Why I'd rather be on a beach right now: Beach Vacation Guide

Written by  Kat Mackintosh

I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like going to the beach. Just the word beach, whispered furtively into a crowd on a miserable day on the rat race hamster wheel can be enough to ignite the eyes and get the dream machines going. Some people are thinking wistfully about the sound of the ocean waves or the smell of the salt air, some drool over the idea of the sand between their toes, some imagine shaded palms and turquoise waters and some people just want a day to themselves where they can soak up the long beach sun without needing an excuse.

But why are beaches always so far away? Is it just that left over torment from being an excited kid - are we there yet? Are we there yet? Even parts of sandy coastal cities can feel a long way from a sandy beach! So I put it to you that as well as being where the ocean meets the land ‘the beach’ is made up of other things, including a beachy state of mind.

Though many of our dream beaches are of ribbons of soft white sand sinking beneath water a shade of blue my paint box calls Brandeis Blue (Whitehaven Beach), a beach can be far less perfect without losing its pull. Pebbly, with light grey water and rocks below the surface, still makes a good beach, the best if you’re interested in rock pooling or snorkelling; and, its yellow sand covered in rows of red lobster bodies, Bondi is great for people watching ,and just down the hill from cafes and bars. If you want to get technical a beach not only doesn’t need to have sand, it doesn’t even need to have saltwater or the ocean. Considering that, the idea of a beachy state of mind is beginning to make more sense to you isn't it? and it centres around a feeling of freedom.

The ocean sound and sandy salty smell evoke memories of relaxing and not having to do anything. ‘Cause that’s the thing with beaches: you don’t have to wear shoes or a watch, you don’t have to dress up, you don’t really have to do anything and that’s fine - no one is expecting you to. At the beach you can be as active or as inactive as you like, beach boys who like that sort of thing jog or play sport or swim, beach girls who like reading, read, for beach babes, sand is surprisingly entertaining and for those of us who just want to relax and do nothing it’s perfectly acceptable just to sit on the beach and watch other people do stuff. I can’t think of any other place with the same freedom from expectations.

Having to travel to get to the beach is part of the magic. Walking out of your office block isn’t enough to set you free - travelling to a beach is. On your way the same sense of excitement you had when you were a kid builds, because you’re about to give yourself some time in the warming, cheerful sun, surrounded by nature to just do what you want. No wonder the whisper of it on a rush hour train is enough to send people round the sandy beachy bend.

All our best beaches

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