Letter from Felixstowe: Winter by the Sea

Winter Sunday on the Prom, Felixstowe

Winter Sunday on the Prom, Felixstowe

January seems to be flying by. Thanks to New Year’s Day falling on a Thursday, this is already my third weekly newsletter for 2015. Where does the time go?

We returned from Paris nearly two weeks ago and, at least figuratively, have been soaking up winter by the sea in Felixstowe. As much as I love Paris in winter (see Nine Big Reasons why I think many people would), equally I recommend being by the sea during this season — a weekend break, a week’s holiday (vacation), a longer-term visit or a permanent home.

In UK winter we can’t lie on the beach and work on our tans, but we didn’t do that in Sydney either, when we lived a few minutes’ walk from some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. What we love to do in both places is walk and breathe in the fresh sea air, pop into shops and cafes and of course stop along the way for cappuccino or flat white coffees. In England, seaside cafes offer freshly-baked scones with pots of tea and hot chocolate. Or you can choose the ever-present and most excellent option of heading for a cozy pub and having a pint in front of the fire.

The North Sea is different from any body of water I’ve experienced before – more changing green and grey and silvery colours than the turquoise Pacific or steely blue Atlantic. In my view, any sea or ocean makes a great winter destination.

The season of lowest temperatures and shortest days can be a valuable time of hibernation and reflection. Something about walking by the seaside, watching the movement of the waves and breathing the salty air intensifies that sensation. The light is crisp and clear which makes for stunning sunsets, too.

Winter won’t last forever, of course. Living so far north (Felixstowe’s on approximately the same latitude as Calgary, Alberta), already the days are growing longer.

Wishing everyone in the northern hemisphere a lovely winter season. If you’re tempted to visit the seaside, go for it! And enjoy those walks and pubs/cafes and sunsets.

Winter sunset, Felixstowe

Winter sunset, Felixstowe

Cheers and thanks for reading. Next week’s letter will be from Felixstowe.

5 Responses

  1. I share your delight at being near the sea in winter Carolyn.
    One fine crisp day makes up for the many wet and windy ones !

  2. Thanks John! So true about those gorgeous crisp days.

    I think Felixstowe/Suffolk gets more sunshine/dry weather than Cornwall. It tickles me the BBC forecasts often end with ‘sunny in the East’ 🙂 Being by the sea is brilliant anywhere though!

  3. That doesn’t sound bad at all! I don’t know that area. Maybe you’d consider a home exchange with us one day? We’ve got lots of châteaux!

  4. Hello Carolyn , thank you for the lovely post. I do like to be by the sea too, but live miles and miles away. The last time I was near the sea was last year but in Scotland. I love your poetic description of the North Sea ( I will have to remember this one when I sail next time) .. and yes I am sure you get less rain and more sun than us.

    I actually like the shorter days , with dark nights , I sleep so much better and am more refreshed each day. Not everyone does of course.

    Take care and enjoy your walks. xx Anne

  5. Rosemary the châteaux sound nice too! As does the Atlantic coast of France 🙂 The Suffolk coast has many wonderful seaside walks along with museums, churches, ancient history, etc. (Not to forget pubs – our ‘local’ dates from 1451 which still astounds me.)

    Anne, your comment reminds me of a song I love, that British one ‘Oh I do love to be beside the seaside, oh I do love to be beside the sea …’ I agree the shorter days can be enjoyable in their own special way.

    Cheers and happy (wintry) travels.

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