For a real get-away-from-it-all day out, hop on a boat and sail to a British island. Timeless, remote and teeming with wildlife, they are the places for a carefree escape.
In the March issue of The Simple Things, Clare Gogerty explores some of the 6289 islands around the British coast - turn to page 72 for her adventures.
Alternatively, read Clare's new book: The National Trust Book of the Coast. Many of our happiest memories are made at the coast. And little wonder whether we head there for a bucket-and-spade holiday, a blustery walk along a coastal path or a day's sailing around a choppy headland, the British coast has plenty of opportunities for mood-boosting pleasure. It's where we go to get away from the frenetic pace of modern life, to stare at the horizon and stride out on a long stretch of sand, a dog scampering before us.
Fifty years ago the National Trust launched Enterprise Neptune, a landmark campaign to protect our coast. Today, thanks to the Neptune Coastline Campaign, the Trust looks after some of the most beautiful and important coastline across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This book is a celebration of those places; a book for all those who love the British coast, from the wide sweep of Northumberland's dunes to the drama of the Giant's Causeway. It's the place to discover the endless sandy beaches of the Gower Peninsula, the secluded coves of Cornwall and the iconic white cliffs of Dover.
As well as paying homage to Britain's coastline, this is an inspirational and practical guide on everything from beach coming and wild swimming to birdwatching and geology. There are spotters guides to coastal wildlife, together with suggestions for local accommodation, popular walking paths and nature trails, and nearby National Trust properties to head to once you've shaken the sand from your shoes. Whether you're an armchair explorer or keen to get out there yourself, this is a vivid picture of the landscape, history and wildlife of our dynamic coastline.