Why Living on the Coast is Good for You
Forget California or Cornwall, even less than idyllic stretches of the British coastline will do you the world of good. My bored 15-year-old self would have rolled her bored, blue-eye-linered eyes at that, but our grandparents knew it and the scientific research is finally catching up.
Find Your Inner Calm
When you’re trying to appreciate the here and now, not many things beat a stomp along the seafront, wind in your chops and the best sound in the world filling your ears…those wonderful crashing waves. There’s something about the repetitive and rhythmic noise and movement that calms and comforts us. Mindfulness goes very nicely with the beach.
Soak Up the Seaside Scenery
Big skies, seascapes and miles of shoreline really help us to reconnect with the natural world. Studies show that city life can affect our mental and physical health and wellbeing, so you might want to head to the beach and do some of the following, sharpish:
- Run and roll like a maniac over sand dunes.
- Search for special shells, stones, driftwood, fossils – whatever tickles your fancy.
- Clamber, slide and play hide and seek amongst the rocks.
- Throw yourself into the choppy brown waves and get knocked sideways (probably one for the summer).
- Take a blanket and cushions, then snooze or get stuck into a great book.
- Savour a fishy brunch or tea and cake in the fresh sea air.
Not only does our mental health benefit from being beside the seaside, our bods love it too. Living near to the sea we’re much more likely to get out and about and be physical. With all that good old fashioned fresh air, there’s less pollution, and more sunshine increasing our vitamin D levels and production of the happy chemical serotonin. And don’t forget tasty and nutritious fresh fish which you can munch on daily if you so wish.
Take a Break From Uber-Cool
Night-time food truck markets, hipster bars and coffee shops, brunch bingo, urban farmers’ markets, pop up this and thats, community street art…isn’t it sometimes a bit exhausting? London and other cities are fantastic, and comfortingly close when you’re craving an injection of city culture, but occasionally they just need to take a few deep breaths and stop being so relentlessly, in-your-face cool. It’s enough to see you fleeing east London for the Kent coast as fast as the high speed train can carry you.
Discover Coastal Cool Instead
Yep, admittedly there are a lot of dull and dingy days in Britain’s less fashionable seaside towns. Too many senior coach trips, rubbish tea shops, depressing high streets, greedy seagulls, Daily Mail attitudes, and not as much sunshine as you’d like. Yet you will also find refreshing little pockets of creativity and individual spirit.
Down in Kent and Sussex, we’re very lucky to have truly original shops like Merchant & Mills in Rye, Butler’s Emporium in Hastings and Rennies in Folkestone; vintage havens 13 Marine and Elysian Treasures in Hythe; or the now well-established art scenes in Kent coastal towns like Whitstable and Margate, and Dungeness providing unique creative inspiration for many.
Regeneration projects mean that even the most rundown and forgotten areas of our seaside are getting another chance to thrive and attract the visitors they deserve. And when you want a taste of that hipster vibe, you’ve got it, just in more diverse, less concentrated style: beards and bikes aplenty, vintage markets attracting people from every generation, independent coffee shops, quirky galleries, hardworking makers, craft breweries and new restaurants run by young friends, or micro pubs run by old fellas. Now that’s cool.