Beaches may be at their best on hot sunny days, when you can bake on the sand, refresh in the sea and stay until the sun goes down. But there’s something rather raw and wonderful about them in winter. Watching the weather come in from the horizon. Being battered by the wind blowing in off the sea. And the beauty of the silver grey water merging with the silver grey clouds.
And in my neck of the woods, on the east side of Exeter, there’s one close by at Exmouth that’s perfect for a walk. Which is why, in need of a break from our regular winter walks on muddy tracks and wet grass, I recently headed down there with my greyhound. It’s not the first time I’ve walked along Exmouth beach – it’s great for shells and I’ve spent many happy hours searching for these treasures.
There’s plenty of room on the wide beach however, and Rosie and I could walk in peace, listening to the washing in and out of the waves and snippets of conversations as we passed other walkers. Out on the water, hardy rowers powered their boats across the bay and flocks of geese swept silently towards the estuary.
All this peace made for some great head space – I think the rawness of a winter beach only amplifies the meditative quality of walking, and just an hour was enough for me to feel refreshed and motivated. Time to warm up with a hot chocolate in one of Exmouth’s cafes perhaps…