The worst thing about living in the more northerly part of Europe is the cold. I really enjoy visiting the beach and I’m very lucky to live next to lots of beautiful and sparsely populated ones. But, the weather is so cold, even in summer, don’t get me started on the water temperature! Whilst I defrost my blue toes, I decided to put together a list of my favourite beaches, five of them to be exact.
Jumeirah Public Beach – Dubai, UAE
To find my favourite beach, I found myself lost (no surprise there). A miscommunication with a taxi driver meant I was dropped off at the wrong place, I was aiming for the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Instead I ended up at Jumeirah Public Beach. I’m grateful for this incident because it left me at the best beach in Dubai (in my eyes). Many of Dubai’s beaches come with a cost or are privately owned by the beach side hotels. This stretch of white sand and turquoise water is free for everyone to use.
I’m not one for sunbathing, sitting still causes me to get bored rather quickly. I love this beach because of its huge amount of beach treasure (translation: shells). An array of multicoloured shells, crystal white sand and turquoise waters are what I imagine the Maldives to be like. It also comes with a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab hotel and the Palm. If you get there early, before 11am like I did. Its very possible you will get the beach to yourself.
The only downside is the lack of amenities available. Although it is only a 10 minute walk to the Souk Madinat Jumeirah which is filled with great restaurants. It’s also home to Costa Coffee which has an equally amazing view.
St Ninians Ayre – South Mainland, Shetland, UK
Technically not a beach but a tombolo. A tombolo is a sand dune that connects an island to another island. In the most northerly part of the UK, lies a beach which could easily be in the Caribbean. Symmetrical white sand which meets the calm and cold blue waters on either side kept me amused for hours. It’s like visiting two beaches at one time (this was too much excitement for my photographer).
Shetland will never be crowded but this was the busiest beach I visited. The only downside is the lack of wildlife. The puffins prefer the cliffs and the seals like a more secluded spot not far from St Ninians. Though I didn’t let this ruin my visit. I’d love to tell you the water is as inviting as it looks. But, I won’t lie I chickened out. I’ve heard my photographer’s tale of swimming in the sea on New Years Eve in Northern Iceland. Since then I’ve decided to only go in the water when I’m close to the equator.
Druridge Bay – Northumberland, UK
A lockdown adventure brought me to this beach mainly because I was trying to avoid crowds of humans. As a Harry Potter fan, I’ve always wanted to go somewhere with sand dunes. My photographer has fond memories of sandy sandwiches and sunburnt school trips here. Druridge Bay has both sand dunes and the opportunity to get sand in your sandwiches as it is super windy.
Seven miles of beach can be explored although I preferred the sand dunes which kept me hidden from the wind. On a calm day you can see seals playing in the waters (sadly no such luck for me). There is literally nothing here except a few abandoned WW2 bunkers. Any human who knows Northumberland will agree – it’s the best place to come for a socially distanced walk.
Papagayo Beach – Lanzarote, Spain
Finally, somewhere warm! I love the Canary Islands for the year round sunshine, beautiful beaches and crazy waves. Though I hate the fact that there are so many nudies on the beach (I accept their life choices, but as a dinosaur I like to keep my clothes on). I am going to admit that my Lanzarote photographs have been edited to keep their modesty and stop me from getting angry notifications from instagranma.
I love this beach because it feels cut off from the modern world. It’s only accessible by walking. I love the wildlife on the beach, especially the giant crabs who like to hide in the rocks. The waves are sometimes huge, but that makes it more exciting. Plus, it has the added bonus of being a great place to get a selfie with Fuerteventura.
South Shields – England
The final in my list of favourite beaches is South Shields. AKA my winter beach. I usually come here when I want to avoid my photographer. I also enjoy the sand dunes here but they are protected and no one is allowed to explore them. Another beach which rarely, if ever, gets busy. Maybe it’s the alien space ship which guards the harbour.
It is sad that the humans don’t enjoy this beach as much as me. It even has a theme park and great surfing. Maybe its just the Great British weather. I’ve visited several times and only once did it not rain!
I love visiting new places. Are there any beaches I should visit? I love adding new places to my list of favourites!
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