#LoveTheBeach: How to make the most of coastal adventures in all seasons
Introducing the #LoveTheBeach campaign...
“There is no such thing as bad weather; just inappropriate clothing.”
This was one of my late father-in-law’s most memorable phrases. Never has a truer word been spoken when it comes to making the most of the great outdoors during Britain’s autumn and winter months. As the temperatures drop and we get set to battle wind, rain and frosts, we mustn’t let the conditions deter us from enjoying the fantastic countryside, especially Britain’s beaches.
We are purposefully launching our #LoveTheBeach editorial campaign at a time of year when the sun loungers and beach huts are being packed away in the UK. The campaign is running to shine a spotlight on Britain’s beaches during a time of year where being on the beach is not about lying on a towel and topping up your tan. Rather, the focus is on enjoying a wide range of healthy activities and making the most of the fresh sea air.
There are many beach destinations that can be reached with ease from all parts of the UK and Ireland. Packing up the car for a day trip during half term or planning a weekend away on Britain’s coastline before Christmas is an exciting prospect for all ages. You can have so much fun at the beach and hours of entertainment awaits.
Making sure that you are prepared with the right clothing and equipment can make a huge difference to the experience and this is essential for making the most of your trip.
Throughout the autumn, the sea temperature at some of Britain’s beaches – particularly those along the North Devon and South Wales coastlines – is very pleasant. However, braving the water in just a swimsuit or trunks is only for the bravest. If you really want to make the most of the sea, wetsuits at this time of year are vital.
Osprey has a fantastic selection of wetsuits and accessories that will help to make sure that your sea adventures are as pleasurable as possible during the cooler months. They are excellent quality and also relatively easy to put on. The Osprey wetsuits are available in different thicknesses and there is a whole range of wetsuits that are specifically designed to help keep you as warm as possible when the cold conditions set in.
If you have never purchased a wetsuit before or want to update your wetsuit so that you are prepared for heading into the water at this time of year, the 5/4mm range of winter wetsuits are perfect for the job. They are noticeably thicker than the standard options that are usually available. For those who like a lighter option that can be used during warmer months too, the 3/2mm options and shorties are versatile and work well.
As someone with limited knowledge about wetsuits, I was pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of the thickness and how much of a difference this can make to your enjoyment on an autumn beach. Not only does it help to keep you warm when you are in the water, but it also gives some extra comfort for the likes of rock pooling or building sandcastles with the children. You can really enjoy the different aspects of the beach while shielded from the elements, which makes the whole experience much more pleasurable.
Another important fact to consider during the off season is the helpfulness of various accessories and I found the wetsuit boots were particularly useful for staying snug in the sea. They also give you excellent protection when you want to clamber across the rocky areas or explore a pebbly beach – the grip is brilliant, and your feet stay lovely and warm.
The Osprey range features in our #LoveTheBeach campaign photoshoot because it caters particularly well for all members of the family. The wetsuits are available in different sizes for children, with the smallest fitting my three-year-old son very well.
The art of enjoying the great outdoors at this time of year is making sure that you have the right clothing with you. Particularly on the beach, it opens a whole new world of opportunities and it leads to hours of healthy fun for all the family.
During our photoshoot for the #LoveTheBeach campaign, both children were warm and toasty in their wetsuits and boots. As a result, they played for hours between shots and made the most of the time on the beach. Collecting shells, drawing patterns in the sand and trying bodyboarding were just some of the healthy activities.
By the time the sun was starting to set, we left the coast with rosy cheeks and healthy appetites, which were later satisfied with a delicious pub supper.
#LoveTheBeach Where to go?
The UK and Ireland are blessed with some truly stunning beaches. Many of them can be reached easily by car and here are some of our favourite destinations to explore…
The North Devon coastline is perfect for those who wish to enjoy the surf and long sandy beaches. The likes of Woolacombe, Croyde and Saunton are popular throughout the year and many of the beaches are also dog-friendly, should you want to bring your canine friend along for the trip too. Check first though because some areas do not allow dogs. As you progress further South, the likes of Bude, St Ives and Perranporth come on the radar too. Meanwhile, Broadstairs in Kent has a number of fantastic sandy beaches.
Known as having some of the most spectacular beaches in the UK, the Welsh coastline offers the Gower, Dunraven and Broad Haven among many, many highlights. The water is also not too chilly at this time of year if you chose to head towards the Gower.
Ideal for those located in the East of the country, the beaches in Norfolk are beautiful. Holkham, Brancaster and Winterton-on-Sea are just a few of the destinations that are worth checking out in this part of the country.
Of course, the sea temperature is likely to be a little bit chillier up in Scotland, but the beaches are unspoilt and often very dramatic. The West Coast boasts holiday destination islands such as Arran and Skye, with Aberdeen famed for its long curve of golden sand between Aberdeen Harbour and the River Don’s mouth.
Benone Beach consists of seven miles of sandy shoreline that runs from Downhill to Magilligan Point. This is one of Ireland’s longest beaches and it is considered to be one of the best beaches in Northern Ireland.
Ireland is packed with countless unspoilt beaches. Among some of the best are Inch Beach on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry and Lahinch in County Clare, which is one of Ireland’s top surfing spots for beginners and experienced surfers.
#LoveTheBeach What to do?
Thinking of how to pass the time at the beach this autumn, here are a few ideas for fun activities to try:
Bodyboarding and surfing
The waves during the autumn/winter period can be some of the best. As long as you go prepared, you can enjoy hours of fun in the sea as a whole family. Make sure you stay close to others at all times and pay attention to tide and currents on the local authority websites.
Building sand castles and collecting shells or pebbles
This is an activity that little children love. They can spend a few hours collecting shells and pebbles, before using them to create patterns or adding them to sandcastles on the beach. The sand is often quite wet in the autumn months and works really well for building some incredible sandcastles.
Walking the dog
Check the local authority website about whether or not you are allowed to take a dog on the beach. If so, dogs usually love spending time on the beach and hopping in and out of the shallow waves.
Riding through the waves
Some beaches allow you to bring your horse or pony. It is an exhilarating feeling galloping through the waves and enjoying the beach when riding. Make sure you check whether you are allowed to bring horses onto the beach first and also familiarise yourself with parking options too.
Flying a kite
This is a popular activity for families who like to make the most of the sea breeze and it is worth packing a kite in your beach bag for the day.
Depending on the beach, you may find an area of rock pools. These can prove fascinating for little children. Finding seaweed and watching the various little sea creatures in the rock pools can provide hours of entertainment. Climbing through the rocks can also be a great adventure.
Exploring the sand dunes
If you are visiting a beach with sand dunes, then this can be your natural playground. Climbing up the sandy slopes and running down the other side will be hard work, but lots of fun.
Make a long jump pit or take a rugby ball on your beach adventures. The beach can be a natural games facilities for lots of different types of sport.
Swimming in the sea
So long as you have the right equipment with you, the sea can be enjoyed throughout the year! It is important to remain aware of all the safety aspects of swimming in the sea, but nothing beats a dip in nature’s swimming pool.
LoveTheBeach: What to wear?
As the tagline for our #LoveTheBeach campaign reads; “There is no such thing as bad weather; just inappropriate clothing.” This is particularly true during autumn, winter and the early months of spring. For those wanting to get in the water or build sandcastles with the wet sand and weave their way through rock pools, we recommend full wetsuit attire.
We photographed our #LoveTheBeach editorial campaign with Osprey wetsuits and the Osprey range varies according to thickness, so it is important to consider this aspect. It helps you to stay warm as the temperatures drop and it is well worth investing in a good wetsuit, because it makes a huge amount of difference for enjoying the full beach experience.
It is also helpful to take a look at the accessories. Sometimes you forget about your feet, hands and head, but there is something to cover every part of your body. The boots are particularly beneficial and provide excellent warmth and grip.
Make sure you pack plenty of towels in the car and also a warm set of clothes to change in to after your beach adventures. Dressing gowns are also handy as you swap from your wetsuit to normal clothes.
For those who don’t plan to head into the sea, the usual autumn/winter walking attire will suffice. It is often a bit windier on the coast, so a windproof jacket will certainly help – and perhaps a bobble hat too! Wellington boots will allow for a paddle, even for those who aren’t venturing in with a surf board.
#LoveTheBeach: Watch on Sloaney TV and follow on Instagram, Facebook and X/Twitter @TheSloaney
The #LoveTheBeach editorial campaign was shot on location in North Devon. Discover more about the beaches in North Devon and read some of the essential information here: Beaches in North Devon | North Devon Council Osprey wetsuits feature in our #LoveTheBeach editorial campaign and you can view their full selection of Osprey wetsuits and accessories here: Neoprene Wetsuits | Free UK Delivery | Osprey Action Sports
Words: Laura Toogood
Photography: LT and Gilles
Models: LT, G, RH and MJH
Next up: Thinking ahead to the festive season and Christmas in Kensington – The Sloaney