A day at Calshot beach

The sun was shining last weekend so a familiar phrase fell from my lips.”I wish I was at the beach,” I had sighed in front of anyone who was around.

I live a good two-hour drive away from any coastline, and I said this at about 2pm on a Sunday, so it obviously wasn’t going to happen there and then but a few days later, though, I received an email:

“If the weather is lovely at the weekend we should go down to Calshot,”

and all of my dreams promptly came true.*

Yesterday I found myself in a car whizzing down the A34 to have a picnic on the beach. Calshot is on the edge of the New Forest, and its beach overlooks the Solent, Isle of Wight, Southampton Docks and Portsmouth. And a decommissioned oil power station. That’s quite a few things, and all quite interesting to sit and watch whilst nomming ricotta-stuffed cherry bomb chillis on a brisk but sunny afternoon. Glamorous, I know(!)

It was fairly busy on the beach but not packed – mostly families who were stopping by for a quick wander and an ice cream to appease the kids before leaving again.

I bought a new DSLR a few months ago so thought that this would be a decent opportunity to try it out. The below are the results, and I hope that they demonstrate not only how nice the day was but also how amateur a photographer I am!

Calshot Castle, Calshot Activities Centre and Southampton Docks
Boats on Calshot beach
It’s me! And I’m in front of Fawley Power Station
Portsmouth and Spinnaker Tower (on a nice clear day)
View of the Isle of Wight from the car
Obligatory beach hut photo
A summary of things I saw at Calshot:
  • lots of seagulls
  • 2 brent geese grazing on the gravel (“What kind of seagull is that?” doh)
  • lots of people with metal detectors
  • the busiest ice cream van I’ve seen this side of the new millennium
  • a castle (£3 to go in, no idea what’s in there – the English Heritage website is not helpful in that respect)
  • the Spinnaker Tower
  • a man in yellow waders having a good old forage, which seemed like a nice way to spend a Saturday.
My ‘thrilled to be here but my hair is not so sure’ face. This is always the way my face reacts when it sees the sun for the first time in months.

We had a marvellous day trip and being by the sea on a fine and sunny day was very cathartic after a damp winter. I used to live by the sea in Wales for university, and visiting for a few hours reminded me how much I really miss spending lazy days on the shale with friends and a tennis ball or book. Hopefully I will get the chance to go back to that neck of the woods again soon.

All recommendations for good beaches to visit in the UK are always welcome!

Home again to the sun setting over the countryside

  *An exaggeration.

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