That’s right, I will prove wrong those stereotypes that we all hear and, well, believe, about beaches in the UK. Seeing as the whole of UK has its reputation for constant rain, wind, and cold temperatures, it comes as no surprise really that, at least for foreigners, there is no real attraction felt towards the coastline of these northern islands.
Nevertheless, speaking for England here, beginning of July is when it is most hot. Consequently, that is definitely the time that you would go see close beaches, if you decide to do so. Yet, really, there is no point to be so hesitant. Many locals go to beaches along the whole year to surf, but they have no problem doing that considering they are wearing wetsuits (neoprene, thermal, and so on). For the rest of us, summertime is the only time we may have the slight chance of sunbathing and, chiefly, of a quick swim.
My family is very spontaneous when it comes to planning holidays, primarily, and one morning we decided to go to a beach on the west of England. Despite the weather not looking very promising—in fact, it looked like it was about to rain, as also promised by the weather forecast—, we still drove there. It was 7 AM when we left.
The name of the beach is Woolacombe Beach, situated on the coast near northern Devon, in England. It was voted #1 in the UK on TripAdvisor, and it is a major attraction for surfers of any kind.
In any case, somehow we were in luck; by noon the sun was out and the sky was clearing. Living in England, we are used to that, but it was stunning to see how quickly the view of the entire beach changed. Woolacombe Beach was beautiful even when it was cloudy and empty in that morning, yet when the sun came out, it really felt like we weren’t on the coast of the UK. One side of the beach even actually looked as if it was some exotic location in Spain, while the other side, which was also where dogs were allowed so it was less crowded, looked a tad bit more British, I would say.
It instantly became crowded, and slowly, it wasn’t only surfers with their thermals going in the water, but also people in their bathing suits (like us). The water was not quite the right temperature, but once inside we easily got used to it and had a great time. Besides that, it is a great hiking adventure, depending on your fitness preferences, of course. In other words, to get the beach from some spots, you need to go down a flight of stairs and tall hills of deep sand. It’s all fun and games going downhill, but climbing back to the car can get tiring if you are not in that shape.
Point said, I was just like anyone else before I went to Woolacombe Beach. I was expecting rain, a sky full of dark clouds, strong wind, cool temperatures, and angry waves. Instead, I found a rapid change in weather which opened the beach to a gorgeous view of calmness and, well, real summer (which is nothing we get often around here). Thus, don’t underestimate the UK’s coasts.