I’m not a fan of the better-known British beaches, namely Brighton, Newquay, Bournemouth and Blackpool. To me, they’re tarnished by overcrowding, littered with tourists, and populated with shops looking to cash-in. With over 11,000 miles of coastline, the British Isles hold host to some magnificent unspoilt beaches, if you’re prepared to venture off the beaten track and explore.
Recently, I found myself down in the quaint coastal town of Hythe in the south-east corner of the country. There to watch some non-league football and with plenty of time to spare until kick-off, I took the opportunity to wander down the side streets in search of the beach. What I found was, to me, the quintessential British coastline – a vast expanse of sweeping beach, a scattering of worn and weathered fishing boats, a pleasing absence of people and not a tourist shop in sight. Oh and the scene wouldn’t be complete without an overcast, stormy sky.
I spent a good while wandering along the beach sniffing around the boats, peering inside the crumbling beach huts and stepping between the frayed fishing nets. With only the noise of waves smashing against the pebbles for company (another typical feature of British beaches) it’s quite the cleansing and peaceful place to be. In fact, quite the opposite to Brighton beach on a warm summer day where sunbathing space is a premium. Given the choice, I can’t see why beaches such as Hythe remain so deserted. But that’s quite alright with me.
Author – Oliver Pohlmann