It’s our 30th birthday in August! It’s a great landmark in our history. So, by way of a celebration we thought we should also celebrate everything that lies at the heart of our company. We asked writer, surfer and camper van adventurer, Martin Dorey, to put together a list of his (and our) favourite 30 things to do in summer. These are the kind of things that you’ll find us doing on our days off (and sometimes during our lunch hours too) and what we think of when we’re designing our clothes.
So grab a towel, put the key in the ignition and hit the road on 30 fantastic, fun filled adventures.
This week we’re off to the beach (of course!).
1. COASTEERING: St David’s, Pembrokeshire
Once upon a time in a little City in the far west of Wales, a group of frothing surfers found a new and exciting way to enjoy the amazing coastline on their doorstep during the long flat spells of summer. They jumped, swam, traversed and climbed their way to secret coves and caves, eventually turning it into the sport of Coasteering. Today, you can go coasteering all over the UK, but if you’re going to do it, do it properly with a trip back to the source, where it all began, at St David’s in Pembrokeshire with TYF Adventure, the company that started it. They’ve got a great eco stance too, and will show you the best of their lovely, secret coast. You will love it!
Book up a great adventure at https://www.tyf.com/
2. SEA GLASS HUNTING: Greysands Beach, Westward Ho!
Part of the fun of beachcombing is finding treasure, like Lego washed off a cargo ship in 1997, or detecting for lost coins after a busy day at the beach. The ultimate find for many, however, is sea glass. These are bits of broken glass that’s been worn smooth by the action of the waves over many years. Bits of sea glass are the jewels of the beach, with some colours rarer than others. Green, brown and white pieces are quite common while red and blue pieces are much harder to find. You can find sea glass on lots of beaches but there are some places where there is more than the average, normally due to old glass factories nearby (like at Seaham in Northumberland).
One place that’s great is the site of the old Victorian dump at Greysands and Skern beaches on Northam Burrows, North Devon. Expect lots of white glass, but keep your eyes peeled for those glinting, precious, coloured pieces.
3. BEACH CLEANING: #2minutbeachclean stations around the coast
Since Blue Planet 2 we’ve all become aware of the problem with beach litter and marine plastics. We all need to reduce our plastic consumption at home to stop the flow, but we can also take action whenever we go to the beach. That’s by taking part in a #2minutebeachclean. All you have to do is see how much plastic you can find in just 2 minutes. You’ll be surprised! Once you’ve got your haul take a picture of it and post it to social media using the hashtag #2minutebeachclean. You’ll be in good company too – big wave legend Andrew Cotton is a big supporter of the campaign! And every piece of plastic you take off the beach matters.
If you need help with your #2minutbeachclean you can borrow litter pickers and bags from over 400 #2minutebeachclean stations round the UK and Ireland. To find your nearest – and to log the litter onto a national database – download the #2minutebeachclean app. Join the beach cleaning warriors!
4. SURFING: Penhale Sands (and lots of other beaches too)
If you don’t mind the trek down the high dunes (and back up again) or the walk from Perranporth, then Penhale Sands is one of the UK’s best surfing destinations. With miles of empty beach, a bunch of uncrowded, fun and fast peaks it can be a surfer’s paradise with a small, clean swell on a sunny summer’s day. If you’re new to surfing then it may be best to take a lesson at some of the UK’s best surf spots or surf where the lifeguards will be able to keep an eye on you: Perranporth, Newquay, Woolacombe, Saunton, Bude or Polzeath. Surf schools are all accredited, fully qualified and can get you standing in no time. Plus you’ll be in safe hands if you get out of your depth – as long as you remember to surf between the black and white flags.
5. SKINNY DIPPING: Pednvounder Beach (or anywhere)
When the sun is high is the sky and the beach is deserted, there’s only one thing to do, right? Yes! That’s shedding your worldly clobber and dashing into the sea for a skinny dip. Oh, come on! Don’t be a prude. On quiet beaches and secret coves there’s nothing better than screaming with joy and abandon as you dash into the ocean for a cooling, refreshing, just-as-you-are dip.
If you’re the brave sort – or can’t find anywhere quiet enough - then you can always head to one of the few beaches around the UK where nudity is acceptable. One of the very best is Pednvounder in South Cornwall. It’s beautiful too, with white sand and an incredible turquoise sea. Go for it!!!
6. SNORKELLING: Port Gaverne, North Cornwall
It’s not often that the sea in North Cornwall gets clear enough to go snorkelling, but at Port Gaverne it’s very sheltered from the waves. This means that the visibility can be quite good, even when other places are murky. It is a famed spot for shore dives and there are operators who can take you if you want to do more than float on the surface. Go at high tide and explore the base of the cliffs and rock pools or swim out to the sea caves. The beach is owned by the National Trust.
Give www.atlanticscuba.co.uk a call for more information…
7. KAYAKING: Dartmouth, South Devon
If you want to explore caves, cliffs and coast from a different perspective then you need to see it by sea kayak. And south Devon is the place to do it. Sheltered from the full force of the Atlantic, the coast is less harsh than the north coast, with more estuaries, inlets and nooks and crannies to explore. Seeing them all from a kayak will enable you to go places that are inaccessible on foot, see wildlife you won’t see from a motor boat and enjoy a peaceful day on the water. And if you want to camp overnight at hidden spots and secret coves you can do that too!
Check out https://www.seakayakdevon.co.uk/ for more info.
8. THE WASHING MACHINE: Bude Sea Pool
Okay, so this might be one for the super swimmers and daredevils, but it’s worth going to Bude Sea Pool just to see the local kids in the washing machine. Let me explain. At high tide the sea washes over the walls of Bude Sea Pool. If you’re the daring type you can sit on the edge of the pool and let the waves knock you into the pool. The local kids love doing it and call it the washing machine.
Bude Sea Pool is a wonderful place to go when the sea is too rough for swimming or just to knock out a few lengths. It’s 100 metres long and is refilled every day by the tide, so it’s clean and clear. It’s one of the best places for open water swimming on the Cornish Coast. And if you fancy a wash in the machine? Go carefully and make sure the lifeguards are on duty…
Become a friend of Bude Sea Pool and help keep it open at https://www.budeseapool.org/
9. BEACH EATS: Barricane Beach Café, Woolacombe
There are plenty of beach cafes around the coast, but one of the coolest – by far – is The Barricane Beach Café. Find it north of Woolacombe’s miles of sand, in a little inlet between the rocks. The food is Sri Lankan curry and the vibe is very definitely hot. Locals love it so you’ll have to get there early to get the best spot. Or bag a takeaway and enjoy it on the beach (don’t forget to recycle your empties).
Barricane Beach is fabulous, has great rockpooling and is made up of lots of shells that, apparently, get washed over from the Caribbean. It’s a great place to watch the sunset too. What more do you need?
Find out more about Barricane at https://www.northdevon.com/beaches/barricane-beach
10. ROCKPOOLING: Kimmeridge bay, Dorset
Kids will love Kimmeridge Bay. It is absolutely magical, at any time of the year. The geology here has created fingers of rock that stick out into the bay, so forming wonderful rockpools. It’s on the Jurassic Coast too, so there are lots of fossils to be seen in the rocks. As if that wasn’t enough for mini geologists, budding explorers and curious kids, there is a Dorset Wildlife Trust marine centre on the headland where you can find out all about the beach, cliffs and local sea going creepy crawlies. The surf can be good here too! Also, getting here, across the Purbeck Hills and down tiny lanes can be an adventure in itself. Bring a picnic for an amazing day out!
Read more about Kimmeridge at https://www.dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk/kimmeridgewildseas.html
If you enjoyed this blog, keep an eye out for the next installment of our 30 Things to do this Summer as part of our 30th Anniversary Celebrations!