Winter activities: A Welsh beachcombing adventure...

Beachcombing Lizzie Spikes battenberg If you've seen the Blowy Walks on Winter Beaches feature in Issue 6 (take a sneaky peek at the bottom of this page!), you'll know that we think the seaside is an inspiring place, even in the coldest weather!

To complement our feature – which details all sorts of brilliant Winter beach activities – our friend Lizzie Spikes of Driftwood Designs (read yesterday's Q&A with her here) struck out for the coast near her home and workshop in the isolated Welsh county of Ceredigion, to bring us this inspiring photo story...

Beachcombing snow on the hills

"There’s a good covering of snow on the hills and small patches of ice cling to the pebbles of my favourite beach as we set out for a Sunday afternoon beachcombing. We come down regularly throughout the year, to walk and collect (and tire out the children and dogs!) but we haven’t visited this stretch of the coast since before the Christmas storms.

"We're armed with bags and wrapped up warm in scarves and hats. My fellow driftwood foragers today are my son, Jacob, my brother and sister-in-law and their extended family. We're all escaping the cabin fever of snow days and ready for a stride by the sea."

Beachcombing tide times

"My dad used to fish for lobster from the beach near here and has taught me a healthy respect for the sea.  I have a tide table booklet in my car and always check and double check the tide times before venturing to bits of beach that might get cut off at high tide."

Beachcombing Wales Coast Path

"The Wales Coast Path opened last year and it’s perfect for getting to the more hidden, secluded storm beaches where the sea throws out its flotsam and jetsam. We started our walk along the Coast Path and headed down onto the pebbly beach where the best beach foraging is to be found."

Beachcombing beached trees

"The high winds and flooding in December has left us with heaps of driftwood to sort through. I select the flatter boards and sea-worn planky pieces for my artwork and our bags steadily fill. I'm always amazed by the sheer size of some of the trees and branches that get thrown up against the cliffs, and the strength the waves have to move them!"

Beachcombing Jacob

"Jacob rarely misses a walk on the beach. He brings along his bag, which he fills with his own treasures – rocks, shells and old tennis balls were amongst his haul today. Fossils are his favourite and they aren’t plentiful on our part of the coast but he still seeks them out."

Beachcombing birds in flight

"There isn’t a lot of wildlife on the beach at this time of year but the sea birds are lovely to watch as they dip and dive in the waves."

Beachcombing skimming stones

"The boys never tire of skimming stones and throwing rocks into the waves… they jump rivers, build dens and get rid of some of their boundless energy."

Beachcombing time for tea

"The luxury of a hot cup of tea on a freezing cold beach walk!"

Beachcombing heading home

"Our bags are full of driftwood, the Winter light is fading and we're headed home for Sunday dinner. I'll sort and dry the wood that we've collected today and store it in my workshop, ready to be sawn and sanded and made into new art pieces..."

Beachcombing Lizzie Spikes workshop

 Take a sneaky peek at the Blowy Days on Winter Beaches feature in Issue 6 below:

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