Our traditional family trip to Cornwall’s Blackrock beach reminded me why I love the pared back simplicity of the UK coast in winter.
The hustle and bustle of the summer makes way for wild waves and endless space. Who needs crowds and queues when you have the sand to yourself and a lungful of fresh, salty air?
We’ve been going to Blackrock beach for so long now I don’t remember when it started. Every year around thirty of us gather on a windswept beach to catch up, share memories and good times. Parents, siblings, cousins, grandparents.
At low tide when the cold clear atlantic water retreats, the rock pools stretch out into the distance and it’s possible to climb the large outcrop that gives the beach its name. At high tide the giant rock becomes stranded, an island of its own.
Just south of Widemouth Bay, Blackrock is ruggedly beautiful. The South West Coastal Path, England’s longest waymarked long-distance footpath, runs overhead.
It’s become a special spot for us. From the oldest to the youngest, everyone in our family comes together to reconnect by the sea. It was the last place my Nan visited with us after starting the tradition many years before. This time round, a brand new member of our family made her first trip to the wild Cornish shore.
Our pictures tell the story of each visit. Young ones giggling at the front, older ones giggling at the back and everyone absolutely bloody freezing.
It’s perspective, a reminder to slow down and mark time at the turn of the year. Where land and sea meet, for endings and new beginnings.