Bundling teenagers, toddler, dog, husband and, what felt like, the entire contents of my house into a van and driving for 6 hours may sound like the antithesis of idyllic but, I have to confess our seven days on the Cornish coast were once again our 'halcyon days'.
For anyone who has made the pilgrimage to the Mecca that is Cornwall I am certain you are familiar with the stretch of road near Bristol (junction 19 or 20 I believe), where the carriage way divides between levels. The embankment steeply climbs to ones left in a dramatic and almost claustrophobic fashion whilst to the right undulating fields give way, eventually, to the Severn Estuary. It is always at this point that my shoulders start to fall, my muscles ease and my lungs seem to take in extra breath. It's a magical piece of the journey which I always eagerly anticipate and which never disappoints.
From here on in the numerous 'wee stops', demands for my 'hotspot' (no self resecting teenager can be without connection), the lingering aroma of 'dog' and the husbands protestations that we should holiday closer to home all seem to pale into insignificance. I'm en route to my 'happy place' and nothing can dampen my spirit.
This year the British weather was well and truly 'glorious' meaning long, sunny and sandy days playing and lazing on the beach. The Cornish coast is just so magnificent and for me the jewel in the crown is 'Watergate Bay'. Never has a walk to the beach been so breathtaking as the coastal path from Tregurrain down to Watergate itself. This never-ending golden stretch of sand with azure blue waters really does offer something for everyone. I can confidently say I've 'nailed' the beach day! Beach tent, sand proof picnic blanket, and a TotalCool TotalFreeze 35 means you can set up for the day, sheltered from the breeze and with chilled beers and Pimms to hand, who could ask for more!
The fabulous weather brought with it excellent paddle boarding conditions. It seems to be truly the sport of choice this summer as dozens of like minded paddlers took to the waters, creating a kaleidoscope of colours with their boards. My teenagers' board of choice was the Jobe Yarra 10.6 and they were delighted to be sporting the Jobe Spinlock flotation aids. Light and unobtrusive, yet certified as a 75N bouyancy aid they looked 'cool' but gave me reassurance that the boys were safe.
The other 'must have' which I couldn't have been without was my divinely cosy 'DryRobe'. They are just heavenly and so versatile; they are oversized so you can comfortably change from beach to swimwear without any embarrassing 'wardrobe malfunctions', waterproof so you can pop them on over wet swimwear and fleece lined so make the perfect 'beach bed' for a snoozing toddler!
Fast forward to the end of the day when the remnants of the sunshine are lingering and the awe inspiring sunset is in front of you, bringing with it both serenity and tranquillity. As so many other beach goers dust down their sandy feet and scoop up tired children we bring out a chilled bottle of Sauvignon and our Cadac Safari Chef 30 Compact. It so light and small that its super easy to carry down to the beach and as all our bellies start to grumble we throw on some locally sourced prawns and sausages for the perfect end to the perfect day.