Leah Larwood, lifestyle blogger from Roots and Toots (www.rootsandtoots.com) lives in Norfolk, a county with over 90 miles of stunning coastline. She’s a firm believer in making the most of the short blustery days by heading to the coast for some winter beach therapy.

We all default to hibernation mode in the winter but with a bit of creative thinking (and warm clothing) there’s so much you can do to make the most of the great outdoors in the colder months. Don’t stay cooped up indoors, be brave and grab every ounce of vitamin D you can find. Here are just a few ways you can spend time embracing the darker months by the sea.

9) Winter beach picnic

There’s no reason whatsoever why you can’t picnic on the beach in January. Take extra layers, a blanket or two, and well, just be very British about it. Lay out your picnic blanket on the beach and unpack your flask of hot chocolate, soup, homemade sausages rolls and soak up the day. There are even some beaches that will allow a small fire but do always check before hand.

8) Rockpooling games

Take a bucket or small basket for each of you and collect items from rock pools. Collect pretty pieces of beach glass, shells, driftwood, seaweed and any other unidentifiable items of beauty. The person with the most treasure, wins. Take your items home and make displays for the bathroom or use for some tablescaping.

7) Driftwood trees

There’s usually driftwood on most beaches, especially during the winter months and after a storm. You may even get lucky and find a large interesting piece. I remember once finding a beautiful shaped piece like a small tree, with upside down drooping branches. I took it home and turned it into our Christmas tree, adorned with fairy lights and shell ornaments, full of winter magic.

6) Winter swimming

Not for the faint hearted but you’ll have great stories to tell! A winter dip can be an invigorating and exciting thing to do. Here in Norfolk and Suffolk, on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, the beaches are full of swimmers! In fact, it’s a big tradition on many UK beaches. Don’t forget to pack extra warm clothes for when you surface. Fish and chips are essential afterwards.

5) Poetry on the beach

I know this sounds a bit cliché but if you enjoy literature, poetry and wild romance, then embrace your inner Heathcliff and Cathy. Take a book of poetry, a flask of something mulled, a blanket and your loved one for warmth. Read each other poems overlooking the sea.

4) Seashell wind chimes

Gather up as many shells with holes as you can find on the beach. You may also find some fishing line on the beach to start threading your shells. When home you can make wind chimes or a mobile from your haul. They make great presents and look lovely under a shaded apple tree.

3) Beach dancing

Find yourself a secluded spot. Take some small speakers. Play your favourite music (or try some classical music for some added drama). Let your hair down and dance like nobody’s watching. Moving your body will not only keep you warm, exercise your tired limbs but the endorphins (and the sheer hilarity of it all) will give your spirit a boost.

2) Let’s go fly a kite…

Forget August beaches, winter beaches are the best time to fly a kite. The wind speed will be better than the warmer months. Plus, winter beaches are often deserted, leaving you and yours the opportunity to capture those Instagramable moments. Your photography will be all the better if you find a day with some blue in the sky.

1) Bolthole on the beach

To really make the most of the charm of winter on the beach, find a seaside bolthole - a place where you can cosy-up for the night, enjoy good food and watch the waves from your bath! One of my favoutie spots here in East Anglia is the Brudenell Hotel in Aldeburgh. It’s a breath-taking, dog-friendly spot by the sea that serves up some of the best food for miles in its famous seafood restaurant: www.brudenellhotel.co.uk

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