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 If you blind folded me, spun me around a few times and then placed me on a beach I would instinctively know if I was on the Atlantic ocean or the Irish sea.

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I am very fussy about my beaches

But before you label me a beach snob let me explain what I do not need from them.

I do not need my beaches palmed fringed no matter how white the sand.

I do not require umbrellas and sunbeds (no matter how colourful the umbrella or bespoke the bed).

I have no wish for thatched beach bar huts no matter how tempting the cocktails.

I do not need my beaches sun scorched with sand too hot to walk on barefoot.

(Though some sunny days would not go amiss, I am also partial to the odd stormy wild one)

And though I like clear water, I do not require shoals of exotic coloured fish

Six foot waves do not appeal even when decorated with handsome surfer lads.

I do not require a nearby car park (I will be arriving mostly by bicycle)

I find long flat beaches boring even though they say they are good for walking.

But

Give me the unexpected beach.

The one I come upon by chance when cycling grassy boreens or crossing green fields.

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The distant spotted  ‘wonder how the hell I get to it’ beach.

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The hard earned beach

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with white seaweed strewn sand.

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And coloured shells

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And crops of rocks containing clear pools filled with sea anemones and sea urchins

and shrimps caught by the tide.

The ‘mountains in the distance’ beach

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The ‘windswept hat snatching with rocks to shelter behind’ beach

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The beach that stops me in my stride as I watch its perfect curling waves

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Or when my eye is caught by a seal who is following my progress.

or a diving gannet or noisy terns,

a lone oyster-catcher,

a pod of dolphins (if I’m lucky).

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a flock of Sanderlings who lift and wheel seaward at my approach. only to swing around and land noisily behind me again

A beach whose crystal water entices me to more than paddle no matter what the season.

A west of Ireland beach

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A wild Atlantic Beach.

 

 

 

 

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