Going to the beach always inspires Una to take off her shoes. Even if it’s bitterly cold and raining, she can’t help wanting to feel the rocks or sand underneath her feet. It has little to do with remembering the warmth of the summer sunshine. My little contrarian prefers rain.
However, I have to admit that visiting the beach in the winter takes a bit of effort… even for me! And I live on a peninsula, with the ocean only a few blocks from my house to the north, south and west.
We get caught up in our everyday routine of swimming lessons, school, work and laundry. We forget that the beach is always there, waiting for us. Even when it’s cold and rainy.
The Best Things About The Beach on a Grey Day
It’s easy to head out to the beach when the sun is shining, and you’re inspired to pick up a bucket and spade and build sandcastles. However, there are certain advantages to heading out to the beach in the winter.
- Quiet: In the summer, you are part of a daily mass migration to the beach. Competing for space to layout your towel.
The beach in the winter is almost lonely, with only a few intrepid visitors. Yet, it is a blissful loneliness that urbanites seldom get to experience. The quiet solitude of being alone in nature.
- Beautiful: Images of burning red sand and bright blue skies don’t encapsulate all of the beauty offered by the beach. The shades of grey and layers of clouds on the horizon. The shifting rocks and bleached logs along the shore are best noticed in winter
- Fresh air: Winter traps us indoors with the smell of exhaled breath and forced-air heating. A winter beach is fresh with the scent of salt and the wind.
How to Enjoy the Beach in the Winter
While you might not be tempted to swim, there are still lots of ways that you can enjoy the beach in the winter. Here are a few ideas that will hopefully tempt you:
- Walk: The most obvious way to enjoy the beach is to simply walk along the shoreline. At low tide, you can usually go pretty far along the intertidal zone.
- Skip stones: Have you tried skipping stones lately? It’s a surprisingly addictive activity. It also provides plenty of opportunity for some friendly competition.
- Let your kids and dogs run free: Even if you don’t need some outdoor time, chances are that if you have kids or dogs in your house then you know how important it is for them to have a chance to run. The beach is a perfect location. There are lots for them to explore, while you sit on a log and sip a thermos of coffee.
- Practice playing the ukulele: There’s something about beaches and ukuleles, they are just made for each other. We have a cool glow-in-the-dark waterproof ukulele that is very beach-friendly. And the winter is a perfect time to practice your rendition of Riptide because you won’t be ruining anyone else’s beach experience by singing the words wrong.
- Get some work done: I like editing on the beach. It’s particularly useful those awful first drafts. The view helps distract from the fact that my self-esteem has plummeted to the centre of the earth.
- Free your feet: Even in the winter, the rocks and sand of the beach will warm up in the sunshine. It’s the perfect chance to free your feet. They get tired of being cooped up all winter, and even the weak winter’s sun will feel refreshing.
- Enjoy the view: The view is such an obvious reason to head to the beach that it barely needs mentioning. Even in the winter, the view will stretch right to the horizon.