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Camping magazine's 10 Great Reasons to Camp by the Seaside!
Camping

Camping magazine's 10 Great Reasons to Camp by the Seaside!

Posted Monday, 26 June 2017   |   815 views   |   Leisure Interest   |   Comments (0) Heading to the coast this summer? Iain Duff brings you the 10 essential things you need to do when you’re beside the seaside – plus 20 of the UK’s finest coastal campsites. 

Camping is good for the soul… and camping by the coast is even better. There’s something about breathing in the sea air and getting sand between your toes that just makes you feel so good. In the UK, no-one lives more than 80 miles from the coast, so it’s not surprising that thousands of us head for the seaside every weekend. And of course the best option is take your tent and pitch up on one of the many campsites on or close to our coastline. But what should you do once you’ve pitched your tent? Here’s our 10 seaside family essentials.

 

1. ENJOY THE BRIGHT LIGHTS

Part of the charm of seaside resorts is the traditional attractions like the piers, amusement arcades and funfairs. Kids might be more sophisticated these days thanks to video games and non-stop TV, but they still love the thrill of stuffing 2p coins into brightly lit up machines or being hurled into the air on a rickety old fairground ride.

 

2. WATCH THE SUNSET

For a more genteel way to pass the time, cast your eyes eastwards. If you’re lucky enough to find a pitch with a sea view, chances are you’ll spend many an evening sitting outside your tent, gazing in awe as the sun sinks slowly into the sea.

 

3. SCOFF ‘JUNK’ FOOD

No trip to the coast is complete without generous helpings of fish and chips, ice cream and a traditional stick of rock. Some of our seaside towns will try to tempt you with exotic stuff like kebabs and burgers, but don’t succumb. Cod and chips is the only acceptable fast food to eat when you’re strolling along the prom. But watch out for the seagulls.

 

4. EAT FRESHLY CAUGHT SEAFOOD

If you insist on eating more healthily, the seaside is the place to do it. You don’t need to cast a line off a pier or go rummaging around in rock pools for seaweed to enjoy the fresh taste of the sea. We’ve already mentioned the joys of cod from a seaside chippy, but there are plenty of other seafood specialities available around Britain. For example, tuck into potted shrimps in Morecambe, dressed crab in Norfolk or smokies in Arbroath. Whitstable in Kent is a seafood lover’s paradise. The vibrant, working harbour is home to a fish market where you can pick up all sorts of recently-landed seafood to take home and cook. You can also queue up to buy a mackerel sandwich and eat it on the quayside, against a backdrop of fishing boats and nets. Whitstable is also famed for its oysters and there is an annual oyster festival in the town.

 

5. TAKE THE PLUNGE

Okay, so the waters round Britain might be a bit chilly, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a swim. What could be better on a sunny summer’s morning than a bracing morning dip in the briny before rushing back to your tent for bacon and eggs and a mug of tea? And for those of you that like the idea of catching some waves, many beaches have wetsuits and surfboards for hire, with some offering lessons for beginners.

6. HUNT FOR TREASURE

Imagine taking a stroll along the beach and discovering a rock containing the fossilised remains of a creature that lived millions of years ago. The beauty of fossil hunting is that you really don’t have to put much effort into it. Although fossils can be found in all sorts of places, the beach is the most common place to look for them and the most suitable for children. They can keep an eye open as they dig in the sand or paddle in the sea. Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is one of the best places in Britain to find fossils and the best area to search for them is around Charmouth and Lyme Regis. But it’s not just prehistoric treasures you’ll find on the beach. Arm yourself with a metal detector and go searching for shiny stuff.

 

7. BROWSE THE SHOPS

We love the tacky souvenir and gift shops that line the promenades in seaside towns. You can stock up on everything from buckets and spades to giant inflatables. You’ll also find hundreds of postcards on sale. Letter-writing is becoming a forgotten art but the kids will love choosing a postcard and sending a quick note home to grandparents and school friends – and getting a card in the post is so much better than an email or Facebook message. Away from the kiss-me-quick hats, there are plenty of upmarket independent stores selling quirky seaside-themed knick-knacks that you won’t find anywhere else – especially in more upmarket resorts like St Ives, Southwold and Whitstable.

 

8. HAVE A PICNIC

Soggy sandwiches and cans of warm fizzy pop are so 1980s. These days a seaside picnic is a far more exotic affair, whether you prepare it yourself or buy everything from the local deli. You could even take a mini barbecue and cook some chicken wings on the beach. Don’t forget to pack sun hats and sun cream to protect from the sun’s rays and a windbreak is essential to stop sand getting into your sandwiches. Hire a beach hut for the ultimate seaside experience.

 

9. WATCH THE WILDLIFE

The cliffs, rocky shores, sandy dunes and muddy estuaries of Britain’s coastline are habitats for all sorts of marine life; birds, mammals, fish and plants. Britain has some of the most important sea bird colonies in the world and at the coast you can look out for gulls, terns, oystercatchers, gannets, puffins, guillemots and kittiwakes. Along parts of the coast, seals, dolphins and even whales and sharks can sometimes be seen. Grey and common seals are fascinating creatures to watch in their natural habitat and there are plenty of places to spot them around the British coast, including Blakeney in Norfolk, Skomer Island in Pembrokeshire, Donna Nook seal colony in Lincolnshire, the Orkney Islands, Cornwall, Moray Firth, and Farne Islands National Nature Reserve.

 

10. EXPLORE ROCK POOLS

Youngsters love poking around in rock pools and it’s a great way of introducing them to the wildlife that’s to be found on our coastline. Grab a net and explore the many pools that appear when the tide goes out. You can spend hours searching for all sorts of marine life left behind by the sea. And even if you don’t discover any living creatures, you’re sure to uncover some interesting-looking rocks and stones. 

Plus… 10 GREAT BRITISH SEASIDE RESORTS

What’s better than a traditional British seaside resort? Here are our 10 favourites – all of them perfect for a camping getaway

 

1. BLACKPOOL, Lancashire

2. ST IVES, Cornwall

3. WHITSTABLE, Kent

4. WHITBY, Yorkshire

5. GREAT YARMOUTH, Norfolk

6. ST ANDREWS, Fife

7. NEWQUAY, Cornwall

8. CROMER, Norfolk

9. LLANDUDNO, North Wales

10. LYME REGIS, Dorset

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