This beach is reached by walking down from the donkey sanctuary above, through fields at first and then down a set of steep switch-back steps cut out of the cliff. Because it’s a bit of a walk, it is never crowded, and when we reach the shingle the people are spread out so that everyone has their own bit of beach.
The shingle is sharp underfoot and hobbling to the water is the hardest part. Once there, the water is deep green and cloudy from the chalk cliffs that edge it. It’s rough where the waves break, but it’s easy enough to get past the break line and out into open ocean.
The water is refreshing after a hot walk, but not cold. Sometimes in summer I miss the gasp and tighten of the body as it adjusts to immersion, but at least when it’s warmer I can stay in longer. I swim up to one end of the bay and back again, looking up at towering cliffs in all directions, no sign of settlements, towns or roads.
On the way back I aim for the patch of rusty red that is my mums favourite jumper as she walks back and forth by the water line, waiting on the shore.
I’m raising money for the Alzheimer’s Society. Please sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/swimbonnieswim