Liz Frost discovers the wellbeing benefits of heading to the beach in November
With Christmas on the horizon, the beach is likely to be the furthest thing from your mind, but we’re here to tell you that visiting the beach in winter-time could just be your new favourite thing. In the midst of blustery November, I stayed in a beautiful two-storey cottage called Purbeck in Swanage in Dorset. Not only did it blow away the many cobwebs that I had accrued during the year, but I came away wondering why on earth I don’t do this more often. Here are five reasons your wellbeing will thank you for heading to the coast this winter.
Purbeck Escape The beach
You might think nobody in their right mind would fancy strolling along the promenade in the depths of winter, but hear me out. With a hot bag of chips and a good coat, we make our way along the front, breathing in the cool salty air as we go. The shingly sand seems to almost sparkle in the moonlight as we walk along the shore. Feeling it crunch under the foot of a sturdy boot is an altogether different feeling to the swooshy feeling of sand slipping through your toes in summer. It’s a hearty, wholesomeness that’s difficult to put into words. The soft caress of the waves hitting the sand and pulling back is somehow more meditative, and the otherwise quiet stretch of coastline in front of us seems to shimmer and dance. It’s a bit of magic.
The lack of crowds
Seaside towns are generally jam-packed throughout the summer months, which not only creates a sense of urgency, but also causes a lot of noise pollution. The serene calm of the sea in winter takes your brain to a much calmer place, leaving room for reflection on the year gone by. The pace slows way down, making your stay more meandering. You will go home feeling truly rested.
Cottages are cosy, there’s no doubt about it, but a cottage by the sea in
Winter has to the cosiest. After a hearty stroll along the front, with our bellies full of fish and chips we return to our home-from-home for the weekend and make hot cocoa and cosy up in our pyjamas and winter socks. Purbeck Escape has large French doors that lead out onto a secluded terrace. From here we can spy the distant fireworks of bonfire night. My nose is still red from all the fresh air, and my hands are defrosting on my warm mug. Later we’ll watch a movie and cuddle the kids on the marshallow-of-a-sofa. Bliss. The sea air
Sea air is so good for you that Victorian doctors used to prescribe a trip to the seaside for patients. The sea air is super-charged with negative ions, which super-charge your ability to absorb oxygen and naturally increase your levels of serotonin, giving you all the happy feels. These negative ions – which are found in abundance near bodies of moving water – are believed to revitalise enhance immune function, help purify your blood and promote deep sleep and healthy digestion. It’s believed that the relatively high amount of salt in sea air helps to open up the airways, so breathing becomes easier. This is particularly true in winter when most people spend more time indoors with central heating.
Do you know how many castles there are in Dorset? 9! Yes, you heard us right. From the awesome views and dramatic ruins of Corfe Castle, to the stately air of Lulworth Castle and Park, you’re really spoilt for choice. If castles aren’t your bag, there’s so much else on offer, from the teddy bear museum and Tutankhamun exhibition, to the Swanage railway and Hardy’s cottage, not to mention the many walks, cycling, wildlife and if you’re brave enough, cold water swimming!
For more information, or to make a booking, visit
dhcottages.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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