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When people think of visiting the beach, they tend to think of sunbathing, swimming and surfing. However, there is a lesser known, highly enjoyable activity to indulge in that’s suitable for all the family – beachcombing! Requiring just a stick, some time and a keen interest for exploration, beachcombing involves scouring the beaches for items that the sea has left behind. There is a huge thrill and excitement to be had when beachcombing, for truly anything can be washed in from the depths of the sea. With a little luck, you may find something of real value!
Choosing the right time is important. Winter is reckoned to be one of the most fruitful times to go beachcombing, as the storms and choppier waters will pull up objects from deeper and farther into the expansive mystery of the ocean. Patience is an absolute must; running around the beach scrambling for objects is unlikely to yield any interesting findings! Take the time to explore things that catch your eye. There may be anything lurking at any point of the beach, from something hiding in a pile of sand, to objects tangled up in a web of seaweed.
So what kind of things can you expect to find when beachcombing in the UK? Well, as previously mentioned, virtually anything can be found at a stretch, which makes beachcombing a truly unique and rewarding experience. However, your most likely finds will be shells, nets, rocks and colourful, shimmering agates. While these are more common findings, this does not mean they carry less of a rewarding feeling for their location; each find yields different importance to each individual.
One of the best beaches for beachcombing in the UK is reputed to be Runswick Bay, found 8 miles north of the Yorkshire town of Whitby. Some fantastic fossils are found there by regular beachcombers and even some precious stones, which can be kept with a great sense of pride. Beachcombing in the UK contains no guarantees, but that is all part of the appeal. On a given day you may find nothing of interest, but the next day, you may uncover a hugely rare stone, or perhaps stereotypically, a message in a bottle! Anything left in the sea can feasibly end up at any beach in the UK; a piece of pottery carelessly discarded overboard in the Pacific may be an extremely fulfilling find for a beachcomber in the UK. Other top locations for beachcombing include Westward Ho! in Devon and Cowes on the Isle of Wight. The Isle of Wight in particular has historically been the recipient of some peculiar finds for beachcombers, including ancient Indian artefacts.
Beachcombing can be undertaken with virtually no equipment, with no restrictions on who can take part. It is a thoroughly satisfying way to spend time at the beach, or amongst different activities on the coast. Furthermore, it serves to educate about marine biology and the currents of the oceans surrounding the UK. Next time you head to the beach, take the time to have an explore, you may be surprised at what you find!
Article by Simply Beach
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