By Harriet Kent

When someone asks where is your happy place, what would be your reply? If I am asked, there is no hesitation, and I proudly state that it has to be the beach. But which one? We are so spoilt here on the Island.

Do you go for one of the popular beaches, one with a Blue Flag or could it be one of those hidden-away gems that not that many people know about? Could it be one that you risk your life trying to clamber down to? 

Or one of those with an easy descent which is achievable without the dog pulling you from the safety of their leash headfirst in their excitement to get their paws on all that sand!

For me, it has to be one of the hidden gems, which I am not going to give away! It is a place that I can escape to and spend time contemplating life. The sound of the waves rippling through the tiny stones and pebbles, sighing as they reach the shore and then drawing back out again. The repetition is soothing, somewhat hypnotic, particularly when I close my eyes and just listen. Time stands still and contemplation is completed. It is a great antidote to stress and far better than any pills or potions.

Summertime beach visits are as good for the soul as are the winter visits. In summer the beach comes alive with the laughter from children. The adventure of rock-pooling and the delight as a species of shellfish or anemone is located. The hermit crabs, the cockles, cuttlefish bones and, if you are fortunate enough to spot them, the odd whelk or two.

Nothing beats collecting finds in a seawater-filled plastic bucket fashioned in the shape of a turret which also doubles up as a handy sandcastle building tool. The little fishing nets and crab lines all hold a special place in my memories.

Summer without the beach? I just couldn’t imagine it!