape and we both feel freer here.’

GOING COASTAL

The house was covered in plastic cladding with a wobbly extension on the back. It had been poorly maintained and was vulnerable to the elements. ‘There were numerous leaks in the house. Being so close to the sea, the salt water in the air will destroy properties if they are not looked after. And this place had got very run down over the years,’ explains Mette. The garden was overgrown and the front door was at the side of the house, which wasn’t very welcoming. Inside wasn’t much better, with a tatty kitchen and tired bathrooms, and lots of walls c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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coast LIVING

OPPOSITE Mette dresses her home for Christmas with traditional Danish decorations including a real tree, candles and paper decorations ABOVE To create a calm, relaxing feel was a priority for the busy pair. ‘I’m drawn to the style of contemporary houses found in Denmark - this look suits the way we live,’ explains Mette

that divided up the living areas. The couple were a little unsure about taking on this project but it was Mette’s father who convinced them to buy, as she remembers. ‘He said to us: “If you can afford a house on the sea, then what is there to think about?” He put it into perspective for us.’ The beachside location and the views of the dramatic skyline in the winter months captured their hearts, and they loved the exposed nature of the property and the wild winds that blew in across the sea. All the houses on Shoreham foreshore

were knocked down during World War II, and rebuilt in the 1950s and ‘60s in a more progressive style. With its boxy shape from that era, it had great potential for two design-loving Danes. ‘I’m drawn to the style of contemporary houses found in Denmark. This look suits the way we live. John and I have very busy lives, so when we come home we want our home to feel calm and relaxed, with everything hidden away,’ explains Mette. Their idea was to create a Modernist beach family home out of the shell of this 1950s house, filling it with modern design

ideas gleaned from family holidays in Denmark, Europe and in America. ‘We love Modernist homes that are very symmetrical and have simple lines.’ With only a small budget to work with, the couple undertook a lot of the renovations themselves. John moved in and, with the help of a couple of builders, he started on the basics, ripping out the old kitchen and clearing out the space. ‘He was sleeping on a mattress on the floor. The heating wasn’t working and the house wasn’t insulated so it was freezing. We also had two builders living c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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coast LIVING

ABOVE The new kitchen RIGHT Large floor-toceiling windows make the most of the view

with us for the first six months. As Liv was only a baby, I divided my time between here and my family in Denmark.’

SEASIDE STREAMLINE

Mette and John kept the basic structure of the building but changed elements to give it a streamlined look. The garden was remodelled, the internal layout of the living areas was opened up, the floor levelled and a new kitchen and bathrooms were installed. A new 4ft-wide front door was installed to create a large entrance hallway. ‘We had a very clear idea of what we wanted to do. We wanted to appreciate the view as soon as you stepped into our living space. We opened up the area and put in built-in storage to hide away clutter,’ says Mette. With such a stark style, this home could easily look cold and 34 C OAST

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The couple decorated in soft grey tones, warmed up with natural textures, knocked out as many walls as possible for open-plan living, and sliding doors lead directly onto the terrace

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coast LIVING

ABOVE The couple strengthened the floors of their home, and then put down sound insulation and black engineered wooden flooring, which wears well and is easy to keep clean OPPOSITE Making the most of outdoor living is a given here, Mette says, and beachcombing is a favourite activity for the family

unwelcoming but the clever use of natural materials and colours makes it feel like a warm and friendly family home. Resisting the urge to use colour, the house has been decorated in a soft monochrome pallet with lots of natural textures added for warmth. ‘We added lots of soft greys to our home. It’s a very Danish colour because it enhances the daylight we have in the winter months.’ As they have grown with the house, they have adapted their home so there is a place for Liv to paint, an area for the family to relax and watch films together, and a dining area for this sociable couple to hold dinners with friends. In the winter, the family snuggle up in bed to watch the sky during winter storms. ‘We make the most of outdoor living being here. In the summer, I have friends over for yoga on the terrace overlooking the beach. We love hosting barbecues as our beachfront garden is a great entertainment space.’

FAMILY TIMES

In the run-up to Christmas, Mette dresses her home with a real fir tree which she decorates in pale golds and silvers. On the branches, she hangs pebernødder, or Danish spicy cookies, in paper cones. Corners of the house are 36 C OAST

decorated with foliage and paper lanterns. ‘I collect dried sea kale from the beach which I fill a vase with and then hang small decorations from. And I love to fill the house with twinkling lights and put wax candles on the tree,’ she says. The family celebrate Christmas following Danish traditions, starting with supper on Christmas Eve. ‘I cook duck and potatoes, which is a traditional Danish seasonal meal,’ Mette explains. ‘In the evening we enjoy dinner, then we hold hands and sing Christmas songs around the tree, and then we open presents. We’ve hosted family at Christmas many times. We love to go for a walk along the beach after lunch.’ After more than a decade of living in Shoreham, Mette and John are still in love with the ever-changing views over the coastline that they find so restful. ‘We listen to the sound of the waves when tucked up at night in bed. And in the mornings we can take in the sunsets over the beach, and at night watch the moon reflecting in the sea,’ Mette explains. ‘Our life has slowed down and we feel like we’re on holiday every day. We feel so lucky to be able to give my daughter a similar childhood to my own – this house is very special to us.’

FIVE THINGS METTE AND JOHN LOVE ABOUT SHOREHAM 1. Paddle boarding. ‘Shoreham’s coast is renowned among kite surfing and watersports enthusiasts. We love paddle boarding as a family too.’ Find out more at brightonkitesurfandsupacademy.com. 2. Cycling. ‘Most weekends we cycle along a special bike pathway that leads from Widewater Lagoon on Shoreham beach all the way to Worthing along the coast. At the end, we’ll stop for lunch as treat.’ Go to sustrans.org.uk for more info. 3. Beach combing. ‘After a sea storm, we love to go beachcombing. We have found interesting things washed up like animal bones, stingray and catfish, as well as driftwood which we save to decorate outside the house.’ 4. Classy café. ‘In the morning, my husband walks over the bridge to the Tom Foolery café – he rates their coffee and pastries as the best in Shoreham.’ Look up tomfoolerycoffeecompany.co.uk. 5. Eating out. ‘Chambers Bistro in Shoreham has the best Sunday roasts. The setting is lovely, as the building was formerly the town hall.’ Book at chambersbistro.co.uk.

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‘We listen to the sound of the waves when tucked up in bed at night’

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coast FOOD

10 BEST

COASTAL FOODIE TREATS FOR CHRISTMAS

From Scottish salmon and Sussex bubbles to Channel Island sea salt, there is a wealth of fine fare on offer from innovative producers all over the country. Go on, treat yourself... WORDS ALICE WESTGATE

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coast FOOD

2

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RAISE A GLASS

Fishers gin is distilled in small batches using the London Dry method and is flavoured with handforaged wild herbs and coastal botanicals that come from within a stone’s throw of the distillery in Aldeburgh. Fishers was established in 2016 and its first gin, Original, is now joined by Fishers Fifty and Fishers Smoked – all of which give a wonderful flavour of the Suffolk coast (Fishers Original, £40/70cl, fishersgin. com).

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3

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A FINE VINTAGE

Get your celebratory fizz from this family-owned vineyard at Alfriston on the South Downs, just three miles from the coast in East Sussex. The climate, the chalky soil and the south-

facing slope create the perfect growing conditions for a variety of grapes that are hand-harvested to make Rathfinny 2017 Classic Cuvée, a world-class sparkling wine made in the traditional method (£29.50, rathfinnyestate.com).

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TASTY BAKES

Filled with teatime treats, this embossed tin showcases the work of Abersoch-based RNLI crew member Jonty Storey, who is a designer and illustrator by trade. His colourful design, which is inspired by the RNLI’s lifesaving work all around the UK and Ireland, is sure to last longer than the delicious biscuits inside, which include double chocolate chip, crumbly oat, Viennese, stem ginger and lemon, and fruit and lemon (£12, rnli.org).

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4

CAFFEINE HIT

For a fine brew, try the beans and ground coffee from The Baytown Coffee Company, which was set up by four friends to supply great coffee along the Yorkshire coast and beyond. Based near Whitby, and operating with fair-trade and sustainable practices, Baytown describes its Coxswain blend as ‘deeper than the sea, strong like the tides and smooth as the swell’ and it donates £1 from the sale of every pack to the RNLI (£6.50/250g beans, baytowncoffeecoompany.com).

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FULL OF FLAVOUR

Étaï Sea Salt is hand-harvested from the waters around Guernsey and is produced on the island. It comes in a range of infusions to tickle the tastebuds and boost flavours. Inspired by the crystal waters and fresh air of Herm, the Lemon and Thyme Sea Salt mix is a classic combination that’s great with white meat, fish and either new or roast potatoes, bringing a taste of summer all year round (£6.75, etaiorganic.com).

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CELEBRATE IN STYLE

This year, treat yourself to a Luxury Festive Box filled with everything you need for a wonderful seasonal feast, from a turkey crown and cooked ham to a side of beef and smoked salmon. There’s also an array of trimmings from pigs in blankets to stuffing balls, as well as chutneys, truffles and Christmas cake (£250, theblackfarmer.com).

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coast FOOD

7

7

CHOCOLATE HEAVEN

Made with the best Cornish sea salt and Cornish cream, these Sea Salt Caramel Truffles are the height of decadence. To balance the wonderful sweetness of the gooey caramel centre, each one is encased in 72% dark chocolate and rolled in cocoa powder. All the ingredients are ethical and sustainable, with the beans used for the shell coming directly from the indigenous Asháninka people of the Peruvian rainforest (£14, chocolarder.com).

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REMARKABLE ROASTS

Gower Salt Marsh Lamb, which was recently awarded UK Geographical Indication Status, gets its special flavour from the tidal marsh on which the sheep graze. This area of land, which juts out into the Bristol Channel to the west of Swansea, is rich in samphire, sorrel, sea lavender and thrift, giving the animals their main nourishment and the meat a wonderful taste that’s highly sought after by chefs and restaurateurs. (Carvery boned and rolled leg, £51, gowersaltmarshlamb.co.uk).

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coast FOOD

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A SENSE OF THE SEA

Welshman’s Caviar is the name given to hand-picked laver seaweed from the Pembrokeshire coast that has been dried and toasted to bring out its unique flavour. Fantastic in soups, stir-fries or sprinkled on scrambled eggs, it contains a wealth of vitamins and minerals, and is one of many seaweed-based seasonings and condiments sustainably hand-foraged by The Pembrokeshire Beach Food Company (£4.50, beachfood.co.uk).

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FINE HIGHLAND FISH

Order next-level smoked fish from this small, traditional smokehouse in Ullapool, on Scotland’s north-west coast. The basic ingredients are simple – sea, salmon, salt and smoke – and the methods are traditional, using a brick kiln to smoke the fish over oak shavings from whisky barrels. The addition of whisky in the cold-smoked salmon and heather honey in the hot-roast salmon and trout is truly magical. (Malt whisky cured Scottish smoked salmon 450g, from £34, ullapoolsmokehouse.com). 44 COAST

10

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That moment when you find out you’re actually going to get your own room.

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coast SPONSORED CONTENT

CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE

If you’re turning your mind to Christmas shopping, here are a few items that might just make the perfect present

LET IT SNOW

New this winter is Dogrobes’ exclusive Snowflake dog drying robe. Available in red or grey, this pretty practical product takes care of wet or messy dogs by drying and warming them after walks or bathing. The perfect pet present. Available in nine sizes, from £31.95, at dogrobes.co.uk.

EXPLORE OUR BEAUTIFUL COASTLINE

A subscription to coast is like sending your loved one on a journey of discovery that lasts the whole year. Plus, we have included a Travel Candle from Coast Candle Co to remind them of somewhere special. Visit shop.kelsey.co.uk/COAGIFT. 46 C OAST

A SCANDI CHRISTMAS!

PEMBROKESHIRE SEA SALT CO.

INSPIRED BY NATURE & THE SEA

EVERYONE NEEDS SOME ME-TIME

Introduce cosy lighting ideas, soft textures and natural accessories this winter. Our new collection embraces the seasonal change with a love of Scandi simplicity and warm vivid hues. Christmas decor is added daily to our online store. Buy at clemandcolifestyle.com.

Lydia Wood-Power Jewellery is made by hand in her studio in Margate Old Town, influenced by the coastline and woodlands of Kent. All pieces available in Gold Vermeil & Silver. Gold Oyster Necklace, from £165. See the whole range online. Call 07860 920231 or see lydiawoodpower.com.

Sustainable, artisan sea-salt handharvested from a beautiful cove in the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park, a mile from our home where we imbue pure white flakes with award-winning flavours, make luxury sauces and a range of wonderful gifts. Shop at pembrokeshireseasalt.co.uk.

We all know how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle, so why not gift a loved one a helping hand? Top Santé is full of life-enhancing advice on health, fitness, food and beauty. Our Christmas offer also includes a Scentered candle, worth £16.95. Visit shop.kelsey.co.uk/TSGIFT.

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coast SPONSORED CONTENT

COFFEE TABLE BOOK

BOATING MADE SIMPLE

The Birth of Formula One – 75 Years: The British World Champions is a coffee-table book featuring Keith Burns’ stunning artwork and a foreword by 1992 World Champion Nigel Mansell. Buy the book and art prints at jerseystamps.com.

Give the enjoyment of hassle-free boating with membership to Freedom Boat Club. It takes care of training, maintenance, cleaning, repairs, storage – all you have to do is book, relax and make memories. Visit freedomboatclub.co.uk.

THE JOY OF THE LAND

GIVE THE GIFT OF THE SEA

Support your smallholding loved one with lots of practical help and advice from The Smallholder magazine. Our gift pack includes eight issues of useful tips for growing food, rearing livestock, as well as country crafts, plus a pair of cosy Alpaca socks. Visit Shop.kelsey.co.uk/SHGIFT

THE ULTIMATE CHRISTMAS TREAT Psychologies is the UK’s No.1 emotional wellbeing magazine that focuses on the mind, heart, body and soul. Every issue will be wrapped in a little hug from you! Our Christmas offer also includes a candle from Scentered, worth £16.95. Visit shop.kelsey.co.uk/PSYGIFT.

Gift membership with the Marine Conservation Society is perfect for everyone who cares about our precious seas. The one-year membership includes welcome pack, cotton tote bag plus three editions of Marine Conservation magazine. £60. Go to mcsuk.org/join.

FOR PHOTOGRAPHY FANS

Amateur Photographer Premium is the ideal present for photography lovers. Gift a subscription today and they will receive 13 issues across the year, full of tips and tutorials. We’ll also include three Special Editions as a bonus gift. Visit shop.kelsey. co.uk/APGIFT.

TO THE LETTER

Inspired by beach pebbles with quartz lines suggesting letters of the alphabet, handmade initial pendants from Hannah Louise Lamb are available in silver with a gold, rose gold or black monogram. From £65-£85, browse at hannahlouiselamb.com.

ST. EVAL

Bring festive cheer into your home with St. Eval’s enchanting Christmas scented tin candles, with whimsical designs each telling a different story. Home to comforting fragrances to celebrate the magic of the season for the perfect Christmas gift. Explore more at st-eval.com.

GOT A FISHERMAN FRIEND?

Sea Angler is the ideal companion for every sea-fishing enthusiast. As well as receiving 13 issues of the UK’s best-selling fishing mag, we’ve thrown in Shore Fishing Special Edition and a Sea Angler beanie hat to complete the gift – what a catch! Visit shop.kelsey.co.uk/SAGIFT. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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coast ARTS & CRAFTS

INSPIRED BY THE COAST

TESS WILLOUGHBY

ARTIST

Scarborough-based artist Tess Willoughby is transforming a funicular cliff lift station into a unique seaside events space on the North Yorkshire coast. She wants Seastrand to help others rekindle the joy of making things WORDS JESSIE JOHNSON

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coast ARTS & CRAFTS

LEFT A piece by Tess Willoughby called Spring Blue Sea ABOVE CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Tess’s home studio has a garden view; the sea is a constant source of inspiration for the artist and printmaker; Tess says seaside holidays to the east coast of England made a huge impression on her growing up

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rowing up in Derbyshire, artist Tess Willoughby remembers climbing a hill and imagining that the sea would be waiting for her on the other side. Her seaside state of mind, sparked by summer holidays to Skegness and Cleethorpes, has remained a constant inspiration. In 2012, after stints living in Brighton and Morecambe, Tess and her family relocated to Scarborough on the North

Yorkshire coast where Tess now works as an artist, practitioner and printmaker. From her home studio – just five minutes from the sand – Tess logs the ever-changing rhythms of the moon, tides and skies in her sketchbook which she transfers straight onto lino. Prints are drawn, carved, printed and pressed entirely by hand, using specialist tools, wooden printing blocks and a small batch of colourways featuring deep Prussian

blue, sky blue and vivid pops of pink, green and gold. The sea’s magnetic presence is alive in every print; from the bright, golden orb of a full moon in oil-based metallics to a trio of gulls that soar across the cliff-tops of a stormy, swirling sea – a place you can often find Tess just after sunrise. ‘When you’re immersed in the sea with the sun in the sky, giggling with a group of women swimmers, you come out with

‘The sea’s magnetic presence is alive in every print, from a full moon to a trio of gulls’ c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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THIS PAGE Seastrand, with its sea-view roof terrace OPPOSITE Tess’s Scarborough surroundings play a huge part her work, including the Seastrand venture

the sense that you can achieve anything,’ says Tess. ‘Tourists flock to Scarborough for the freedom that comes with just sticking your toes in the waves. I love walking around soaking up everyone’s lovely days, pretending I’m on holiday, too!’ Tess’s love for her seaside community led to an unexpected project for herself and husband, Stuart, in 2015 – the purchase of a disused funicular cliffside lift station tucked under Scarborough’s iconic Spa Bridge. After a renovation to create a proper floor and a roof terrace, The Seastrand Café quickly became a favourite spot for beachgoers to enjoy coffee and cakes alongside supper clubs, intimate music gigs, 52 C OAST

OPPOSITE, TOP TWO PHOTOGRAPHS RIGHT © TESS WILLOUGHBY BEACH WALKS

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Lino-printing by the sea will be one of the workshops on offer; a school exhibition inspired by Tess’s work; Tess creating one of her artworks in her studio

storytelling and craft clubs – all with jaw-dropping views over Scarborough’s South Bay. Now, following months of lockdown closure last year, Seastrand is in the stages of a gentle reimagining. Instead of a fully open café, the venue will run events as bespoke, ticketed sessions featuring talks, exhibitions, acoustic nights and small, creative workshops

(think lino printing, copper embossing, willow weaving), which will include cream teas taken on the sea-breezy terrace. ‘The world has changed and it’s been interesting to see the creative community step forward and say “we could do it like this”,’ says Tess. ‘I want to give something back to Scarborough and bring Seastrand back to life as a diverse, cultural place for people to come and create by the sea.’

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FACT BOX FIND TESS

• Each of Tess’s prints are signed, hand-rolled, and beautifully wrapped before being sent out (plastic free) with free P&P for UK deliveries. To browse Tess’s online shop or to enquire about a commission, visit her website tesswilloughby.com. • To find out more about Seastrand or to book a workshop, visit theseastrand.co.uk or email theseastrand@outlook.com. Follow Tess @tesswilloughby @tesswilloughby @TessWilloughbyArtist

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Together we are the sea change Join as a member today to help fight for the future of our ocean mcsuk.org/join mcsuk.org

mcsuk

mcsuk

mcs_uk

Registered charity in England and Wales 1004005 and in Scotland SC037480. Registered company limited by guarantee in England and Wales 02550966. Registered office: Overross House, Ross Park, Ross-on-Wye, HR9 7US. VAT number: 321491232. MAR-023-2021. Martin Hristov / Shutterstock


coast ENVIRONMENT

GIVING BACK TO THE OCEAN Christmas is a time for thinking about the people we love. Perhaps we can extend this to the ocean we love, and make a gift to, or buy one from, a conservation charity that will help protect our blue planet

PHOTOGRAPH 1 KIRSTY ANDREWS/MARINE CONSERVATION SOCIETY

WORDS ANNA TURNS

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erhaps you want to find a way to support the rewilding of marine habitats or simply appreciate the sea for all the benefits it offers us? Maybe you’re concerned about the impact of plastic pollution or worried about the increasing threat of global warming on the sea? There are so many uplifting ways to get involved with ocean conservation charities, from collaborating on projects, to becoming a member, to shopping online for gifts for friends and family, to making a direct donation to support their work. Here we highlight some of the most creative, hands-on and impactful initiatives that are not only rewarding to you or your giftee, but are also good for our blue planet, now and in the future.

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1. FOR CLEANER BEACHES

2. FOR NET-FREE SEAS

Fishing gear that has been abandoned, lost or discarded poses a huge entanglement hazard to marine life, from fish to shellfish to cetaceans. Since 2015, more than 70 scuba-diving volunteers have been expertly trained to safely remove this ghost fishing gear from wrecks, reefs and the seabed. Ghost Fishing UK works closely with the fishing industry and aims to recycle recovered nets wherever possible. In one dive near Plymouth, the team rescued 57 spider crabs from a 100m-long lost gill net from Hillsea Point, which then got sent away to be recycled into socks. Find out more: Report a ghost net, shop and donate at ghostfishing.co.uk. 58 COAST

3 PREVIOUS PAGE The striking lion’s mane jellyfish is one of the species you can help with donations to the Marine Conservation Society TOP Scuba divers from Ghost Fishing UK retrieve lost fishing gear that would otherwise harm sealife ABOVE The Vitamin Sea Project run by Seaful takes a group of children from innercity Glasgow to the Isle of Arran to try snorkelling for the first time

3. FOR OCEAN DISCOVERY

Ocean advocate Dr Cal Major’s new charity Seaful reconnects people to the ocean to help drive better stewardship of the marine environment. Through Seaful’s Vitamin Sea Project, Cal provides in-person experiences of blue spaces through activities such as paddleboarding, sailing and snorkelling, in particular working with children, one in five of whom in the UK have never been to the sea. Mindfulness and conservation education

are incorporated into the sessions, and participants are given plenty of time to simply experience the water in a way that is meaningful to them individually. The charity is developing an ocean curriculum for primary schools and collaborating with Falmouth University’s Marine Natural History Photography degree course and other filmmakers to create a series of educational and inspiring films. Find out more: Get involved and donate at seaful.org.uk.

PHOTOGRAPH 2 GHOST FISHING UK PHOTOGRAPH 3 JAMES APPLETON/SEAFUL

As a Beachwatch volunteer, you can help add valuable information to the Marine Conservation Society’s database of beach litter surveys carried out over the past 25 years. Every bottle top, cotton bud or plastic fragment found along a 100m stretch of beach is recorded and reported. Beachgoers can also report sightings of different seaweeds, jellyfish, turtles or basking sharks through the MCS sightings programme to help scientists understand the impacts of climate on these species. Find out more: Join, shop and donate at mcsuk.org.

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4. FOR CLEANER SEAS

PHOTOGRAPH 4 © IAN LEAN

Surfers Against Sewage isn’t just about sewage and it’s also not just for surfers. Led by chief executive Hugo Tagholm, an advocate for healthy oceans, SAS campaigns against water pollution and single-use plastic, with an army of ocean activists. From its headquarters in Cornwall, SAS also runs a schools programme to educate the next generation about the important role that marine ecosystems play. Join a beach clean or find your nearest plastic-free community initiative. Find out more: Join, shop and donate at sas.org.uk.

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5. FOR PLASTIC CLEAR-UPS

On board 113-year-old schooner Annette, and with a fleet of smaller floating modes of transport, the Clean Ocean Sailing crew of volunteers gather plastic debris as they sail. Sign up for week-long, weekend and day expeditions around the South West coast – novice sailors welcome. Rubbish is recycled if possible; some is moulded by Cornish company Odyssey Innovation into kayaks that can be used to access remote coves during litter picks: proof that a more circular system is possible. Find out more: Book a trip, become a patron or donate at cleanoceansailing.com.

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5 6. FOR KIDS’ WELLBEING

6 TOP Set sail with Clean Ocean Sailing on a vintage vessel and clear up plastic rubbish on your voyage ABOVE The Wave Project offers surf therapy sessions to children and young adults BELOW Get right down to the nitty gritty of plastic pollution with Scottish charity Fidra’s Great Nurdle Hunt

The Wave Project has trained 6,277 volunteers at 12 locations around the UK as surf mentors who participate in free surf therapy sessions, mentoring children one-to-one. Young people aged 8-21 with a range of physical and mental health issues can benefit in specialised courses of six weekly sessions in the sea. Once complete, young people can join The Wave Project’s surf club, which provides access to regular surf sessions. Plans are afoot to build a world-first beach school in Newquay, Cornwall, for vulnerable children who struggle to engage with traditional school lessons and are at risk of permanent exclusion. Find out more: Make a referral, shop and donate at waveproject.co.uk.

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Scotland-based environmental charity Fidra works to reduce plastic waste and chemical pollution in our seas and beaches. From industrial plastic pellets or nurdles used in manufacturing that get released into waterways to microplastics released from Astroturf, Fidra works with industry, governments and the public to implement sustainable solutions. Fidra also aims to highlight the hidden toxicity of chemicals in and on waste that cause harm to wildlife, the environment and us. Take part in Fidra’s Great Nurdle Hunt or find out how to buy products that don’t contain toxics such as bisphenols, flame retardants or PFAS forever chemicals. Find out more: Get involved and donate at fidra.org.uk.

PHOTOGRAPHS 5 CLEAN OCEAN SAILING PHOTOGRAPH 6 THE WAVE PROJECT PHOTOGRAPH 7 CLARE MCINTYRE/FIDRA

7. FOR POLLUTION SOLUTIONS

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coast ENVIRONMENT 8. FOR GREENER LIVING

PHOTOGRAPH 8 CITY TO SEA

Bristol-based social enterprise City to Sea aims to prevent pollution by joining the dots between the actions and decisions we take in towns and cities and the detrimental consequences our choices and policies can have on the marine environment. Founder Natalie Fée has been instrumental in campaigns to ban plastic cotton bud sticks, single-use cutlery and harmful single-use period products that won’t ever biodegrade. Through Plastic-Free Periods, this NGO lobbies government, works with the NHS, trains teachers, influences retailers and educates the public about organic disposables and reusable alternatives. Discover thousands of places where you can eat, drink and shop without pointless packaging via the free Refill app. Find out more: Collaborate, shop and donate at citytosea.org.uk.

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coast ENVIRONMENT 9. FOR MARINE MAMMAL RESCUE A team of 2,500 volunteers for British Divers Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) are trained to assist stranded seals, dolphins, porpoises and occasionally whales. Hands-on, one-day training courses for volunteers are run every year nationwide – diving qualifications are not required. Some advanced medics are trained to become part of the on-call specialist whale disentanglement team. Thanks to fundraising efforts, a new custom-built seal pup hospital recently opened in Cornwall, one of the busiest regions for such rescues. In 2020, more than 90% of 2,287 call-outs were for seals, some of which simply needed monitoring from a distance while others required intervention. More seal casualties are expected with the increase of storms as a result of the climate crisis. If you spot a marine mammal in distress, please call the charity’s hotline on 01825 765546. Find out more: Join, shop and donate at bdmlr.org.uk.

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10. FOR BUDDING BIOLOGISTS

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To instil a love for the ocean in little ones, sign them up to the Marine Biological Association for a year’s membership for just £15. Funds support valuable marine research and wannabe marine biologists can take part in the annual Young Marine Biologist summit for under-18s. Perks include online subscription to The Marine Biologist magazine, access to training and survey days, plus free entry to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth. Find out more: Buy membership at mba.ac.uk/young-marine-biologistmembership

DIVERS & CAGE PHOTOGRAPHS 9 GAVIN PARSONS/BDLMR TOWEL RESCUE PHOTOGRAPH 9 ROSE SUMMERS/BDLMR PHOTOGRAPH 10 MARINE BIOLOGICAL ASSOCIATION

ABOVE The BDMLR volunteers help thousands of marine mammals in distress every year LEFT Marine Biological Association membership is ideal for budding sea scientists

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SANDS OF TIME

Sandy beaches may appear to be empty, but in fact these fascinating, fragile habitats are formed over centuries, with each grain of sand unique in colour, shape and origin WORDS ANNEMARIE MUNRO PHOTOGRAPHS DR GARY GREENBERG

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emember how it feels to climb the slopes of a sand dune, with sand pouring backwards as you dislodge the finely balanced grains? You reach the top with a degree of achievement and feel the wind whisking inland from the sea. The sky arcs overhead, while at your feet lie mounds of sand, spiked with tufts of coarse grass and hostile blades that will cut, if grabbed onto for support. But before you settle down for a snooze or head off for a swim, look again at your environment because dunes are magical in their contrariness. On one level they appear to be empty expanses, but on another they are teeming with life. These robust towers of sand are fragile ecosystems that continually move and evolve. From the shores of Braunton Burrows in North Devon, to Merthyr Mawr in South Wales to Holkham in North Norfolk, sand dunes are amazing mountains of past lives condensed into fragile clouds of particles. You can sift your hands through the individual grains of sand and let it fall between your fingers, but together waves cannot penetrate their defences. Sand dunes look a dark yellowish colour, yet

each grain is not of that colour. They are gems of reflected light that come in more hues than a paint chart – intricate, delicate whispers of their previous selves, rich in history, broken and honed into tiny, dazzling forms such as hearts, nuggets, rods, star-shapes, spheres and tubes.

GRAINS OF TRUTH

A world authority on sand, American scientist and author Dr Gary Greenberg sums up its complexity perfectly, writing: ‘Every little grain of sand has been sculpted into a tiny jewel, just waiting to be discovered.’ In his book, The Secrets of Sand, he dives deep into the world of microphotography to reveal sand from our seashores in all its unexpected beauty. Under powerful microscopes, he captures the vast spectrum of sand colours, from the translucent white of quartz, to the pink of shells, to the deep orange of a decayed brick, and the greenish glints of sea glass. Each grain is individual and unique, shaped by water and of being jostled against neighbours, just one of the estimated five thousand billion billion grains of sand lying on the world’s beaches.

‘I hold a single grain of sand and wonder what it means. Ah! If I had the eyes to see, and brain to understand, I think Life’s mystery might be solved in this grain of sand,’ wrote the BritishCanadian poet Robert W Service in 1955. In this century, Dr Greenberg may not have solved the mysteries of life, but he has certainly shed light on the mystery of what comprises a tiny grain of sand. Take his image showing sand multiplied 40 times (see overleaf, page 68), the brown, rod-like shape is a bryozoan colony (aquatic invertebrate animals) that inhabits a long, thin, calcium carbonate skeleton. Through the apertures in the tube, each individual bryozoa waves long tentacles to snare food particles from the water. If you have ever walked on Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland, where this sample of sand came from, you may have stood upon the bones of a bryozoan colony.

FRAGMENTS OF TIME

The 19th century poet, Frances Watkins Harper, also considered the nature of sand, writing in a poem: ‘Do you see this grain of sand lying loosely in my

PREVIOUS PAGE Grains of sand illuminated using reflected light and magnified 75 times THIS PAGE, ABOVE These grains of sand are illuminated with both reflected light and polarised transmitted light, and magnified 75 times OPPOSITE Grains of sand from Fanore Beach on Ireland’s northwestern coast include fragments of shells and barnacles and a purple sea urchin spine; the white grain with two holes is a piece of plastic, all magnified 75 times

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‘Grains of sand are honed into tiny, dazzling forms such as hearts, nuggets, rods, star-shapes, spheres and tubes’

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hand? … Oh, how little seems the span, Measured round the life of man.’ Harper was struck by the time scale represented in a grain of sand; of the journey made by the grain between her fingers, and how geological time is on such a different magnitude to our own life span. There are many explanations as to why being by the coastline restores our spiritual and mental batteries, but wriggling your toes as the past and present coalesce between them seems to be a strong medicine for hectic lives, a grounding compass for confused thoughts that gives us perspective on our concerns. Tiny rock fragments that originally existed as inland rocky crags, hundreds of years later are found under our feet in a sand dune. As wind and storms weather and erode the tall mountain, rock will be swept downriver to join the coast, all the time being crushed, cracked and eroded against other particles on their journey. Tidal currents sweep sediment and particles from the rivers along into the sea, to be deposited as beaches along our shores.

BEACH HABITATS

Dunes begin life slowly. Sand blown inland on a prevailing wind or tossed high at a spring tide gets trapped between the roots and blade-sharp leaves of the salt-loving grasses such as marram grass and sand couch. Gradually these build and grow to create embryo dunes. There is no soil, only sand, and the salt content is high, so only very specific plant species can tolerate such conditions. It’s the adaptation of these grasses to survive where others cannot, and thus reduce competition and increase the likelihood of their survival that is literally at the root of every sand dune. A dune is dynamic, forever changing. The grasses die back, their leaves falling as dead organic matter to decompose and mix with the sand to create soil. Over time, the sand and salt are diluted, and more plants move into the ever-evolving environment. The more plants, the more dead decaying leaf matter is added to the sand, and gradually the dune transitions from ‘beach’ to ‘earth’. Studies have suggested that it can take over 100 years

before humus makes up more than 1% of the sand/soil. So, when you next stand on a mature sand dune you will appreciate the age of the landform. Established dunes can be hard to recognise because the transformation hides its sandy origins. Far behind the beach they can be identified as areas of scrub or woodland with species such as brambles, heather, pines or oak saplings. Ponds known as ‘slacks’ can also develop – still water that creates a rich habitat for plants and insects.

DUNE DWELLERS

Lovers of the bare sand include the sand lizard, who sunbathes in warm weather and hides in sandy burrows at night, and the beautiful northern dune tiger beetle which needs sand to protect its larvae. There is plenty hiding in the waters of the dune slacks, too. Natterjack toads will mate and leave their tadpoles to grow in slack ponds, joined by many different species of insect larvae and waterdwelling bugs. What you might see in the dunes changes with the seasons; hundreds of wildflowers can

OPPOSITE Magnified 40 times, the caramel-coloured rod is a bryozoan colony, while the white rod is a sea urchin spine, both from sand on Bamburgh Beach in Northumberland ABOVE Sand from a beach close to the mouth of the River Tyne, magnified 85 times

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THE SAND MAN

carpet dry slacks during the spring, butterflies flit across areas of bare dune and low scrub in the summer, and grey seal pups are best spotted in the winter. There are many examples of sand dunes around the shores of the UK, places for us to explore the sand dune evolution at its different stages and wonder at the wealth of flora and fauna each support. At Merthyr Mawr, the dunes exhibit all their stages of development, from embryo dunes to established ‘slacks’. On Lindisfarne you will find 11 species of orchid growing in the slacks including the Lindisfarne helleborine, only found in this location. Braunton Burrows is the second-largest sand dune system in the UK, 1,000 hectares growing inland from Bideford Bay. It boasts a rich habitat of 33 species of butterfly and 470 species of flowering plant. The largest sand dune system in England is on the Sefton Coast and is over 12 miles long.

SAND UNDERFOOT

Since 1900, the UK’s sand dunes have declined by a third, almost two-thirds in Wales. Sand dunes are listed as the

habitat most at risk in Europe. Threats come in the form of overzealous ‘dune jumpers’ who expose sand to allow the wind to carve channels through. Storm waves, more frequent and severe as a result of global warming, can then penetrate within the dune system and undermine the slow incremental building that has taken place. Do visit a sand dune. The poet William Blake could have been describing sand dunes when he wrote, ‘To see a world in a grain of sand, and heaven in a wildflower’, as they offer both. Take a moment to absorb your surroundings, to scoop a handful of sand and let the tiny flecks of past lives and the habitat of present lives roll on the palm of your hand. Walk on 400-year-old dunes and feel the clock of time under the soles of your feet, and the grains of sand standing on each other’s shoulders to raise you up. The sand dune is a transient, mobile landform, sometimes hemmed in by seaside development, but resilient and self-evolving. It grows and diminishes, and grows again in a sustainable cycle that humans can only yearn to emulate.

ABOVE Perhaps unsurprisingly, sand from a beach close to the mouth of the River Tyne on the northeast coast of England includes fragments of coal along with marine gastropods, magnified 85 times

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Dr Gary Greenberg’s incredible pictures of sand unite science and art in a way that excites and amazes. Born and educated in America, Dr Greenberg gained a PhD in biomedical research at University College London before returning to the US to work as a cellular biologist, inventor, photographer and university teacher. He explains that ‘art will lead the way in conveying science to the consciousness of the 21st century culture’, and his photographs achieve this aim, connecting viewers in a new way to such a ubiquitous and outwardly bland substance as sand. In 1990, he founded the science business Edge-3D, where he developed high definition, three-dimensional light microscopes, enabling him to capture the true nature of seashore sand grains at a super magnified level. You can see the results of his research and painstaking photography in two fascinating books, A Grain of Sand: Nature’s Secret Wonder, published in 2008 and The Secrets of Sand, published in 2015 (both Voyageur Press). Dip into either of these books and you’ll never see Britain’s sandy shores in the same way again. Find out more about Dr Greenberg’s work at sandgrains.com.

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SELLING HOMES TH AT FULFIL Y OU R LI FE STYLE

WHITSAND BAY, Cornwall - THE GLORIOUS CORNISH RIVIERA - Only 150 yards from the beach and commanding a stunning prospect across the shimmering azure waters of Whitsand Bay - a detached and quintessential seaside chalet presented in the boutique contemporary style and currently used as a high quality holiday let - About 329 sq ft, 21’ O/P Living Room/Kitchen with wood burner, Double Bedroom, Shower Room/WC, 210 sq ft Sea Facing Deck with Bespoke 2 Person Hot Tub, Outside Shower. A “Turnkey” proposition. EPC – D. Guide: £550,000

DOWNDERRY, Cornwall - Come and live the beach life on The Glorious Cornish Riviera in this detached south facing house commanding a stunning 180 degree prospect over the shimmering waters of Whitsand and Looe Bay. About 1686 sq ft, 18’ Sitting Room with open fireplace, 16’ Sun Room, 13’ Dining Room, Kitchen/Breakfast Room, 3 Bedrooms (1 Ensuite), Study with Ensuite Shower Room, Family Bathroom, Basement Cellar, Parking, Garage, Sea Facing Terraces and Large Gardens with Workshop. Seaton Beach only 450 yards. EPC – F. Guide: £800,000 COASTAL SOUTH EAST CORNWALL IS AN OFTEN OVERLOOKED PART OF THE CORNISH RIVIERA, KNOWN TO SOME AS “THE FORGOTTEN CORNER”. COME AND DISCOVER YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF OUR WONDERFULLY IDYLLIC COASTLINE. From the rugged and romantic moorland of Bodmin Moor and the verdant valleys of the Rivers Tamar and Fowey to the beautiful coastline of the Cornish Riviera, our experience and depth of knowledge provides clients and buyers alike with an estate agency experience which breaks with tradition, we provide candid opinion and fresh-faced enthusiasm for our property stock and our location.

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coast PROPERTY

MAKING the MOVE

Many of us aspire to live by the sea and in the next pages we give you the information you need to make that dream a reality WORDS CAROLINE WHEATER

CRAFTY KITCHENS

SEATON PHOTOGRAPH IANWOOL/ISTOCK COURTESY OF STEPHENS & STEPHENS

CORNISH DREAM HOME Pre-registration has opened for Southshore (right), Stephens & Stephens’ new development in the quiet village of Seaton, three miles east of Looe on the south Cornish coast. The glamorous look of the 10 four-bed properties will blend Miami beach-house style with the slick geometry of Art Deco design, capturing glimpses of Seaton’s shingle beach. Highlights include natural external cladding of timber and stone, while inside a neutral palette will be injected with bright

tones through furniture and other features. Within easy reach is the dramatic horseshoe of Lantic Bay, and Downderry Beach where dogs are allowed all year. Find out more at stephensandstephensdevelopers.com.

If you’re involved in a renovation or extension, installing a new kitchen will be one of your biggest costs. Sourcing a kitchen via the Used Kitchen Exchange (UKE) could slash your bills and save fittings from going to landfill. Set up in 2015 by Helen Lord, the online hub sells both ex-display kitchens from top name makers such as Chalon and Smallbone, plus pre-loved kitchens that have been inspected and graded by a member of the UKE team. All kitchens are measured, mapped and photographed in detail so you can work out what’s suitable for your space; the kitchen pictured above was purchased by the new owners for £2,250 from UKE. To see the range, go to usedkitchenexchange.co.uk.

HOLIDAY HOME SAVVY Since the pandemic began, research shows that an extra 11,000 UK second home owners have turned their properties into holiday lets. To help make you place stand out all year round, you might need to go the extra mile, says holiday specialist, Perfect Stays. Appealing extras include an outdoor hot tub, a woodburner for cold evenings and a games room for rainy days. ‘Making your holiday home dog friendly is also a sure way to boost bookings,’ says marketing director Emily Turner, citing figures that show internet searches for ‘dog-friendly holidays’ have gone up nearly 200% (perfectstays.co.uk).

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Fleur Cottage Totland Bay, Isle of Wight

Situated in an idyllic, semi-rural location this beautiful bungalow boasts fantastic views over the West Wight. This property comes complete with two bedrooms, a contemporary sitting room, gardens and garage parking.

* Beautiful, detached cottage bungalow * Set in an idyllic semi-rural village setting * Breathtaking views over the Island * Set back from the road with garage parking * Enchanting gardens and outside spaces * Surrounded by coastal and downland walks * Offered for a chain free sale * See full details at www.susanpayneproperty.co.uk

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coast PROPERTY

10

HOMES to buy BESIDE THE SEA

From a waterside house in Devon to a smallholding in Orkney, here’s our pick of the latest properties for sale by the sea COMPILED BY ALICE WESTGATE

1

PROPERTY OF THE MONTH NOSS MAYO, DEVON £2,250,000

Sitting on the Yealm Estuary, Point House is a characterful waterside property with a beautiful woodland garden and its own outhaul mooring. See 1 overleaf

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NOSS MAYO, DEVON £2,250,000 Previous page: Point House dates from the 17th century and has recently been refurbished to include four bedrooms plus a two-bed annexe, and there are several glorious water-facing terraces. Marchand Petit (01752 873311, marchandpetit.co.uk).

2

SEILEBOST, ISLE OF HARRIS £500,000 A contemporary building in a spectacular spot, Sealladh Alainn has two reception rooms and three bedrooms. The garden has direct access to Seilebost beach, while the entire property has beautiful views to Luskentyre Bay, the

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Sound of Taransay and the North Harris hills. Galbraith (01463 224343, galbraithgroup.com).

3

WALTON-ON-THE-NAZE, ESSEX £55,000 Beach Hut No 32 sits on the second row of a private development just 100m from the pier. This pretty hut was built in 2015 and has views along the promenade to Frinton. It’s being sold with all its contents, including furniture. Sheen’s (01255 852555, sheens.co.uk).

4

ST MERRYN, CORNWALL £1,350,000 Ideally placed for Padstow and the north Cornish coast, detached Porthilly is a high-spec four-

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bedroom house built in 2019. There’s an open-plan kitchen/diner plus a huge sitting room with a woodburning stove, and the main bedroom has an infinity balcony giving far-reaching sea and country views. Rohrs & Rowe (01872 306360, rohrsandrowe.co.uk).

5

APPLECROSS, HIGHLAND £250,000 Built in the 1980s on the site of a former chapel, Fearnmore Church is a cottage with echoes of the original ecclesiastical building. It has one reception room, one bedroom and superb views across Loch Torridon to the Torridon mountains. Galbraith (01463 224343, galbraithgroup.com).

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SALCOMBE, DEVON £1,750,000 No 3 The Sanctuary is a luxurious three-bedroom home in the heart of the town. It has lots of striking architectural features, two sun terraces and great estuary views. Marchand Petit (01548 844473, marchandpetit.co.uk).

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DEAL, KENT £595,000 Just a few minutes’ walk from the seafront, town centre and station, No 25 Century Walk is a handsome three-bedroom Georgian townhouse in a peaceful location. There’s a small garden at the front and a mature south-facing garden at the back. Bright & Bright (01304 374071, brightandbright.co.uk).

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This characterful Devon home was once part of a Baptist chapel 6

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WYRE, ORKNEY £600,000 Buy a spacious farmhouse on the picturesque two-mile-long island of Wyre. Cavit sits in 80 acres, with 900m of sea frontage, and comes with a range of old and new outbuildings, plus a cottage in need of refurbishment and a small herd of cattle. Orkney Property Centre (01856 877866, orkneypropertycentre.co.uk).

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COWES, ISLE OF WIGHT £360,000 Ground-floor Apartment No 2 Westpoint is part of an exclusive development a mile from the centre of Cowes and within walking distance of Gurnard. It has two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a

private terrace, plus use of a 8 communal garden. Spence Willard (01983 200880, spencewillard. co.uk).

10

EASTBOURNE, EAST SUSSEX £599,950 Set just off the famous promenade, No 8 Elms Avenue is a five-bedroom Victorian house with a courtyard garden. The property has many period features from high ceilings and fireplaces to picture bay windows. Reid & Dean (01323 412550, reiddean.com).

If you’d like to advertise your property for sale in coast, contact Zara Mehmet on 07415 325673 or email zara.mehmet@kelsey.co.uk. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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WEEKEND IN…

New Quay

The west coast of Wales is renowned for its sand, seascapes and wildlife, found in abundance in the Ceredigion town of New Quay, where beaches are sheltered and pods of dolphins play offshore, writes Matthew Pike

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he shallow waters and bountiful food found in Cardigan Bay, on Wales’ west coast, create an ideal environment for bottlenose dolphins to live and breed. Indeed, around 250 of these playful cetaceans can be found here, the largest population in Europe. It’s not just dolphins but harbour porpoises and Atlantic grey seals that are familiar faces in these parts too, and the occasional sunfish might make an appearance if you’re lucky. At the epicentre of this wave of wildlife is New Quay (so often mistaken for Newquay in Cornwall that you need to clarify it’s ‘the one in Wales’ each time you tell someone where you’re going). The Welsh New Quay is a charming town with rows of sugar almondcoloured houses lining the steep hillside. It’s a popular spot in summer, yet it manages to maintain a low-key and relaxed vibe. The atmosphere is friendly and joyful, and as you walk past rows of traditional fishermen’s cottages, you get the sense that this unspoilt town looks much as it would have done a century ago. From the harbour, boats take visitors out onto the water to spot dolphins, but the creatures swim so close to shore that they can be frequently spotted from the town itself.

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Small and compact, everything’s within easy reach in this bustling place, including the four sandy beaches – Dolau Beach, Harbour Beach, Traeth Gwyn (‘whitesands’) and Cei Bach Beach (‘little quay’) – which makes it especially popular with families in the summer months. For walkers, a beautiful sculpture of a maiden blowing a kiss marks the halfway point of the Wales Coast Path, and there’s a dramatic and thrilling trail to the west of the town along clifftops often blanketed in wildflowers. New Quay has literary connections too, and was home to the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas for a time. It’s widely believed that it was the inspiration for Llareggub (read it backwards!), the fictional location of his most famous work, Under Milk Wood.

4PM

FRIDAY PM SUPERB SEA VIEWS

I arrive at my static caravan in Quay West Holiday Park, just east of town. Every caravan here, it seems, has a view of the sea and I sit on the deck, mug of coffee in hand, gazing across Cardigan Bay towards far-off Snowdonian ˆ Peninsula at the summits. The Llyn northern end of the giant bay is so far distant that it looks like a series of islands poking out of the water.

ABOVE Matthew Pike went to check out the West Wales town of New Quay

My mind relaxes as my eyes take in the scenic views. I stroll down to Traeth Gwyn – the beach just below the holiday park. As the town is north-facing and protected from the prevailing south-westerlies, the sea is normally calm in New Quay. Today, a few people are swimming, while several more are walking their dogs, but it’s surprisingly quiet and I have plenty of soft sand in which to lie back and listen to the gently lapping waves.

10AM

SATURDAY AM SHELLS AND COFFEE

It’s low tide this morning, which means I can head back down to Traeth Gwyn and walk along the shoreline to explore New Quay itself (there’s a cliff-top track otherwise). I pass the far more populous Harbour Beach, with several bathers already lining the golden sand and children playing football as the yachts gently bob in the water behind them, protected by the comforting arm of the harbour wall. I head up the ramp to become acquainted with the town, first popping into Starfish (01545 561630, facebook.com/ Starfishnewquay), a beautifully presented shop with lovely gifts

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and decorations for the home, then heading up a fairly steep hill of colourful, winding streets. I relax with a perfect flat white in the New Quay Coffee Company café, while watching excited families descend on foot towards the sea, armed with inflatables, buckets and spades (01545 560792, newquay.coffee).

AERIAL SHOT, HARBOUR BEACH & HARBOUR WALL PHOTOGRAPHS © CROWN COPYRIGHT (2021) VISIT WALES

12PM

SATURDAY PM CRAB FEAST

CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE, FAR LEFT New Quay, Ceredigion, not Cornwall; the beach at Traeth Gwyn looking back to New Quay; visit New Quay Fish Shop for superior crab and lobster; Harbour Beach in the town; looking east along Traeth Gwyn; a view of the town from the harbour wall

It’s time for lunch, and the New Quay Fish Shop catches my eye. It might be little more than a small kiosk, but this is one of the prime spots for sampling fresh local fare. The crab, lobster, prawns and mackerel are all caught in local waters, and are a real treat. Today I opt for a dressed crab, costing £7, which I take to the nearby harbour wall. The meat is full of flavour, so tender and, somewhat surprisingly, refreshing. I’m told that the wall is one of the best spots in Wales to see dolphins from the land and, to my amazement, I soon spy two in the distance, rising to the surface every now and then for air. But for all I know they could actually be porpoises, so it’s time to get a closer look with someone who knows what they’re looking at. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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3PM

DOLPHIN CRUISE

As exciting as it is to see dolphins from the mainland, I am about to discover that nothing beats taking a boat out to where the pod is frolicking in the water or hunting shoals of mackerel, as I hop on a New Quay Boat Trips vessel. Although you can never guarantee seeing these superb creatures on every voyage, I’m lucky today, as I see several playing in the water with the occasional leap to wow onlookers. The cruise takes us along the base of high cliffs adorned with noisy seabirds. It’s a fantastic experience. The trips range in length between one and two hours, with one-hour excursions costing £15 for adults and £10 for children, and two-hour trips priced at £25 for adults and £15 for children. New Quay Boat Trips also has a private charter vessel for up to 12 people (01545 560800, newquayboattrips.co.uk). Once back on dry land I head to The Pepper Pot Bar and Grill, where I enjoy an irresistible fish and leek crumble. Main meals here start from £12 (01545 560680, thepepperpotbandg.co.uk).

10AM

SUNDAY AM GONE PADDLING

New Quay is known for its sailing, but this morning the 82 CO AST

DOLPHINS PHOTOGRAPH © SARAH MICHELLE WYER DOLPHIN-WATCHING PHOTOGRAPH © CROWN COPYRIGHT (2021) VISIT WALES

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT ABOVE Quay West Holiday Park boasts brilliant views; chill out at self-catering San Remo; head to The Pepper Pot for a tasty lunch; New Quay Fish Shop is famed for its fresh menu; take to the water and see the thrilling sight of the famous Cardigan Bay dolphins up close

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water is like glass and there isn’t a breath of wind in the air. I hire a paddleboard and wetsuit from Cardigan Bay Watersports. Having tried paddleboarding before, I’m confident I’ll pick it up again. After initial wobbly legs I soon get the hang of it, and feel rather like a swan, gliding across the sea with views of the town and surrounding woody hillsides. It’s a serene experience and I feel like I could keep going for hours. Hiring a paddleboard for one hour is £20, or a one-hour lesson costs £32 (01545 561257, cardiganbaywater sports.org.uk).

BOTH PHOTOGRAPHS © CROWN COPYRIGHT (2021) VISIT WALES

1PM

SUNDAY PM TIME TO REFUEL

Luckily, I have fish and chips to look forward to from The Lime Crab, which is situated right next to the harbour. I opt for traditional haddock and chips with home-made tartare sauce, but this popular seafood eatery also offers more exotic fare – lobster thermidor seasonally, crispy cockles, prawns halloumi, salt and pepper squid and battered scallops, served with sides of homemade slaw and rocket and parmesan salad should you wish. It’s even licensed to sell bottled beers, wines and champagne – though it’s a little early for me! (facebook.com/TheLimeCrab).

3PM

FOLLOWING IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF THOMAS

Even though Dylan Thomas only lived in New Quay for a year, the town left a lasting impression on him. This afternoon I decide to follow a designated trail to the places he frequented, and those included in his writing. It takes me to several pubs (which won’t surprise those familiar with the poet’s lifestyle), numerous shops on which those in Under Milk Wood were clearly based, and also to his home. Thomas’s bungalow has since been replaced, but I can still see the fabulous view he would have enjoyed with his family (newquay-westwales.co.uk/trail. htm).

6PM

SUNSET GARDEN

I meander back to town to finish the walk and the weekend at Dylan Thomas’ favourite pub, The Black Lion (main meals start at £10.90). There’s a large beer garden blessed with wonderful sea views here. It’s a perfect evening for me to tuck into a tasty slow-cooked lamb tagine with couscous while watching the golden glow of the approaching sunset reflect against the tree-lined cliffs, the bronzed beach and the rippling water below (01545 560122, blacklionnewquay.co.uk).

ABOVE, LEFT New Quay as seen from the sea ABOVE, RIGHT New Quay by night

NEED to KNOW STAY AT… • coast stayed at Quay West Holiday Park, where stays for a family of four start at £100 for a three-night weekend getaway. The park has a restaurant, amusement arcade, two swimming pools and beach access (0333 2025250, haven.com). • Cei Bach Country Club is a campsite overlooking the wonderful dog-friendly beach of the same name (to which it has direct access), less than two miles east of New Quay. Pitches start at £22 per night (01545 580237, cei-bach.co.uk). • Self-catering cottage San Remo sleeps up to eight people and is located in central New Quay with an incredible sea view for dolphinspotting. Prices start from £510 for a two/three-night weekend stay (01239 810033, westwalesholiday cottages.co.uk/san-remo).

FIND OUT MORE • Start your trip research at visitwales.com. Other useful websites include cardigan-bay. com and discoverceredigion.wales. • To find out more about walking, go to walescoastpath.gov.uk.

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10 BEST

SECRET BEACHES IN WALES Find the rocky coves, tiny sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters of your dreams; hidden places that are hard to access or little known, strung all along the glorious Welsh coastline WORDS JADE BRAHAM

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ales has what no other country can claim – 870 miles of uninterrupted coastal path along its entire coastline, from Chepstow to a couple of miles outside Chester. Tucked within this expanse are around 150 beaches, many of which remain a well-guarded secret and require some perseverance to get to. But all have something

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worth discovering, from dramatic sea views and cliffside walks to sun-trap coves ideal for basking on in balmy weather, at others you’ll find formidable waves and stretches of velvety sand that disappear at high tide. Some glorify remnants of bygone industries and encourage elusive wildlife. These are the unfiltered, rarely seen beaches of Wales.

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Cwmtydu’s surroundings – cliffs, caves, and lime kiln remains – hint at its smuggling background and to a time when cargo ships unloaded heavy goods here. Today, it’s a nucleus for migrating birds, Atlantic grey seals, pearl-bordered fritillary butterflies, red kites, ponies, and glow worms that, at night, make the grass glimmer with green lights. Kayakers, paddleboarders and anglers will likewise notice the active marine life, while sun worshippers can dart between the shingle beach and its facilities. TOP TIP: Bring binoculars to spot seals and dolphins. WHERE TO STAY: Llainfran Fach (or farm) offers four B&B rooms (from £230 for a two night stay), sea-view cottages (from £393 for a three night stay), and space for five touring caravans to park up. Book at llainfran.co.uk. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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PHOTOGRAPHS © JADE BRAHAM UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED

WILDLIFE HOTSPOT CWMTYDU BEACH, NEAR NEW QUAY, CEREDIGION

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Shaped by the sea, two majestic archways dominate the landscape at Church Doors Cove. Its sheltered shingle and sand beach takes second place to its steep, stratified cliffs and surrounding caves. Descend the metal steps at low tide and scramble through the smaller cave to its neighbouring beach, Skrinkle Haven. Inaccessible except at low tide or by kayak, the latter is an expanse of pristine golden sand and gentle waters. TOP TIP: Park up at the Cliffside car park, past YHA Manorbier. WHERE TO STAY: Get totally spoilt at Manorbier Castle, which has three selfcatering options within the castle’s stone walls, fresh flowers and cakes on arrival are a special touch, the 12-bedroom main house costs from £750 a day. Book at manorbiercastle.co.uk.

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SECLUSION GUARANTEED ˆ PORTH IAGO, LLYN PENINSULA

ˆ Peninsula – an Area of On the Llyn Outstanding Natural Beauty – is the easily accessible and dog-friendly Porth Iago 86 CO AST

3 beach. Facing west and flanked by Dinas and Graig Ddu headlands, it’s ideal for enjoying the sun. The silky sand and turquoise water add a Mediterranean feel to watersports and fishing, but the vibe is wild and there are no toilets, lifeguard or shop. Above the beach is a pay-anddisplay car park – excellent for wild

camping – while nearby Porth Oer has a shop where you can stock up for picnics. TOP TIP: Pack plenty of fluids and snacks before you go. WHERE TO STAY: Book a classy pod for two at glampsite, Glampio Coed, prices from £95. Find out more at glampiocoed.com.

PHOTOGRAPH 3 © HAWLFRAINT Y GORON © CROWN COPYRIGHT (2021) CYMRU WALES PHOTOGRAPH 4 © DISCOVER CARMARTHENSHIRE

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UNDERNEATH THE ARCHES CHURCH DOORS COVE, MANORBIER, PEMBROKESHIRE

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SANDCASTLES AND SUNBATHING SCOTT’S BAY, CARMARTHEN, CARMARTHENSHIRE

Concealed behind Llansteffan Beach’s headland is the barely visited Scott’s Bay. Cut off from Llansteffan at high tide, the Wales Coastal Path leads from the Llansteffan car park, with its facilities and eateries, through woodland enveloped in wildflowers. On the beach, the River Taf trickles out to sea – excellent for paddling. Its miles of sand also boast sandcastle building, sunbathing, and cockle-picking opportunities. TOP TIP: Check tide times before visiting to make the best of free seafood. WHERE TO STAY: Mansion House in Llansteffan is set in five acres of garden and overlooks Carmarthen Bay. Kick back in the two AA Rosette restaurant and just soak up the views. Rooms start from £175 per night, mansionhousellansteffan.co.uk.

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RUGGED CLIMB CASTELL BACH, NEAR ABERAERON, CEREDIGION

Castell Bach’s shingle beach and dramatic cliffs are only surpassed in magnificence by its two striated islands. Meaning ‘little castle’, the beach takes its name from the original Celtic Iron Age hillfort, the remains of which lie above the cove. The climb from Cwmtydu Beach (nearest parking and facilities) is not for the faint-hearted, but having such a beach all to yourself is worth the effort! TOP TIP: Perfect for secluded, soulful photography. WHERE TO STAY: A 25-minute drive from Cwmtydu is the quaint fishing village of Aberaeron and the Harbourmaster Hotel, situated in listed buildings on the quayside, B&B rooms from £190. Book at harbour-master.com.

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PADDLE AND SNORKEL CEIBWR BEACH, NEAR CARDIGAN, PEMBROKESHIRE

Ceibwr is a narrow inlet enclosed by Ordovician rock formations and caves historically used for smuggling. On a windy day, this wild pebble beach is unsuitable for swimming but ideal for seeing seals, porpoises, dolphins and sea otters. When sunny, it’s perfect for kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling. In summer, thrift and heather carpet the 35-minute cliffside walk to the Witches’ Cauldron, a collapsed cave filled with glinting green-blue water. TOP TIP: Parking’s limited – come early. WHERE TO STAY: Georgian townhouse Llys Meddyg Hotel in nearby Newport offers eight luxury rooms and dog-friendly accommodation. Check out special seasonal offers at llysmeddyg.com.

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SUPER ROCKPOOLING CAERFAI BEACH, ST DAVIDS, PEMBROKESHIRE

South-facing and positioned between multicoloured cliffs, Caerfai Beach is a suntrap excellent for swimming,

7 sunbathing or exploring rock pools. Kayakers and canoeists can glide to its many caves or Penpleidiau island. Surfing, angling, wildlife spotting, or walking Wales’ Heritage Coast is a must on stormier days. There are 50 car spaces, a nearby shop, a visitor centre, and St Davids city close by, but limited disabled access.

TOP TIP: Beware of strong tides if you go out into the water. WHERE TO STAY: Twr Y Felin Hotel is a former windmill and has more than 100 pieces of contemporary art lining its walls, rooms priced from £250 per night. Check the hotel’s website for special seasonal offers, twryfelinhotel.com. c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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Porthlysgi Bay is the definition of a secret haven, with silky-smooth waters, docked sailing boats, layers of underwater rocks and rolling fields. It’s a 30-minute walk from Porth Clais Harbour (nearest parking and facilities) and has wild ponies, purple heather, staggering views of unusual rock formations and Carreg yr Esgob island. To get between the bay’s dual shingle-sand beaches requires swimming, kayaking, or scrambling over rocks at low tide. TOP TIP: Wear walking boots as the terrain is seriously rugged. WHERE TO STAY: A 12-minute drive from Porth Clais Harbour is luxurious Penrhiw Hotel, a former priory and sister hotel to Twr Y Felin. Book in for a holistic massage to relax right down. Rooms from £210 per night, penrhiwhotel.com.

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TIME TRAVEL PORTH WEN BEACH, ANGLESEY

A shingle beach bordered by vivid green 90 COAST

9 vegetation, teal-coloured ocean and ruins of an old brickworks give Porth Wen a distinctly Cornish, Poldark-style appearance. Cliffside walks lead to Llanlleiana Porcelain Works, and at low tide you can explore the beehive kilns, snorkel under the rock arch, or discover the old harbour. However, the beach’s remote location and lack of facilities

makes the descent from Llanbadrig Church challenging. TOP TIP: Pack your snorkel for underwater discovery. WHERE TO STAY: Roughly 19 minutes from Llanbadrig Church and five from the sea is Tyn Llain B&B with three luxury bedrooms, from £100 per room per night. Book at tynllainbandb.com.

PHOTOGRAPH 9 ©HAWLFRAINT Y GORON © CROWN COPYRIGHT (2012) CYMUR WALES

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PREPARE TO SCRAMBLE PORTHLYSGI BAY, ST DAVIDS, PEMBROKESHIRE

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SAND AND PEBBLES BRANDY COVE, SWANSEA

This dramatic beach is shrouded in history concerning witches and smuggling contraband, hence its name. Its remote and rugged topography sustains its mysterious inheritance and it can only be accessed by the coastal path from Caswell Bay (nearest facilities) or walking the valley from Bishopston. Low tide reveals intermittent gold sand, while the shingle beach at high tide is superb for watching the sunset. TOP TIP: There’s free parking in Bishopston. WHERE TO STAY: An eight-minute drive from Bishopston is the family-run boutique B&B, Langland Cove Guesthouse in Mumbles, which offers four airy rooms from £85 per night. Book at langlandcove.co.uk.

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10

HOMES to buy in WALES

From a renovation project and a grand estuary house to a seaside apartment, here’s our pick of the latest coastal properties for sale COMPILED BY ALICE WESTGATE

1

TREFASSER, PEMBROKESHIRE £425,000

Here’s your chance to revive a property that’s been uninhabited since the 1950s and turn it into a dreamy two/three-bedroom coastal home. See 1 overleaf

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TREFASSER, PEMBROKESHIRE £425,000 Previous page: Uninhabited since the 1950s, this is ideal for anyone wanting a project. Plas Y Pinc sits on Strumble Head, five miles from Fishguard, and comes with around 10 acres of land. Savills (0292 036 8915, savills.co.uk).

2

BARMOUTH, GWYNEDD £2,150,000 Dating from 1865, Coes Faen is a Gothic-style home in a glorious setting on the Mawddach Estuary. Built in the community’s heyday as a seaside resort, this six-bedroom Grade II-listed property, also known as The Clock House, has a veranda that wraps around the ground floor

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plus a private slipway, pontoon and moorings. Strutt & Parker (01244 354880, struttandparker.com).

3

FOUR MILE BRIDGE, ANGLESEY £740,000 Craig Heli is a detached house in a waterside setting. It has five bedrooms, three reception rooms and a conservatory, plus a large garden that extends right to the water’s edge. Williams & Goodwin (01407 760500, tppuk.com).

4

BARMOUTH, GWYNEDD £925,000 Four-bedroom Cynfal is an Arts and Crafts property that sits in just over an acre of land, backed by its own private woodland. It has a

4

This Grade IIlisted home has Gothic grandeur in abundance 2

new patio, a veranda and lovely views of Barmouth Bridge, the coast and the mountains. Monopoly (01341 475000, monopolybuysellrent.co.uk).

5

BARMOUTH, GWYNEDD £975,000 With no immediate neighbours, Ceinewydd is a coastal farmhouse that sits in around 17 acres of land, two of which are along the shoreline. It has many period features plus three bedrooms and spectacular views. Walter Lloyd Jones (01341 280527, walterlloydjones.co.uk).

6

ST DAVIDS, PEMBROKESHIRE £875,000 A striking property, Rhosson Uchaf

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carries a Grade II* listing and is brimming with historical features, from a Flemish chimney to a part-thatched roof. It has been sympathetically restored to include four reception rooms and four bedrooms and has a range of stone outbuildings. Savills (0292 0368915, savills.co.uk).

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ABERSOCH, GWYNEDD £2,500,000 In the heart of the village, Seagulls is a contemporary home within walking distance of the harbour. Its luxe interior has five bedrooms and three reception rooms and is set over four levels, with floor-to-ceiling glazing and outside spaces making the most of the views. Beresford

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space/shop on the ground floor 8 plus sea views. Above are four reception rooms and five bedrooms, while outside is a tiered walled garden. West Wales Properties (0345 094 3006, westwales properties.co.uk).

Adams (01758 580134, beresfordadams.co.uk).

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ABERDESACH, GWYNEDD £900,000 A great holiday let opportunity, Yr Odyn is a three-bedroom cottage right on the seafront, five miles from Caernarfon, with views towards Yr Eifl hills. It comes with a one-bed chalet, Yr Odyn Bach, and the site has room for a further chalet. Haf Jones & Pegler (01248 364422, hafjonesandpegler.co.uk).

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TENBY, PEMBROKESHIRE £800,000 A business opportunity awaits at Frogmore House, a four-storey property that includes a commercial

If you’d like to advertise your property for sale in coast, contact Zara Mehmet on 07415 325673 or email zara.mehmet@ kelsey.co.uk.

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PORTHCAWL, BRIDGEND £545,000 Overlooking Rest Bay, a haven for dolphin-spotting and surfing, Apartment No 18 at The Links is part of this refurbished Victorian Grade II-listed building. It has two double bedrooms, a private balcony leading off the living room and wonderful sea views. Acorn Property Group (01656 501110, acornpropertygroup.org). c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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SONGS OF THE HIGH SEAS In the last few years, centuries-old sea shanties have taken on a new lease of life, sung to entertain audiences around the world with their uplifting blend of rhythm, melody and coastal storytelling WORDS ANNE-CLAIRE HEELS

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SIX FAMOUS SEA SHANTIES 1. Across the Western Ocean 2. What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? 3. Haul Away Joe 4. John Kanaka 5. New York Girls/Can’t You Dance The Polka? 6. South Australia

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ou know shanties are having a moment when they feature as official entertainment for a G7 summit, as they did in Cornwall last summer. But then, the last few years have certainly been somewhat surreal in the world of the centuries-old sea shanty. The fuse was lit in 2019 with the release of the feel-good film Fisherman’s Friends, loosely based on the story of the Cornish group, a stalwart of the English folk scene for more than 25 years and well known for performing shanties. It made number two in the UK box office charts and the sequel is due in cinemas this year. There’s even a West End musical on the cards. Then, in late 2020, a Scottish postman named Nathan Evans went viral on social media singing seafaring songs, one of which, Wellerman, believed to be a New Zealand whaling song, reached number one in the UK after a pop remix. It’s had millions of views online and Nathan has since got a record deal and quit his job. Last year, Bristol-based shanty group The Longest Johns enjoyed chart success with the more traditional version of Wellerman from their 2018 album Between Wind & Water, suddenly finding themselves gaining a much wider audience. Soon after came the publication of Gerry Smyth’s brilliant book on shanties, Sailor Song, with words and music alongside the history for those who want to have a go themselves. Then to top it off, local Cornish shanty singers Du Hag Owr sang on the beach when the G7 summit was held in Carbis Bay in June, entertaining the Johnsons, the Bidens and their fellow politicians. One of The Longest Johns remarked, tongue in cheek, to a national newspaper that it felt like this focus on shanties had been ‘300 years in the making’. The Fisherman’s Friends, who regularly draw crowds when they perform live on the Platt in Port Isaac every summer, agree. ‘It’s been great to see the surge in interest for the humble shanty,’ they told coast. ‘We’re honoured to be a part of its success. It’s also been great to see the younger generation champion shanties; at a time when we all need to feel a sense of unity, they feel like the perfect musical backdrop.’

SINGALONG TRADITIONS Sea shanties have their roots in work songs, sung in the days before industrialisation by people performing manual tasks where repetitive actions needed to be synchronised. Work songs are all about rhythm – everyone would know according to the emphasis in the song when the physical effort was required and apply it at the same time for maximum impact. Such songs were known to be

TOP The 2017 album from English female shanty group She Shanties ABOVE Read about shanties in Sailor Song (£14.99, British Library Publishing) by Gerry Smyth OPPOSITE The Fisherman’s Friends performing live at the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno

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sung by all sorts of workers, including those laying railroads across America, slave workers in plantation fields and sailors on merchant sailing ships in the 1800s. Sea shanties follow a call-and-response structure. A shantyman leads with the call, and the rest of the team chant the response together as they perform the task, as in Haul Away Joe, which begins with a different call each time, but the same simple response: ‘Away, haul away, we’ll haul away Joe’. Heaving and hauling come up a lot in sea shanties, as you might imagine. A good shantyman would have been a valued crew member – an experienced seaman and singer able to set the beat according to the task for everyone to follow, with a sharp memory to recall the words to different shanties needed for different jobs, and the talent to improvise for whatever length of time a task took by adding new verses as required. ‘A strong voice and an ability to improvise content could earn a sailor a bonus on top of his normal pay,’ Gerry Smyth writes in Sailor Song. Sailing ships generated all manner of labour-intensive tasks that were repetitive and monotonous, but where concentration was needed and a mistake could be catastrophic. Work songs helped everyone to focus. ‘The effect was twofold: not only to ease boredom and foster a sense of unity, but also to increase productivity,’ according to folk music organisation The Nest Collective. Studies have shown that singing boosts mental wellbeing and

BELOW Bristol-based group The Longest Johns are enjoying shanty success OPPOSITE The Silver Darlings hail from the coast in Essex

morale, as borne out by the enduring popularity of choirs and vocal groups. Shanties were strictly for work, but there are myriad songs and ballads with seafaring themes that would have been sung for pleasure in downtime too.

CAPSTANS AND CARGO As world trade took off in the 1800s, with commercial cargo ships criss-crossing the globe, this was reflected in the international themes of shanties; there is adventure, hardship and a constant fascination with the sea. The mighty ‘Western Ocean’ – aka the Atlantic – features regularly, alongside references to locations all over the world, from Liverpool and London to Rio [de Janeiro], ‘Frisco’ [San Francisco], Cape Horn and Newfoundland. Some tell the story of a particular voyage, vessel or shipping company, some of coming into a port in an exotic far-off land, others of yearning to go home or to go away to sea again. Some grumble about the work or conditions, others are humorous, and they all tend to feature particular characters: a cruel captain, a hapless sailor, a beguiling woman. But where did the music come from? ‘Anywhere and everywhere,’ writes Gerry Smyth. The melodies are believed to be a fusion of tunes and airs from different cultures – Gaelic, English, European, African-American, Caribbean – and he believes African-American and Irish to be two of the most important influences on the development of the shanty. Tunes could have been derived from popular songs of the day, music hall ditties, even hymns. Folk songs generally tend to borrow from each other in terms of words and melodies. Shanties are the same in this respect – one of the best known, What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? repurposes an old Irish tune, Oró Sé do Bheatha Bhaile. They are part of an oral tradition and would have travelled from ship to ship with seamen seeking work. They wouldn’t have been written down at the time; it was only much later that collectors made an effort to record the words in case they were lost forever as their use gradually died out onboard when steam replaced sail as the main mode of sea power. To our 21st century ears, some shanties contain outdated language and attitudes to different nationalities and women especially. There’s often reference to violence, too. But even those shanties we know today are unlikely to be the original versions sung onboard; they’d have been toned down by collectors or performers over time, in order not to scandalise later audiences. It has to be remembered that shanties would have been sung by tough, uneducated men in brutal conditions a couple of centuries ago. There would have been no ladies or gentlemen of polite society present to complain about coarse language.

THE SIREN CALL OF THE SEA So why the sudden interest today? Why do age-old work songs resonate in modern times when most people 100 COAST

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have jobs far removed from the harsh labour sea shanties accompanied? And why especially during the pandemic? Jonathan Darley, known as JD, from The Longest Johns thinks that there are a number of possible reasons for this, including the fact that we were all feeling isolated during the various lockdowns. ‘The melodies and tunes are incredibly strong – memorable and catchy by design – and as they are so old, only the very best ones are still known today,’ he points out. ‘This makes them very easy to pick up and join in with, easily creating a sense of community when in a group of people.’ It was widely reported during the lockdowns that choirs were particularly pained by being unable to get together, and quickly moved online, desperate to re-create that sense of community and joy from singing as best they could. Shanties and maritime songs would have been sung by men who were no strangers to isolation, cooped up with each other for months on end in unreliable vessels, at the mercy of terrible weather and inhospitable places. They’d have known a thing or two about isolation and ill-health – perhaps that struck a subconscious chord with many who discovered or found new value in singing shanties at this time. Now, as then, singing costs nothing and it lifts the mood. There’s also something to be said for the escapism of a good story – how many of us turned to reading or TV on-demand to lose ourselves during lockdown? Shanties tell a story of life on those ships in those times, a snapshot of the history of ordinary working men. ‘In shanties there are often wonderful stories being told narratively, which immediately transport you to the time and place, similar to reading a book or watching a film,’ JD says. ‘The way in which the songs are written is a breath of fresh salt air that catches your imagination more than most modern and introspective songs. The shanty can easily be viewed as another form of escapism and imagination, which is very appealing for people who are stuck indoors.’

SEEKING OUT SHANTIES There’s nothing like hearing music live and, if you would like to check out shanties for yourself, folk festivals are a good bet. You’ll find several all over the country and around the coast in places such as Falmouth, Sidmouth, Broadstairs and Whitby in England, Oban and Glasgow in Scotland, or Rosses Point in Ireland, to name a few. Neither are they just a British or Irish thing – the US, Australia and various European countries also hold shanty festivals. And these days, it’s not just men singing them. From Ireland comes all-female shanty crew Eight Belles; from the north of England there’s She Shanties (whose Futtock Shrouds album came out in 2017), and The Silver Darlings are female shanty singers from Southend-on-Sea. ‘The beauty with shanty songs is that verses were often changed depending on where the crews hailed from, or who they had previously sailed with, and songs would be passed from one ship to another, often being tweaked on the way. So it is perfectly acceptable and authentic 102 C OAST

for modern shanty singers to change words or tweak phrasings a little,’ Alison of The Silver Darlings explains when asked why women are drawn to these traditionally male songs. ‘The point is to keep the history and the essence of the songs alive and pass the joy down the generations, while remaining sensitive to changing modern-day attitudes. We have always been mindful of younger audiences too, making the songs accessible to the younger generation.’ The Silver Darlings also like to focus on songs that touch on the women’s side of seafaring and fishing industries, their name inspired by the plentiful herrings that fishermen would once pursue all along the coast, with women following to process and sell the catch. ‘We are working on uncovering more of these types of songs as we learn more about the history ourselves,’ Alison adds. ‘We have just finished recording our first album, Maiden Voyage, which is a mix of traditional men’s working shanties and these other songs from a more female perspective.’ Wherever you see shanty singing performed live, you’ll come away feeling elated with one of those lively tunes stuck in your head. As JD from The Longest Johns sums up: ‘There’s something innately wonderful about songs like this standing the test of time and still having such strong meaning with people all these years later. It’s a pleasure and a privilege to be able to add to the legacy the songs have, and hopefully find more people to take it further as well.’

MORE SONGS OF THE SEA • I Courted A Sailor by Kate Rusby. A sweet song from Barnsley-born folk singer-songwriter Kate, featuring a theme common in folk songs and ballads – that of a shore-based lass who has fallen in love with a sailor. • The Mingulay Boat Song by various. Written in the 1930s, this is a moving lament for a hard way of life now lost – that of the inhabitants of the Scottish island of Mingulay in the Outer Hebrides, which the last residents finally abandoned in the early 1900s. There is real sense of yearning in the words and lullaby-like melody. • The Irish Rover by The Pogues and The Dubliners. One of the most famous Irish sea songs, this rousing version by two of Ireland’s most iconic bands tells the tale of a chaotic ship on a calamitous voyage to America in 1806. • My Sailor Boy by Shirley Collins. Hastings-born Shirley, now in her 80s, has been a legend of the UK folk scene for decades. This haunting unaccompanied traditional song of a lost sailor features on her 2021 EP Crowlink. • Gosport Nancy by Bellowhead. The multi-award-winning (now disbanded) English band Bellowhead released this jaunty track in 2014. The shanty influence features strongly in Bellowhead material, which generally consists of the kind of exuberant music that words like ‘carousing’ and ‘cavorting’ could have been invented for.

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MARINA LIFE

FALMOUTH Sailing on his boat Luna, coastal explorer William Thomson begins coast’s new tour of iconic British harbours, anchoring up first at historic Falmouth on the south Cornish coast

F

ABOVE William Thomson FRGS is author/illustrator of The Book of Tides and founder of Tidal Compass (tidalcompass.com)

inside this glorious building is worth the admission fee alone, with a fleet of small boats suspended from the ceiling in a stunning multi-storey atrium. Interactive screens tell you about each vessel, its design concepts and history. At the top of the building, beside the café with its stunning harbour views, is an exhibition explaining what has made Falmouth the maritime hub it is today. The key is geography; in addition to being sheltered from prevailing winds, its location at the entrance to the English Channel makes it a natural gateway to the world, traditionally the last port of call for ships leaving and the first place they stop on return. The first man to sail around the world singlehanded (Sir Robin Knox-Johnston), left from Falmouth in 1968 and did not touch land until he arrived back again, 312 days later. On my way to the Beacon Coffee café every morning, I’d walk past a plaque marking this achievement with his quote ‘Single-handed sailing is a state of mind’. These simple words, inscribed in brass, helped me get into the

right mind-set to embark on my own voyage. The problem with a harbour like Falmouth is that you never want to leave; your boat and crew are safe and happy, you make new friends and there is always something interesting to do. But there is a saying among sailors that ‘man and boat rot in dock’. Sooner or later it’s time to leave the safety of harbour and embrace life at sea with all it entails – rogue waves, fear, breakages, fatigue, submerged rocks. To overcome such stresses I remind myself that Luna was made to sail; she wants to go, to race towards the horizon and over it. My job is to simply guide her, to let her run free. And in doing so I will be rewarded with good moments that overcome hardship, experiences you cannot find on land, like dolphins swimming in your bowwave while the wake streams out in phosphorescence and moonlight casts a magical glow over the sails. Then there is the greatest reward of all; to sail into a new harbour after a long passage, tie onto the pontoon and step ashore to sample the local landlubbers’ delights. PHOTOGRAPHS WILLIAM THOMSON

almouth is one of the greatest natural harbours in the world, reputedly the third deepest, making it a fitting place to start our new coast series during which we’ll explore 12 iconic British harbours. And there are few places more enticing than Falmouth and the Haven Marina, where beautiful wooded hills roll down to the River Fal and where our boat Luna once safely rode out a fierce gale of 50 knots (Force 10). I did not sleep much that night, constantly checking we were not dragging anchor and regularly awakened by mayday calls on the VHF from people in less sheltered harbours; in the Isles of Scilly alone, the lifeboat apparently launched a dozen times, several people were airlifted to the mainland and a flotilla of yachts was washed onto the rocks. In Falmouth, we were safe, protected from the waves by hugging the rugged Cornish coastline. The best place to learn about Falmouth’s virtue as a harbour is the National Maritime Museum Cornwall. The first 20 seconds

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‘With the network of creeks so close to Falmouth, it is easy to see why sailors love these waters; you will always find shelter from any wind angle, somewhere amongst those green, rolling hills’

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WAITING FOR YOUR TIDE 12 HOURS IN HARBOUR You’ve got 12 hours until a favourable tide pushes you along the coast. Here’s how to make the most of those hours...

1. BREAKFAST BEACON COFFEE Start the day with a dose of high-quality coffee at Beacon. Blends change every week to keep things fresh and you have a choice of two roasts with different flavours to suit your mood. (beacon-coffee.co.uk, @beacon_coffee)

2. DRINK CHAIN LOCKER Falmouth is full of great pubs, but the most iconic, and perfect place to start is the Chain Locker. It’s right on the quayside with a fantastic atmosphere and a great spot to watch the harbour’s shipping. (chainlockerfalmouth.co.uk, @chainlockerfal)

3. EAT HARBOUR LIGHTS A visit to Falmouth wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Harbour Lights Fish & Chips. Take your food down to the waterside and watch boats of all shapes and sizes while the sun goes down. (harbourlights.co.uk, @harbourlightsfalmouth)

4. CULTURE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM CORNWALL Learn all about Falmouth Harbour’s rich heritage at the National Maritime Museum Cornwall, which has a fascinating array of exhibits to get all ages interested. (nmmc.co.uk, @nationalmaritimemuseumcornwall)

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WAITING FOR YOUR WIND 2 HOURS IN FALMOUTH With an easterly wind blowing from a high pressure system to the north (winds blow anti-clockwise around a high, so if the ‘H’ is north of you the winds will be easterly), we decide to enjoy Falmouth for a little longer – ideally until the winds turn south-west for the next passage of our UK harbour tour. After the essential coffee to start the day from Beacon Coffee, enjoyed while sitting on the harbour watching the boats passing to and fro, today’s activity is a walk around Pendennis Point to soak up the views down towards The Lizard and the western approaches to the English Channel. Starting with a steep climb past the docks, rewarding us with an aerial view of the super-yacht shipyard and harbour beyond, the path becomes cloaked in greenery with tantalising views of Carrick Roads beyond, the white sails of boats crisp against the blue water and wooded hills. But at Pendennis Point everything opens up again with a panorama of the

approaches to Falmouth; St Mawes to the east and the Helford to the west, two stunning areas to explore. With the network of creeks so close to Falmouth, it is easy to see why sailors love these waters; you will always find shelter from any wind angle, somewhere amongst those green, rolling hills. En route back to Falmouth we stop off at the iconic Gylly Beach and join local swimmers for a dash around the buoy, followed by another quick sweep around the maritime museum (because one trip just isn’t enough to soak it all up!). After all that walking and swimming, cooking is the last thing we want to do, but luckily Harbour Lights is on the way back to the marina, right on the quayside in fact, so the food is still hot and the beer still cold when we get back to the boat. All we need to do now is sit back, enjoy our fish and chips, and soak up the sunset over Falmouth while the water gently laps on the pontoons.

‘The problem with a harbour like Falmouth is that you never want to leave’

TIDE SCHOOL Boost your knowledge of the sea and enhance your safety and performance by signing up to William’s online Tide School www.tide-school.com

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SEADOGS

If there’s anything more joyful than making a visit to the coast in any season, it has to be heading there with your beloved dog DOG-FRIENDLY PLACE TO STAY

The Treehouse, Dunbar, East Lothian If you fancy a sea-view sanctuary getaway for two situated in the Scottish countryside close to Dunbar, then The Treehouse is the place for you – and you can bring your dog. This gorgeous property on the 5,000-acre Dunglass Estate is the ideal base from which to explore the East Lothian coastline. There is a hot tub for sea-gazing or stargazing, wraparound terrace, king-size bed, roll-top bath, walk-in shower, and underfloor heating to ensure it’s all just as appealing in winter as summer. PRICE: From £695 for 7-night stays, with short breaks of 3 or 4 nights from £556. Dogs charged at £25. HOW DO I BOOK? Go to crabtreeandcrabtree.com.

BE A HIGH-VIS HOUND On these darker mornings and evenings it’s important to be visible, and that goes for dogs as well as humans. With the REFLECT360 range for cyclists, runners and walkers such a success in terms of road safety, the new REFLECT360 Waterproof Fleece-Lined Dog Coat will do the same for your pets with its superior reflective properties, while also keeping them warm and dry. Comes in five different sizes (£35.99, provizsports.com). 112 C OAST

SEA AND THE CITY

If you’re a dog owner and it’s your New Year’s resolution to move to a city by the sea, then you’re really spoiled for choice. Recent research carried out by The Body Shop to find the UK’s best towns and cities for easily escaping into nature found that Devon’s Ocean City, Plymouth, came top in terms of urban green space per person, air quality, noise pollution, and the number of forests and walking trails nearby. However, Exeter, Bournemouth, Torbay, Thanet, Medway, Swansea and Aberdeen all featured in the top 10 too. Get browsing! (thebodyshop.com/en-gb/tips-and-advice/ great-british-nature-escapes).

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coast DOGS

IN ASSOCIATION WITH FORTHGLADE Forthglade has a variety of festive feasts pups will adore. We love the gourmet turkey & goose meal with pumpkin and cranberries. The grain free recipe, made in Devon, is packed with delicious goodness and free from any junk or fillers. It’s suitable for dogs aged 1 year+ and gentle enough for sensitive tummies. Sales from the meal also go towards supporting the great work of the National Trust too, supporting the Dogs Welcome project. £2.15/395g (forthglade.com).

DOG of the MONTH This is Myrtle, our 18-month-old fox terrier, enjoying an early morning paddle in Trearddur Bay, Anglesey. Dr Caroline Rimmer Email your coastal canine photographs to coast.copy@kelsey.co.uk.

WORDS ANNE-CLAIRE HEELS

VERY IMPORTANT PUPS If you are a new or first-time pup owner, then you might like to join national retailer Pets At Home’s free VIP Puppy & Kitten Club. As a member, you will be able to access expert advice to support your new pup’s development as well as tailored offers throughout their first year, including 10% off your first order from Pets At Home, 30% off the Vets4Pets Complete Care Health Plan, and 50% off your puppy’s first grooming. Sign up online now at petsathome.com or download the app to get started. We reckon your Very Important Puppy will thank you!

MILES WITH MY MUTT Fancy a fun walking challenge with your dog in the new year? Miles with my Mutt offers a range of walks of various distances where you can do just that. Simply choose your option from the website and sign up, you can do the route wherever you please, then log your miles via a fitness tracker or a spreadsheet, and let the site know when you’re done to receive a medal each for you and your canine chum, a finisher’s postcard and access to social media groups. Entry costs £22, with proceeds helping the Dogs Trust charity (mileswithmymutt.co.uk). c o a s t ma g a z i n e .co.uk

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coast LETTERS

Your coast

Our ocean-loving readers share their news, views and photographs from all around the British Isles coastline I’D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR VIEWS! Please email me with your ideas, feedback, creative projects and reports of your coastal adventures at coast.ed@kelsey.co.uk.

Alex Fisher, Editor-in-Chief @alexfishermedia

A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER Last year I read your wonderful article about Dick Pearce Bellyboards and I just wanted to say thank you. After all the years of buying foam boards for myself and my family and finding they snapped in half within a few days, I never considered how they were disposed of and that they ended up in landfill. I felt ashamed, to say the least, so at the age of 52 I treated myself to a sustainable one from Dick Pearce. This pic shows me on North Beach, Tenby, having been in the sea with my lovely new Puffin red bellyboard. Fiona Quinn

REDCAR’S STARRING ROLE

Whilst reading your October issue, I was intrigued by the article on places around our shores that have featured in films. One of our favourites is Redcar, underrated and often overlooked. Atonement, staring Keira Knightley, saw Redcar’s Coatham Beach transformed into the Dunkirk beaches of WWll. Photos show just how amazing the transformation was. There is a sculptural artwork on the promenade, celebrating Coatham’s part in the film. Heather Chester

WHAT YOU TWEETED… @FieldStudiesC SPOTTED! Not a #whale or #porpoise this time but our charity collaborations mentioned in @coastmag! Working with leading charities helps educate more people about #MarineConservation through courses & FREE webinars

FLASH, BANG, WALLOP

~ 1930 ~

Kath, Sydney and friends trying out the new surf boards at Bude in Cornwall in the 1930s. Louise Bryant

BEACHCOMBED BEAUTY

We’ve recently come back from Croyde in North Devon, and I thought that I would show you my latest artworks from my beachcombing in Ilfracombe and Hele! I now have lots of inspiration for more. Alison Clement

@MichelleSLT Can’t believe some of my products featured in @coastmag. Catch us in the Seadogs section of the October issue and thank you @coastmag for supporting a small business

Contact us: email your coastal news, views and photographs to coast.ed@kelsey.co.uk

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Find your special place From contemporary coastal barn conversions to charming thatched cottages, we’ve hand-picked the very best properties to bring you holiday memories to treasure. A portfolio of over 600 luxury, self-catering holiday homes in the UK and Northern Ireland.

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Combination of scroll & cylindrical Shoals in a private residence. Photo by Yves Garneau

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Directory

Inspired by a stroll to the ocean where coastal flowers glisten with dewdrops, and barnacle clad objects lie strewn along the shore.

. the little art gallery .....

REACH OVER 251,000 COAST LOVING READERS TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION CALL ZARA ON: 07415 325673

SELF-CATERING PROPERTIES ON THE WEST SUSSEX COAST

We offer a wide range of mainly sea front properties in this beautiful area close to Chichester and Goodwood. A Coastal contemporary gallery West Wittering West Sussex 01243 512218 www.thelittleartgallery.online

01243 672217 | lettings@baileys.uk.com | www.baileys.uk.com

For details of advertising please call Zara on 07415 325673


Directory New Year beachcombing treasure. Then, home for tea, biscuits and the fragrance of the Salmon Bothy candle, from Coast Candle Co. A comforting woody amber fragrance with incense magical infusions, to rekindle bygone days. Made with Love, for you to Love from the Highlands of Scotland.

Luxury cottage for two in coastal Snowdonia www.tyddyndu.wales | 01341 242314 SHOP ONLINE AT:

www.coastcandleco.com

Luxury cottage for two in coastal Snowdonia www.tyddyndu.wales | 01341 242314

UNIQUE 16TH CENTURY MILL HOUSE Use offer code #COAST for £50 off your booking.

Where memories are made under breathtaking sunsets. Spectacular beach location near Woolacombe,North Devon. Completely and sensitively renovated to a high standard with sleeps 8 accommodation, open fires & CH, garden & parking. Dog friendly. 07814 766718 | www.themillhousedevon.co.uk

Luxury self-catering properties in the stunning harbour of Porthleven, Cornwall. porthlevenholidaycottages.co.uk 01326 574270

For details of advertising please call Zara on 07415 325673


Directory

PATTARD NORTH DEVON COAST Luxury barn conversions sleeping 2-8 C.H & woodburner. Near coast & pubs. Now with fine dining on site. Pets welcome in accommodation.

01237 441311 www.pattard.com On site Restaurant

www.pattardrestaurant.co.uk Tel 01237441444 for table reservation

Your perfect holiday by the sea LAST MINUTE OFFERS 1 and 2 nights available call Joanne on 07940 712766

Chesil Beach Lodge is owned by Paul and Joanne Loud and is situated on the Dorset coast overlooking 99 miles of the beautiful Jurassic coastline. From Portland to Start Point in Devon. All apartments have breathtaking sea views from where you can capture amazing sunsets. Walk the South West Coastal Path right from the garden gate. Explore the beautiful rolling countryside and picturesque cottages including Hardy’s Cottage Swim or sunbathe at either Have Beach or Cogden Beach both only a 5 minute walk along a coastal path. Enjoy fishing off chesil beach. www.chesilbeachlodge.co.uk

Chesil

BEACH LODGE

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Directory

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E S C A P E TO T H E

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Handpicked holiday cottages in beautiful coastal locations St Davids • Solva • Porthgain • Newgale

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The finest coastal cottages, lodges and apartments in the South West’s most inspiring locations

WESTLEIGH - DEVON

Dinner, Bed and Breakfast A gastronomic treat awaits you and your canine friend. Situated in Beer, Devon a traditional fishing village on the picturesque Jurassic Coast. A warm welcome, local ingredients, home cooking at its best!

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coast CELEBRITY

MY COAST

Star of Channel 5’s Our Yorkshire Farm, author Amanda Owen lives in Swaledale, midway on the famous Coast to Coast Walk. She loves wild swimming and counts Saltburn-by-the-Sea as a favourite resort INTERVIEW CAROLINE WHEATER

the beach in my coat before going for a swim. It felt so liberating. I grew up in Huddersfield but we didn’t visit the seaside; I’ve discovered the North East coast as an adult. Saltburnby-the-Sea (pictured) is a very underrated coastal resort that I find wonderful. It’s more old-fashioned than Scarborough, but has a pier, rocky bits and sandy bits. You can park up and in 30 seconds you’re in the sea. It’s exhilarating! Sea swimming is not just about the exercise but being in the landscape: there’s the wind, the waves, the birds, the seaweed and the flotsam and jetsam. I’m always rushing, but when I go into the sea, for a little while time stands still. If you can drop all the bells and whistles that go with a day by the seaside – the

windbreak, the buckets and spades, the picnic – it makes it a lot less stressful. Half the time I forget to take a towel with me, but that’s OK – we’ve got heated seats in the car and I dry on the journey back. It doesn’t have to be an epic swim for you to reap the rewards. On the farm I spend a lot of time battling the elements so there’s nothing better than waiting until the tide has turned, going into the sea and taking some pleasure from it. Amanda Owen’s latest book, Celebrating the Seasons with the Yorkshire Shepherdess: Farming, Family and Delicious Recipes to Share (£20, Pan Macmillan) is on sale now, and features her own photos of the Swaledale landscape as well as favourite family dishes.

SALTBURN PIER PHOTOGRAPH LUKASZ PAJOR/SHUTTERSTOCK

I don’t ever go on holiday, what with running a hill farm and looking after my nine children, but I always keep a swimming costume and wetsuit in the back of the car in case I find myself working by the sea. Sea swimming is a rarity for me, but delightful when I can do it. A few months ago I was in Whitby and went to Sandsend Beach to swim. I parked up just as the sun was setting and everyone else was going home, and walked into the sea to watch the sun going down over the cliffs. It was beautiful. At a literary festival on Jersey, I was staying right on the seafront and went down to

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