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 looking for the kind of culture that makes our hearts sing. Fancy it?
Let’s do it!
WORLD CHAMPION CRABBING: Appledore Quay
How often do you get the chance to compete in a World Championship? Not very often I’d wager. This August you have a chance to become a ‘World Champion’ at Appledore in North Devon in the crabbing competition at Appledore Regatta. All you have to do is catch the most crabs in the allotted time. Simple! As someone who has crabbed many times at this most excellent of crabbing spots I can say that the crabs of Appledore ADORE old bacon. That’s my secret weapon. Not that I have ever been a world champ! Even if you don’t make it in time for the comp, Appledore Quay is a top crabbing spot. I can almost hear the kids squealing with delight from here…
LIDO LUXURY: Jubilee Pool Penzance
Are you the kind of swimmer who ploughs along doing crawl or the kind who takes it easy and takes their time with a genteel breast stroke? Or are you the type who splashes about with the kids? Perhaps you’re the type who likes to dip every so often, spending the rest of the time soaking up the Cornish sunshine in your finest itsy bitsies and baggies? Whatever your swimming style you’ll get to enjoy it all at Penzance’s beautiful saltwater lido. Whether you go to people watch or knock out a quick mile, the architecturally beautiful pool, which is operated by a community company, is a real joy to swim in.
This is the very best of lido culture at one of the UK’s best open water swimming spots.
CREAM TEA SCOFFING: Watersmeet, Lynton
You can argue all you like about whether to have your cream tea the Devon or the Cornish way, but here, at one of the most picturesque afternoon tea spots known to man, they are doing it cream first, the proper Devon way. No question. Watersmeet is owned by the National Trust and is perfectly placed where the East and West Lyn rivers meet. It was originally built as a fishing lodge but has been a tea room since 1901. It was much loved by the Romantic poets Coleridge, Wordsworth and Shelley, who came here to marvel at the stunning woodlands, the steep sided Devonian combes and wildlife. They called the area Little Switzerland.
If you want to find out what a classic Devon cream tea is all about this summer, take your family, besties, partners and kids to Watersmeet to marvel at nature and gorge on Devon loveliness – in more ways than one!
SUB AQUA: National Marine Aquarium, Plymouth
See how the other 7 10ths live with a visit to the undersea world at Plymouth’s National Marine Aquarium. Here you’ll be able to see the community of fish that live in Britain’s deepest fish tank, visit 6 ocean zones and find out about the important conservation work the charity that runs the aquarium is doing. Take time in the Atlantic Zone to see sharks, rays and Friday the Turtle, all of whom co-exist peacefully in 2 million gallons of water. It’s strangely therapeutic to watch them all glide by from the best seat in the house.
Kids can sleep with the sharks on sleepovers and you can even get married here, as well as take VIP behind the scenes tours and plan your kids’ birthday parties. Perfect!
SUBLIME SUNDAY SUNSETS: Hartland Quay and Hartland Brass Band 1900 – 2000
Here in Devon and Cornwall we face west, towards the Atlantic Ocean, at the setting sun. This means it’s a brilliant place to see the sun drop down into the water. Of course any where along the coast will yield great displays on red sky nights, but there is one place that’s different to any other. That’s Hartland Quay. Set in the middle of the Hartland Peninsula, the quay is one of the few places where you can get direct access to the sea between Bude and Westward Ho! On top of that there is a pub there that does great pub grub. On Sunday nights in summer the Hartland Town Band play on the quayside between 7 and 8pm, giving a wonderfully brassy soundtrack to your sundowner. It’s a bit surreal but worth the trek.
GEOLOGICAL MARVELS: Durdle Dor, Dorset
Down on the Jurassic Coast of Dorset you’ll find some true marvels of nature at Lulworth Cove and Durdle Dor. Lulworth is a magnificent circular bay with a narrow entrance and very sweet village, complete with tea rooms, pubs and shops, and Durdle Dor is a spectacular limestone rock arch that juts out into the water. Between the two there’s a walk with amazing views and the beautiful Man O’War beach.
As well as offering great walks and magnificent views this is an area to take in the wonders of nature. Nearby you’ll find Corfe Castle, Swanage Bay and the amazing fossil-rich cliffs at Worth Matravers. They call this area the Isle of Purbeck because it sits proud of the land that surrounds it, setting it apart and making access a little more difficult. But, as always, it’s worth the trek.
RUINS: Chysauster, Penzance
In West Penwith, at the end of the known world, and then some, lies an ancient Iron Age settlement. The village is laid out in a way that’s unique to West Cornwall and the Scilly Isles and features a village street, lined by houses with open courtyards and surrounded by thatched rooms. Today you can walk the street and get a feel for the layout of this tiny 2000 year old settlement. If you like ancient history, nice views and nature, this is the perfect place to soak it all in on a summer’s day.
NAVAL GAZING: Plymouth Hoe and Tinside Lido
Plymouth Hoe is the finest place anywhere to get a glimpse of Britain’s long and rich seafaring history. You can stand shoulder to shoulder with Sir Francis Drake (or his statue anyway) and look out to see what he’d have seen when he famously finished his game of bowls before nipping out to sea to defeat the Spanish Armada. Today you can often see ships of the Fleet at anchor. For the very best view climb Smeaton’s Tower, the red and white striped lighthouse that once sat on Eddystone Reef but was dismantled and found its new home here on dry land.
From the top of the tower you can see Tinside Lido, another fabulously restored Art Deco Lido on the waterfront. For eats and drinks and life on the quayside, head down the hill to Sutton Harbour and The Barbican, site of The Mayflower Steps and The National Marine Aquarium.
ARTY FARTY: St Ives and Newlyn
Cornwall is blessed with beautiful clear water, white sanded beaches, stunning harbours and amazing light. It’s a heady combination that has been attracting artists and painters for generations. They come here to be inspired by the scenery and to paint the incredible sea and landscapes. There are a couple of famous hotspots that you shouldn’t miss if you want to see the best of it. St Ives is the first and most obvious choice because of its wonderful Tate Gallery – it sits right on Porthmeor Beach - and the sculpture garden that was once the home and studio of Barbara Hepworth.
Newlyn is another place where the artistic vibe is still strong. The Newlyn School of Art was prolific in the 1880s and 1890s, with hundreds of artists painting canvasses for the Royal Academy every summer and creating their own artistic ‘movement’. Today there are still lots of galleries and artists working in the area.
FESTIVALS FOREVER: Boardmasters, Watergate Bay
What could be better than watching big name acts perform on a stage in front of the Atlantic Ocean? If you love music and beach culture then you’ll adore Boardmasters, the music festival and surf dude fest that has been taking place here since 1981. In the early days it was a simple surf contest that attracted the world’s finest surfers but today it’s more like a big old partay with a World Surf League Tour Qualifying Surf Event surf comp attached. The surf is on Fistral Beach and the party is on the cliff at Watergate Bay. Go, hang, chill, surf and have a wild old time in dear old Cornwall…. it’s rocking!
Get your tickets NOW. It all kicks off on the 8th August.