It’s now less than a week until Christmas. However, due to the milder weather this year, I have heard a lot a people grumble that it simply does not feel like Christmas. If there is an activity that is guaranteed to deliver on the chill factor, it is a bracing winter walk by the coast.
When I was younger, my family regularly spent Christmas at my grandparents’ house in Devon, which meant that our Christmas day walk was often by the coast. I particularly remember walks along the South West Coast path at Sidmouth. The idea of venturing out of the living room and away from those newly opened presents always seemed hard at first, but the pull of the seaside was strong and it was a great opportunity to put to use the hat, scarf or quirky Christmas jumper that we had just pulled out of our stockings.
Seeing the sea on Christmas day always felt special, whatever the weather. With everywhere quieter than usual the crunch of pebbles underfoot seemed louder and the wintry sea more powerful.
We would return home to the smell of the Turkey cooking and know that we had walked up an appetite to really enjoy it, and were grateful for the warmth of the kitchen as we prepared the rest of lunch.
A lot of people stick to the same walk for Christmas day, and there is nothing wrong with tradition. This year my family are spending Christmas at home in Wiltshire and I expect we will go for our usual walk in the beautiful countryside around Lacock.
However, if you have the opportunity to walk by the sea this Christmas, why not maximise your festive feelings by taking the opportunity to combine two occasions that so often leave fantastic memories, a walk by the sea and Christmas day?
The National Trust walks map can help you find a coastal walk near you from hundreds of options, with free downloadable trails.
Here are a few ideas:
Birling Gap – East Sussex
South East Cornwall
Formby – Nr Liverpool
Rosie Perry, Neptune Coastline Campaign Intern