Hannah Rudd Talks about.
England’s Coastal Path: Britain’s Living Seas at Your Fingertips
(Quick links to Hannah below.)
Stretching 2,795 miles, England’s coastal path network offers a lifetime of adventures exploring its rich maritime heritage and observing its living seas. From the vast expanses of sandy beach in Northumberland to the rocky coves and headlands of Cornwall, there is something for everyone. Over time this walking route will lead hikers around the entire coast of England, making it the longest coastal path in the world.
Despite being an island nation, many of us are losing touch with the sea. You are never further than 84 miles away from the coast here, though, with Lichfield in Staffordshire proudly hosting a plaque making a claim. The coast can be our greatest ally in fighting some of our toughest battles. Getting outside and stuck into the breath-taking scenery is wonderful for your mind, body and soul.
Kynance Cove in Cornwall is my personal coastal favourite hideaway. This concealed gem in the furthest reaches of the Lizard Peninsula is akin to spectacular scenery from far-off shores – white sandy beaches, dramatic cliff faces and azure blue waters. Whether a sun-soaked, or literally soaked, it offers the perfect source of escapism from the hectic rat race. It also has a quaint café with views overlooking the beach for you to grab a coffee and breathe in the breezy sea air as you soak in the landscape.
The “Blue Mind” Phenomenon.
Spending time by the sea is scientifically proven to be good for physical and mental health. While a walk along the coast won’t resolve your problems, it will undoubtedly ease them in the short term and provide you with the headspace to deal with them later. This is thanks to a phenomenon known as the ‘blue mind effect’.
Humanity has a deep-rooted connection with the oceans. Dr Wallace J. Nichols is a marine biologist and a pioneer of the ‘blue mind’ movement, having written the landmark book Blue Mind which highlights the relationship between water and human mental and physical health. Simply put, being beside the water makes us happier. Scientists have proven that just hearing the sound of the sea can alter our brain patterns and induce a meditative state. Not only this, but inhaling salty sea air floods your brain with high oxygen concentrations and promotes a night of more restful sleep.
In these challenging times we find ourselves, we all need a breather. Our seas can offer us solace at a minimal cost and give us a dose of happiness we all crave. You don’t need to submerge yourself feet first into the blue – although there is no reason why not either! – to get the most out of it. Meandering along the coast, staring out to sea and taking in the sights and sounds of the sea is just as good.
Britain’s Living Seas.
Connecting with nature is another way to slow down the pace of life and enjoy the moment. Across our islands, there are plenty of wildlife sites and dramatic coastal landscapes to sink your teeth into. Whether you grab a pair of binoculars to observe seabirds soaring through the sky, wander along the coastal path with friends on a chilly morning, or even lay down a towel on the sand to soak in the sunshine, there are so many ways you can enjoy our coastlines.
Our coastal wildlife is wildly underrated. Just by walking along our shores, you may spot the world’s second-largest shark along the Devonshire coast, witness a superpod of dolphins in the English Channel or catch a glimpse of a cheeky seal basking in the sunshine around Donna Nook in Lincolnshire. Down amongst the rocks is a hive of life with baked ben sea squirts, blennies and hermit crabs ready to meet you in rock pools found in Newton Haven, Wembury Bay and Samphire Hoe.
The very dynamism that makes our seas teeming with life can provide you with an infinite number of discoveries and experiences on every trip. Why not do your bit for the planet too? Commit to picking up a few pieces of litter on each trip as a bit of thank you to the big blue. Surfers Against Sewage is a grassroots organisation committed to cleaner and safer seas for people and wildlife. You can join one of their beach cleans or sign up to their rallying call to end sewage pollution to join their tidal wave of change.
From the wild and rugged coast of the Isle of May to the sun-soaked beaches of Sussex, there are many natural marine wonders for you to encounter – so what are you waiting for? Time to get out there.