Living in the middle of the country, there’s not much opportunity to go to the beach. N’s been a couple of time, but only for a short time – a quick paddle, and walk on the beach. He’s been keen to go to the seaside this summer, so when I was looking to go away, I wanted to be near enough to visit the beach.
Staying in Bristol meant we were near enough to go for a day trip while still being in a bustling city if the rain came, rather than being stuck on the coast where there’s probably not a lot of indoor activities going on.
So on one day of our holiday we did a visit to Wooky Hole in the morning, then drove on to Weston-super-mare. Being a Sunday (on a bank holiday weekend), with dry weather, I shouldn’t really have been surprised at how crowded the promenade car park was. We ended up (after a long wait due to the single file lane down the parking) parking on the beach. I think N was a little surprised to see us parking on the sand when he woke from his nap.
The beach wasn’t that busy and we found a spot. I managed to distract N from wanting to go on the swing seats, and he wasn’t fussed about the donkeys. He just wanted to dig and build sandcastles…and ‘drains’.
I got roped in to help, although he really wanted to just dig. Until he decided that it was time to go to see the sea. It was quite a way out, and we only saw a few people making the walk and then head back. So we packed up and put our bits and pieces in the car (damn only having the 2 of us means we can’t leave stuff on the beach unguarded).
I did get a tad concerned seeing a few people returning from the direction of the sea, with mud up to their knees and thighs. I knew we’d have to watch out, but thought we’d be ok. I’d got us both wearing jelly shoes to go in the sea anyway, and we didn’t seem to be squelching at all.
After yet another person appeared, covered in mud, I decided that was as far as we’d go, and we’d have to live without seeing the sea. Instead N got to paddle in one of the ‘puddles’.
I took a quick look round and our route back…then spotted to the left of me a couple of muddy holes where someone had sunk into the muddy sand. Uh oh.
‘N, let’s head back now. Come to me, straight’. I thought as long as he came straight to me instead of up the beach, he’d avoid the muddy bit. But of course, he didn’t follow instructions, and next thing I knew, he was sunk into the mud. Luckily, not too far from me, so I could pretty much reach over and pull him out without sinking myself.
All fine, until I looked down and realised he was minus his lovely blue jelly shoes. Gross, I had to pull those out quickly managing to avoid sinking too much. They were coated and filled with the drying concrete like mud.
We headed quickly back up to the beach, and debated where we would get N cleaned up, and the shoes. Ah, boating pool. Yes, there’s no shower or tap on Weston-super-mare beach as far as I could see, but there was a pool for people to use radio controlled boats on. Although it did seem to be more frequently used by children paddling in it, despite the signs saying otherwise.
A dunking for N’s feet and legs, and a swoosh of the shoes, and they were cleanish again. It looked like others were doing the same, but I don’t think I’d have wanted to paddle in it like some of the children were doing.
We then had some more time on the beach digging before N decided he wanted to fill his drains with water. He was happy to make his own way over to the boating pool (mummy being too lazy to get up) and it was good to let him have a bit of free rein in public as it wasn’t too busy on the beach.
He was very focused on his task, only stopping when the little train came down the promenade.
It was a lovely afternoon relaxing on the beach, and I’m pleased that N’s finally had a decent amount of time to spend on one playing. Just next time we need to find a beach where the sea’s nearby and paddlable!
Have you been to the beach this summer? What do your children like to do when you’re there?
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