West is Best
Life has been pretty hectic, what with work, house renovations and starting school for James. So for once our first port of call on our trip out West to Fort William wasn’t cycling or canoeing but a day at the beach. The lovely golden empty beach at Morar was the perfect antidote for a busy few weeks.
We’re not very good at just doing nothing and really struggle with down days, especially when we’re on holiday and there is so much other fun stuff to try and pack in. But a day at the beach is the perfect compromise – well it’s not really a down day is it, with all that play potential? A day at the beach was just what we all needed, no planning or lots of packing up for Mummy and Daddy to do but still plenty for James and Sophie to do. And well nobody is going to complain about spending a day at Morar Beach, in fact you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a tropical paradise with all that golden sand and blue sea, well except for the warm jumpers and hats.
We had glorious sun and it was warm enough to get away without jackets but it was too chilly to just sit and laze around and build sandcastles. So off we went for a wander. It didn’t take long for our lazy relaxing day to turn into a bouldering expedition. As soon as James saw the boulders flanking the beach, his trainers were off and he was away scrambling, jumping and generally causing mischief – so much for having a down day.
It wasn’t long before he spotted a rope swing up in the trees flanking the beach, that he just had to go and test out. Dom very selflessly tested it out, well he had to make sure it was safe and well he needed to have quite a few goes to be doubly certain. Once James had managed to evict him he was off, his huge grin and squeals of delight didn’t go unnoticed by Sophie. I was a bit reluctant to let her have a go, I wasn’t entirely convinced she wouldn’t let go, but you don’t argue with Sophie when she’s got an idea in her head. I needn’t have worried about her letting go, we had to prise her off, letting go meant someone else got the chance for a go.
Our down day wasn’t the relaxing lazy day on the beach I’d imagined but it was definitely more fun. What does everybody else do for down days to help tired little ones recharge, I think we need a few more ideas for next time?
About the Author
About Me & Mine
James' family is James' (aged 7 months), daddy - Dominic, mummy - Helena and Jarvis the dog. We currently live in Norwich but head to the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District as often as we can.
Before James was born we were a very active family doing lots of canoeing, hill walking, camping and snowboarding. Since having James we are determined that having a family and enjoying the outdoors are both possible. We are keen to make sure James can not only join in with our adventures, but that he will be happy and comfortable at the same time.
Favourite place in the world:
It's a tough choice but Arisaig on the West coast of Scotland gets our vote. With the whitest sand and bluest sea we've seen, you have to keep reminding yourself you're in Scotland rather than a tropical paradise. The views out towards the Small Isles and the Cuillins on Skye are stunning; it really is a magical place. With sea kayaks it's easy to find your own private beach - well apart from the odd otter (real ones rather than Spotty ones) and seal to share it with. It's definitely somewhere we plan to take James to as soon as possible.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
We are keen canoeists and love to get out on the water as much as possible - whitewater, flat water touring or sea kayaking; we're not fussed as long as it's wet. We are both qualified instructors and enjoy passing on our love of paddle sports to others at our local canoe club. We have already has our own little bow paddler in the making, James, out in the canoe and are looking forward to many more trips.
We also do a lot of walking. We get out everyday to visit our local woods and parks to walk our coker spaniel, Jarvis. When we get the chance though, we prefer something a bit more challenging and regularly visit the mountains of Snowdonia and the Lake District. James' dad Dom, is a qualified mountain leader and is keen to pass on these skils as soon as possible.