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We live pretty much in the middle of the country. That means it’s handy to get out and about – we can get to many places within an hour, but the beach…we’re talking over 2 hours each way. That means we only see if when we go on holiday. But I’d heard about an inland beach at Bosworth Water Park – under an hour away. N’s inset day was coinciding with perfect hot weather and I had the day off work. It was fate, we weren’t going to turn down that opportunity for going for a family day out – one of the only days outside weekends or school holidays that we could go. I was hoping it wouldn’t be too busy.
I’m not great with hot weather. N copes better than me, as does his skin because it’s used to being open to all weathers through the year – from being on the farm, playing out at school and just generally being outside more than me. But I needed to update our sun lotions for our trip out, so I decided a quite beach day shop was needed at Home Bargains.
Like most people I begrudge paying full price for sun lotions (I find I need to buy several bottles, for the car, for handbag, home and school), so I knew we’d find a reasonable selection in store at good value. A Malibu travel pack of lotions and after sun was perfect for taking with us.
After my camping experience last year near water where I got bitten alive (unlike N who gets bitten a lot at home on the farm but on holiday the insects obviously didn’t like the taste of him), I also picked up some Jungle Formula insect repellent. I wasn’t taking any chances, plus it would also be useful for our next camping trip in the summer.
We packed up our picnic too, chairs, swim wear and towels for N, picnic blankets and all the other beach paraphernalia we seem to need, then drove to Market Bosworth to the water park.
I made sure we arrived early. I hate struggling for parking (I like being smug seeing everyone else trying to find somewhere later on when we’re ready to leave), and the beach around the lake wasn’t that large, so was pleased we were able to find a prime spot right on the edge.
Sun lotion slapped on, and repellent sprayed liberally on me, we were set. Me in my chair, shoes off, shades on. And N complete with beach essentials – bucket, spade and little beach ball.
Disappointingly, he didn’t fancy a dip in the water. The other children there were having a ball, but I paddled. N refused to get more than his toes wet. So different to him last year in the sea. It really makes a difference having friends to egg him on, because he likes to be stubborn and do his own thing with me there.
There was a bit of sandcastle building and digging of channels – every family has their beach set up when it comes to sand play. Our family sandcastle building motto is…simple is best.
Lunch is never far from N’s mind, and I’d packed a great pick and mix picnic. The best type of alfresco food there is. He was soon refuelled, sun lotion topped up (especially on his ears) and we went to explore the pirate playground. There was plenty of equipment for every age, with the slides being favourites. I was informed when I was allowed to take photos – it seems every 6 year old needs their own photographer sometimes, so it’s lucky I like taking pictures of all our family memories.
Not only did we enjoy the beach, but we had to buy ice creams and sat overlooking the boating lake, watching the fish coming up to feed, and the swans looming over the children standing in the water. From the liveliness at the beach, the lake was quieter and more chilled out. Maybe next time we’ll hire a pedalo.
Much as N loves a family day out with me, he’s often yearning to go back on the farm with his dad, so we didn’t stay on more than 3 hours. A perfect time spent discovering somewhere new and different.
Our beach day tips:
You can never take too much stuff to the beach, so try and limit it to the essentials (or take a strong man or wagon to carry it there for you!).
- Chairs – it’s not comfortable sitting or lying for hours on sand
- Picnic – yes it gets sandy, but that’s part of the charm. Just watch out for gulls, and include plenty of water. Freeze water beforehand, then let it melt through the day, keeping it cold for drinking
- Shelter – if it’s hot take cover at times. Either something to cover the head or shoulders, a pop up beach tent, or an umbrella. Windbreaks are also good if you want to have some privacy
- Picnic blankets or mats to sit on. Keep the sand on these rather than the chairs
- Money for ice creams, because you can’t go to the beach without ice creams
- Sun lotion for everyone whether you burn or not.
- Swim wear for the kids, because they will go into the sea deeper than you expect. Or at least have dry alternate clothes for them to change into .
- Parking money in change
- A camera – phone or otherwise (watch out for sand damage, so keep away from kids and wrapped in a non-sandy towel for protection) to capture family moments.
After the hint of the beach at Bosworth Water Park, we’re looking forward to more sunny days and our annual camping trip with friends on the Welsh coast.
How often do you get to the beach? How much gear do you end up taking with you?