Little Lockdown Pleasures #3: The Beach

2021-02-27, Chris

One of the more confusing myths I hear of Southampton is that it's a coastal city without a beach. Not only are we surrounded by great beach destinations favoured by tourists, but luckily it doesn't take much exploring to dispel. A quick walk over the Itchen Bridge, a cup of Mettricks coffee in hand, and you'll be at Woolston Beach (we're not in Weston yet) by Southampton Sailing Club in no time. There's a nice green walking space above the beach, but the beach itself seems to be oft-forgotten, and is worth stepping down to.

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Once you leave turn the corner and leave Woolston behind, the beach extends to a large bay known as Weston Shore. The water was crystal clear on my visit (if this is a lockdown effect I hope it continues), the sun beaming down on the trees of Westwood in the distance, and there was even an ice cream truck happily keeping people going (though if you buy an ice cream, I suggest you give the swans plenty of distance).

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The difference between Weston Shore at high tide and at low tide is significant - you'll get more of that 'waves lapping at your feet' experience at high tide, but both are gorgeous in their own right. In the background can be seen Southampton's current tallest building at Ocean Village, and the crane for our new tallest building under construction in Woolston.

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If you're feeling energetic, the beach walk continues all the way to Royal Victoria Country Park in Netley with its gorgeous chapel and extensive gardens stretching down to the water. In normal times I'd recommend taking a train out to Hamble and walking back, but right now train travel for recreation purposes isn't possible. At high tide some of the sections between Weston and Netley become a little trickier, but you can always take an inland route if it becomes impassable.

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This whole area is a great place for Covid-safe lockdown walks due to the enormous amount of open space available. The usual disclaimers apply, for the next month we still need to keep our exercise to walking distance - if you're coming from further this beautiful area will be waiting for you to explore as lockdown eases and spring really blossoms into action.