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Accessing secluded beaches

Isn't it wonderful to once again feel the sun on our faces. After a long winter of almost endless rain, seeing the sun makes me feel like I'm on holiday. It got me thinking. How do we behave when on holiday, or when taking a day trip?

Do we travel with regard for others including the locals, or, do we travel with ourselves the centre of attention, with our needs surpassing the needs of all others?

Two days ago I stopped at a cafe next to a narrow country lane. They have a large private car park. I bought my takeaway (only takeaways are allowed here due to Covid-19 restrictions) and as the cafe was quiet, asked if I could please leave my car in their car park whilst I went for a walk? They were absolutely willing for me to do so. I suspected they'd say "yes", after all they'd said "yes" when I'd asked once before in busier pre lockdown days.

You see, that carpark is fairly close to a secluded beach and several walking trails. The cafe gets business from walkers and possibly swimmers (though I've never seen anyone there in a bathing suit or wet suit). Walkers get to park their cars. No country lanes are blocked to through traffic, in particular, emergency services vehicles.

Alas yesterday near a different secluded beach, I saw three cars parked on two different hair pin bends. Those bends are steep and tight. They used to be much tighter, almost impossible for bigger vehicles to get around. Thankfully now by widening the bends emergency vehicles such as fire engines can get through. But, vehicles such as a fire engine can only get through if the bends are clear. Yet some drivers have deemed fit to move the stones intended to deter drivers from parking, and now park their cars there before heading off to the beach. If a house were burning, it would keep burning, fire engines unable to reach it thanks to some beachgoers parking where they shouldn't.

There are so many beaches in the UK, we are spoiled for choice, we really are. Some are packed, others busy, others moderately busy, others fairly quiet, others absolutely secluded. Some have parking, some don't. Some are accessible by bicycle or horse thanks to bridleways. Some are accessible by foot only. The chances are, if a beach is only accessible by foot, bicycle, or horse, there's another beach nearby that's got places to park which doesn't involving blocking gates, blocking access to houses, blocking fire engines and other emergency vehicles from navigating hair pin bends.

As we venture out and explore, whether its close to home or further afield, let's think of others first and let's build relationships with locals by not blocking lanes, driveways and hair pin bends. After all, if it were your house that was burning, wouldn't you want the fire engine to be able to get there ASAP?

Happy and safe beach going everyone.

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