Honours for Scotland’s top outdoor and leisure businesses

Loch Tay Highland Lodges was presented with the prestigious award for ‘Best
Scottish Self Catering Accommodation’ as well as runner-up in the award for ‘Best
Scottish Glamping site’ at the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards ceremony held
in Glasgow at the end of October.

Jo Barrie, General Manager for Loch Tay Highland Lodges was there with her team
to collect the award:

‘We are delighted to win this award in such a strong category of finalists as well as
defending our title of ‘Best Glamping’ accommodation. We have worked hard this
year to improve our site and the accommodation on it, as well as striving to deliver
the best customer service and experience to everyone who visits our site. This
award is testament to the whole team at Loch Tay Highland Lodges and we are
delighted.”

The very best of Scotland’s outdoor and leisure industry was showcased in the
glitzy award ceremony at Glasgow’s Marriott Hotel on October 29th.

Thousands of public nominations were received across 17 categories including
Scotland’s Best Glamping and Scotland’s Best Self Catering Accommodation.
Over 25,000 votes were received in support of favourites across the country to
create a shortlist of 115 finalists. Each business was asked to take stock of their
business and provide a submission in support of their win, before an independent
judging panel performed assessments of the customer-facing elements.

Hosted by Des Clarke, the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards Gala Final was a
celebration from start to finish. Warren Paul, CEO and founder of the Scottish
Outdoor and Leisure Awards is also delighted with the reception in only year two.

He said: ‘The inaugural awards created firm foundations to develop SOLA into an
annual competition and a mainstay event of the industry and now we are seeing
new businesses from across the country engage in year two. It’s a fantastic
opportunity to celebrate the businesses that help to showcase our beautiful
Country; Well done to all our finalists and congratulations to our 2017 winners. I
look forward to an even bigger event in 2018!’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges
www.lochtay-vacations.co.uk

PetStay have launched their NEW sparkling website this month.

Managing Director Carole Davy says, “After many months of meetings, creativity and ideas flying about we are happy to announce the launch of our new website. We wanted to make sure we designed it with our customers in mind who are all dog lovers.”

Petstay

“We wanted to make sure we got our message across with a new clear and bright website that is simple to read and easy to navigate.”

“PetStay are a growing home dog boarding company and we are always looking to improve our online presence. We feel we have achieved this with the new website. ”

You can visit the new and improved PetStay website at www.petstay.net, we would love to hear what you think!

Petstay

Dog Friendly Pembrokeshire Tourism Awards Winners Announced

Pembrokeshire’s Dog Friendly businesses have been recognised and celebrated in the county’s first Dog Friendly Tourism Awards held on the Slebech Park Estate. The Dog Friendly Awards initiative was created by Pembrokeshire Tourism and Burns Pet Nutrition and are designed to champion responsible pet ownership, whilst recognising the efforts of outstanding local businesses throughout the county who help to make Pembrokeshire a dog friendly destination for visitors. Following the launch of the Awards in January, over 400 entries were received across the six categories giving the judges from the Burns By Your Side Reading Dog Teams plenty to consider!

dog friendly award winners

The award for Best Dog Friendly Beach went to Amroth. With plenty of sand to play on, rock pools to investigate and waste bins easily accessible, the judges felt this was a great place to enjoy some seaside fun.

The judges in the award for Best Dog Friendly Town or Village looked for evidence of the whole town or village being a welcoming venue for four-legged visitors and their owners! In this closely fought category Saundersfoot came out on top over the twin towns of Fishguard & Goodwick and Amroth.

The Best Dog Friendly Day Out award took into consideration factors that enabled everyone to enjoy a great day out in Pembrokeshire’s attractions. With so many great places to visit and explore the judges had their work cut out to pick just one winner, before ultimately deciding on Carew Castle as their top choice.

The Best Dog Friendly Pub, Restaurant or Café category judges were keen to find a warm welcome for all visitors along with provision for those not using cutlery to eat! Having visited all three finalists including the Brewery Inn, Cosheston and the Hope Inn, Pembroke, the winner was named as the Temple Bar in Amroth.

For the Best Dog Friendly Campsite or Caravan Park award judges looked at how venues were able to go the extra mile to make pets welcome and safe whilst on holiday. Coastal Wood Camping was the winning campsite who offer plenty of space for all to enjoy their holiday, and great dog friendly facilities.

For those not so keen on camping, the Best Dog Friendly Holiday Accommodation award looked at hotels, guesthouses and B&B providers throughout Pembrokeshire the judges were keen to find providers who were clearly committed to welcoming dogs to their premises. Cwm Connell Coastal Cottages beat off tough competition from Fron Fawr Holiday Cottages and Coastal Wood Holidays to win in this category.

dog friendly award

John Burns of Burns Pet Nutrition explained how much he and the Burns By Your Side Reading Dogs Team had enjoyed the judging saying, “It’s been great to see first-hand the incredible work that these businesses are doing to make Pembrokeshire a dog friendly destination”. Echoing this, Dennis O’Connor, Tourism Liaison Manager at Pembrokeshire Tourism said, “Pembrokeshire is a very special place for visitors and we are delighted to have been able to recognise the work of dog friendly businesses throughout the county as well as our fantastic towns and beaches. Increasingly visitors are looking for dog friendly destinations to avoid the distress of leaving their pets in kennels, so the wonderful coast and countryside that Pembrokeshire offers is particularly appealing”.

pembrokeshire dog friendly tourism awards

Loch Tay Highland Lodges were presented with the prestigious award of ‘Best Glamping Site, Scotland’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges were presented with the prestigious award of ‘Best
Glamping Site, Scotland’ at the inaugural Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards
ceremony in Glasgow in late 2016.

Jo Barrie, Loch Tay Highland Lodge’s General Manager was there to collect the
award:

‘We are delighted to have won this award in such a strong category of finalists.
We are passionate about giving our customers the very best service, and our
Glamping accommodation offers our visitors another way to enjoy their
adventure in our beautiful area of Scotland. This award is testament to the whole
team at Loch Tay Highland Lodges who have been striving to deliver the best
customer service and experience to everyone who visits our site.’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges

The judges at the Scottish Outdoor and Leisure Awards were set a difficult task
as 1000 of the very best leisure businesses across Scotland engaged in the
inaugural event – voted for by the public they gave a true reflection of what
Scotland has to offer for both visitors and staycationers.

A massive 8,000 votes were cast by the public with 17 categories being
represented from campsites and holiday parks to outdoor festivals and adventure
experiences.

The sparkling, red carpet gala evening was hosted by Scottish comedian and
broadcaster Des Clarke.

‘We are very proud to have been awarded Best Glamping Site in Scotland’
continued Jo ‘and look forward to welcoming you soon to Loch Tay Highland
Lodges’

Loch Tay Highland Lodges
www.lochtay-vacations.co.uk

Beautiful dog friendly holiday properties in Devon

Beautiful holiday properties that welcome pets are hard to find – except in dog-loving North Devon.

This beautiful area’s known for having loads of dog-friendly pubs, attractions and beaches, as well as stunning scenery and walks. Most North Devon beaches welcome dogs, with some such as Saunton and Instow allowing owners and their pets totally unrestricted fun and freedom. In recent years more and more of the area’s holiday properties have started to accept dogs too – including some with hot tubs, amazing views, thatched roofs and beautiful decor. Take a look at this selection of stunning pet-friendly holiday properties in North Devon from Ocean Cottages (who specialise in luxury properties in this area), with ideas for where to take your best friend to walk and eat nearby.
See more dog-friendly holiday cottages from Ocean Cottages www.ocean-cottages.com/dog-friendly-holiday-cottages-north-devon/
See more details on dog-friendly beaches in North Devon www.ocean-cottages.com/pet-friendly-holidays/

Gull RockStunning views: Gull Rock, Woolacombe
The pics speak for themselves here … amazing ocean views out to Lundy Island, glass-edged balcony and stylish décor, and secluded Combesgatebeach and endless Woolacombe beaches just a short walk away, with gentle surf that your dog will love to splash through. Gull Rock sleeps 4 in two bedrooms, and has a very large terrace plus lovely master en-suite, which has french doors leading to a further patio and further stunning views.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/woolacombe-holiday-cottages/2-gull-rock/
Walk: the Old Railway Line – an easy stretch of tarmac pedestrian and cycle path that you can follow round to Ilfracombe 5 miles away, or beyond
walk details www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/139/#
Eat: The Red Barn in Woolacombe village – good pub food in this surfy beachfront pub that often hosts live music www.redbarnwoolacombe.co.uk/

EdenSleeps nine in style: Eden, Croyde
The small, surfy village of Croyde is full of dog-lovers, and lots of beautiful holiday properties. This includes Eden, which has just had a total makeover – but don’t worry, it’s still very welcoming to dogs! It offers open plan seaside living in the heart of Croyde, with a large garden, wood burning stove, huge table football and private, hot outside shower, so there’s no need to worry about any of you walking sand through the house!
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/eden/
Walk: Croyde beach allows dogs from October-April, and the less restrictive Woolacombe (see above) and Putsborough are a walkable distance round the headland, taking in spectacular views round Baggy Point along the South West Coast Path www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/26/
Eat: National Trust’s Sandleigh Tearooms at the start of the walk to Baggy Point serves excellent cream teas, snacks and lunches, and welcomes dogs to the pretty garden seating area. www.sandleighcroyde.com/

Chuggs Cottage

Thatched and cosy: Chuggs Cottage, Croyde
The owners of cosy Chuggs are open to welcoming more than one dog, which can be hard to find – especially in a cottage as pretty as this. Your dog will love sleeping off those long coastal walks in front of the cosy logburner – then running around again in the garden. Chuggs sleeps up to 6 people and is in the village near its dog-friendly pubs and cafes, but still just a short walk from the beach and dunes.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/chuggs-cottage/
Walk: Saunton beach is around the headland from Croyde in the other direction, and allows totally unrestricted access for dogs on its 3 miles of golden sands – and they love to run in the dunes behind too. It’s an easy walk from Croyde through coast and country from Croyde walk details: www.southwestcoastpath.org.uk/walksdb/106/
Eat: The Thatch, also in the heart of the village, actively welcomes dogs, and serves legendary nachos (and cider, of course!). www.thethatchcroyde.com/

The Long House

 

Traditional and spacious: The Long House, Georgeham
With an enormous walled garden and enough room to sleep 10 people, The Long House is a traditional Devon cottage, and a great place for a dog-loving family gathering. It’s in a very pretty hamlet surrounded by countryside but near all the great beaches, and has a large kitchen and choice of dining areas, including alfresco on the patio. The owners love dogs themselves, so will happily welcome yours into their beautiful property.
More about this property www.ocean-cottages.com/georgeham-holiday-cottages/the-long-house/
Walk: Fabulous walks can be enjoyed throughout the surrounding countryside and Croyde Beach, Putsborough Sands and Saunton Beach are just a short drive away (approx 4 miles).
Eat: The King’s Arms in Georgeham village serves excellent food and drink, and very much welcomes dogs, too – there’s always a bowl of water out for them. www.kingsarmsgeorgeham.co.uk/

Amana

Hot tub and direct beach access: Amana, Croyde
Ocean Cottages has a number of dog-friendly properties with hot tubs, and Amana is a great example. You’ll love sinking into the bubbles with a glass of wine after long days walking along North Devon’s beaches – and though your dog won’t be able to join you in there, he will be able to enjoy the doggy bliss of an outdoor hot shower! Amana sleeps up to 5, and is just behind Croyde’s dunes, with direct access from the garden to the beach footpath.
More about this property: www.ocean-cottages.com/croyde-holiday-cottages/amana/
Walk: It’s easy to walk or drive to Braunton, then pick up The Tarka Trail, a well-maintained walking and cycle track which runs along the coast and countryside of North Devon for over 30 miles. www.devon.gov.uk/tarkatrail
Eat: On the other side of Bideford Bay the Tarka Trail runs by The Pier House, a great pub-restaurant that not only has stunning coastal views, but welcomes dogs to the extent that it has signs in ‘dog language’ – just for them! www.thepier-house.co.uk/

An Overnights Stay with Man’s Best Friend!

When you’re looking to book a weekend away, the last thing you want to do is worry about what you are going to do with your pet whilst you are away. Over 46% of UK households have a pet, and we know it can be hard to leave them behind when you go on holiday, so why not take them with you? Whilst we know it’s not really viable to put your pet through the stress of getting on a plane if you’re going abroad a few times a year, a mini-break here in the UK could be the perfect opportunity to take your four-legged friend with you on holiday, as he can be easily packed in to the car with your weekend bag to enjoy some time away from home with his owners.

Booking a stay in a pet-friendly hotel has so many benefits, read on to find out how an overnights stay with man’s best friend in the Lake District could be your best break yet!

Dog friendly holidays in Keswick

Save Money!
In most cases, there will be an extra charge for you taking your pet with you on holiday, this will depend on the kind of hotel you are staying in, and where it is. This cost is usually just to make up for the extra cleaning costs, bedding, bowls etc. that will be utilised by you and your dog throughout the trip. Generally, though, this cost will be much less than what you would expect to pay for booking an extended stay in a kennels, or if you are looking into a dog sitter for the time you are away. Not only does this mean you will be saving money on your trip away, but taking your four-legged friend with you can give you the peace of mind you need to have a really enjoyable break, without worrying about how your pet is doing back home!

A Different Daily Walk  
Booking a mini-break in the Lakes gives you a chance to explore an area of outstanding natural beauty; there are so many walks and trails that you know your dog would absolutely love to join you on. Having a stay-cation with your four-legged friend too, means your dog can experience some of the best walks of his life and enjoy spending some time away from home with his family on holiday.

Pet-friendly hotels are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the Lake District. There are so many areas of beauty that you might not be able to imagine spending time in without your four-legged friend. Explore the countryside this year and enjoy an over night’s stay with man’s best friend.

Keswick has been voted the UK’s most dog-friendly town by the Kennel Club, with a number of dog-friendly hotels covering the town allowing you to have your dog join you on your break to the Lake District. The Inn on the Square is located in the heart of Keswick and offers excellent accommodation for the whole family and your dog, get in contact today to book your break!

Taking your dog on holiday? Here’s 8 tips…

They say that a dog is man’s best friend and if you are one of the estimated 8 million households that own a canine companion you’ll know exactly why this is so true.

Dogs really do become part of the family so it’s no wonder that more of us than ever are choosing to bring our pooch on holiday. While you can (thanks to pet passports) take them abroad we still think that renting a UK holiday cottage is the best way to go as there is usually plenty of outside space and no worries about a tricky flight.
Foxglove Cottage – North York Moors

pet friendly holiodays

Prepare in advance
Lesley Houghton regularly travels with her dog (a new addition to the family in the past year) and recently stayed at the School House in Sandsend. She says ‘preparation is key really, make sure you have as much information on the cottage and surrounding area before you set-off and make a list of everything you will need’.
Sandsend

We think that is pretty sound advice and a bit of forward planning should ensure your holiday goes smoothly and your pet stays happy and healthy. Here are 8 top tips:

Check the cottage is suitable for your pet
It really goes without saying that you will need to select a dog-friendly holiday cottage but you should also check the size of the property is suitable for your pet and there is enough outside space for your particular breed.

It is a good idea to check if there are any restrictions such as areas that are off-limits for pets (you don’t want an award winning flower border to get trampled or cream carpets to be ruined) or a limit on the numbers if you have more than one.

Plan your journey in advance
Remember that if you are making a long car journey that you take a bowl and some water with you and have plenty of stops (particularly if it is a hot day). Make sure your dog can stretch their legs and get some fresh air at regular intervals. If your dog is not used to travelling it is a good idea to try them on some shorter car journeys beforehand.

dog friendly holiodays

 

Don’t run out of supplies
Try and make a checklist of everything your dog might need before you set-off and make sure you have enough food, treats, any medication and the all-important poo bags. You’ll also need to take your dog’s lead and collar which should have a tag containing your contact information.

If you don’t want to take too much stuff with you it’s a good idea to check where you can purchase dog food locally (particularly if you stick to particular brands) and what items the cottage will have available.

Make the cottage a home from home for your dog
Your dog may be unsettled when they first arrive so it is a good idea to take as many of their things as possible. Familiar items such as your pet’s own bed, blankets and toys can make a big difference as the last thing you want is for them to feel worried and upset.

Show them their new surroundings and let them explore (where appropriate) so they start to feel at home as soon as possible.  Dogs tend to be creatures of habit so stick to their routine of feed and walk times where possible.

Get the contact details of a local vet
Hopefully you won’t need to contact a vet on holiday but if your pet does fall ill or get hurt while you are away it is good to be prepared. Research some vets that are close to your cottage and keep their details handy throughout your stay.

It is also worth taking your pet to your own vet before travelling as well just to make sure they have a clean bill of health and are fully up-to-date with vaccinations and other treatments such as worming.

Plan your trips around your pet
We are pretty sure your holiday will involve getting out and about so make sure any places you plan to visit are also dog friendly. Lots of Yorkshire attractions are happy to allow dogs though you will probably have to keep them on a lead. Check out The Good Dog Guide for more information.

Quite a few pubs will also allow dogs offering drinking water (and occasionally even doggy beer!) but it is a good idea to find out which ones will do this before your holiday.

If you plan to venture out without your pet, ensure it is OK to leave them alone in the property and that you aren’t gone for too long. You don’t want to come back to any nasty surprises! If you do plan to be out for the day you may be able to find a local dog-sitter to help out but again it is best to organise this before you set off.

Accredited to Jonathan McGee photos

Make sure your dog is well trained
You should probably ask yourself how well behaved your dog is before taking them to any cottage. Spending some time on dog training before your holiday (whether you do this by yourself or a local class) is a good idea.

Try and ensure your pet can obey some basic commands – even if this is just Sit and Stay.

Keep your dog safe
The last thing you want is for anything to happen to your precious pet so make sure the cottage and garden are secure and there is nowhere for them to escape (it is a good idea to have them micro-chipped though in case they do go missing).

Going for a walk with your dog through beautiful countryside is just one of the perks of taking them with you but it is important to be vigilant. If you take them off the lead make sure there are no dangers about such as cliff edges, streams or wild animals.

With these tips you should have a great holiday with your pet.

Check out the dog-friendly cottages available or call the team on 0844 736 6276.

Dog friendly cottages

 

 

Dogs, depression and what you can do to help your pet

The conversation surrounding mental health has picked up in recent months, with high profile entertainers such as Ruby Wax and Stephen Fry sharing their personal experiences with mental illness.

However, according to Bought By Many, many people don’t realise, that dogs also suffer from mental health issues too.

A recent study by the vet charity PDSA found that more than 2.3 million dogs are regularly left on their own for five hours or more. Worryingly, 28% of the 31,500 pet owners surveyed believe it is acceptable to leave their dog alone in the house for 6 to 10 hours.

This is in stark contrast to advice from vets, who say dogs should not be left alone for more than four hours a day, because the loneliness and boredom can cause destructive behaviour.

Dogs need exercise
The survey also found that as many as 465,000 dogs are never taken for a walk. Daily walks are crucial to the well-being of most dog breeds. Some, like Pugs, Pekingese and some older dogs, can get by with a run around the backyard or even indoor playtime, though they would still benefit from regular walks outside.

For more energetic dog breeds, a lack of exercise can be devastating. It can affect both their mental and physical health and cause them to act out. The problem is so severe that over 50% of UK vets report behavioural issues have caused an increase in pet euthanasia in the past two years.

Of course this doesn’t mean you should quit your job so that you can take your dog for long daily walks – Dog Walkers are available to hire to do it for you. You can even hire a Dog Sitter to look after your dog while you’re at work.

It’s important to remember, however, that ultimately, your dog is devoted to you and it is crucial you spend time giving it the love and attention in craves.

Behavioural cover in pet insurance
If you’re struggling to deal with your pet’s behavioural issues, Bought By Many suggest checking your pet insurance – several companies include cover for behavioural problems in their policies. You might also consider the level of cover offered for these issues before deciding which provider to go with, or switch to.

Bought By Many found that John Lewis offers a good payout for behavioural problems – £250 is included in their Essential and Plus policies, and their Premier policy comes with £500 worth of cover.

Many other pet insurance firms exclude behavioural cover or do not specify the levels of payouts. You can compare the 10 best pet insurance policies for dogs here.

Pet insurance can cover complementary therapy, which may help with a dog’s behavioural issues.

Pet owner responsibilities
As well as long working hours and technology taking over our lives, a recent article in the Independent suggests that global warming might also be to blame for owners not taking their dogs out enough.

While pet owners are happy to take their dogs for a walk in frosty conditions, rain and mud are a much less attractive proposition. But dog ownership requires some sacrifice, including getting a little muddy.

Having a dog can be a wonderful thing and the unconditional love and companionship enhances the life of any pet owner. Ironically, dog ownership is thought to be one of the most effective ways to treat depression and anxiety in humans.

However, trying to fit a dog into a hectic lifestyle is not always viable and can cause unfair damage to an innocent animal that just wants your attention and love.

PDSA Advice
PDSA vet Vicki Larkham-Jones has some important words of advice for pet owners: “PDSA is urging pet owners to re-assess life from their pet’s perspective to ensure that they are giving their animals the right level of care and attention they need to live healthy, happy lives.

“I’d encourage people thinking about getting a pet to pause first and find out about all aspects of pet ownership in order to provide for that animal’s lifetime needs.”

Pet insurance

Ar you relocating to the seaside to run a dog friendly B&B or hotel?

Pi Productions is casting for a brand new documentary series for Channel 5 that follows people as they relocate for a major lifestyle and career change.

We are looking for families or couples who are planning to ditch the 9 to 5 to be their own boss and pursue a career in something they are passionate about. You could be relocating to the seaside to run a dog friendly B&B or hotel, moving to the countryside to take the reins of a boarding kennel, or you could be setting up a pet grooming salon in a popular tourist hotspot. We want to showcase the amazing lifestyle business opportunities out there and show what it takes to make a new business a success.

We would love to feature a new pet business – the pets industry is hugely aspirational right now, and dogs are the nation’s favourite pet, so it would be fantastic to capture and represent this in our series.

We are keen to feature positive and aspirational stories. This is a brilliant opportunity for “life changers” to feature themselves and their new venture on a prime time documentary, and inspire other people in the process.

We are looking for people who are embarking on their journey this summer.

If this sounds like you, or if you would like to recommend someone you know, then we would love to hear from you.

Interested parties can email the casting team on casting@piproductions.tv or give us a call on 0203 761 4522. There is no pressure to take part at the initial enquiry stage.

Pi Productions is a TV company run by John Silver, who created Grand Designs and reinvented MasterChef. Please have a look at our website for more information about us: www.piproductions.tv/

You can also follow us on Twitter: @PiProdCasting.

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Top ten dog friendly beaches in the UK by manonabeach®

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About manonabeach®…

I started manonabeach® tentatively via YouTube in September, 2011 and put the website up in December of that year, as it started to become popular. From its origins in Cornwall, the project has now become national, featuring additional beach visits to Norfolk, Suffolk, Dorset, Sussex, East Lothian, Fife, Moray, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus, The Highlands of Scotland, the Isles of Skye, Mull and the Outer Hebrides, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and The Gower, as well as Northumberland, Yorkshire and North Wales, including Anglesey. Through the seasons, manonabeach® returns to each region, building a picture of beach life through the year. There are now over 2,000 films on the website and manonabeach.com has developed into a fully fledged e-book, out of its beginnings as a daily blog. The website is a place where you can enjoy beach visits and a flavour of the beach when you’re not there, all built around beach goers’ answers to the question

slide3

What does the beach mean to you…?”

The series celebrates the elemental power of the beach and its profound effect on people who enjoy being where the air, land and sea meet.  The beach means different things to different people, whether enhancing creativity, decisiveness and energy, being restorative and settling, part of a routine, a reference point through generations, freedom or just fun.

In the narrative interviews on the site, you can see and hear people re-present their emotions, perceptions and recollections, all drawn out by the enhancing effect of the beach.  manonabeach® is a construct, a passive Everyman, whose role is to bring qualitative findings directly to you, letting you draw your own conclusions from them.

Each beach page, accessed via a national or eleven regional maps, has details of facilities and features, a dog-friendly button, a Google map and bathing information.

The project has a well-being focus, as most viewers are urban and familiar with the beaches that I feature, but are missing the enhancing effect of these places. Through the website, viewers are reminded and often surprised by the wide range of stimuli on offer, where the air, land and sea meet. It’s a tonic, a pick me up at the end of a working day for some. 24% of the site’s visitors are in London and manonabeach® is watched in 138 countries. manonabeach®’s anonymity means that viewers aren’t troubled or distracted by the presence of a personality or celebrity. It’s almost as if the beach goer is talking directly to the viewer.

So what answers have I had to the question “What does the beach mean to you…?” There have been 635 different responses, in 1.080 interviews. Every answer has been meticulously recorded. Overall, the top five responses are:

  1. Childhood
  2. Beauty
  3. Family
  4. Dog walking
  5. Peace / calm.

I’ve divided the findings into six categories, with each category’s top five below:

Emotional and spiritual

  1. Memories
  2. Everything
  3. I love it
  4. Escape
  5. Being near the water / the sea.

Livelihoods and occupations

  1. Livelihood
  2. Routine
  3. History
  4. Economic pressure
  5. Economic benefit

Friends and family

  1. Childhood
  2. Family
  3. Holiday
  4. All generations
  5. Home

Sensory

  1. Beauty
  2. Peaceful / calm
  3. Relaxing / chilled out
  4. Freedom
  5. Wide open spaces

Nature

  1. The sea
  2. Ever changing
  3. Wildlife
  4. Seasonal changes
  5. Nature

Occupations and activities

  1. Dog walking
  2. Fishing
  3. Walking
  4. Swimming
  5. Play.

It’s clear from the viewing figures that people prefer the unspoilt, undeveloped beaches and there’s clearly a link through the generations that’s important to people. The most popular beaches on the site are not necessarily those that you might expect or that are best known and the subject of the heaviest marketing by tourism agencies. With due deference to the non-Cornish regions, who have only featured since October 2012 or even more recently, here are the top ten most viewed beaches at manonabeach.com:

1. Rinsey Cove, Cornwall, here
2. Holywell Bay, Cornwall, here
3. Polly Joke, Cornwall, here
4. Kynance Cove, Cornwall, here
5. Cley-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk, here
6. Covehithe, Suffolk, here
7. Southwold, Suffolk, here
8. Aldeburgh, Suffolk, here
9. Porthilly, Cornwall, here
10. Crantock, Cornwall, here.

There are regional characteristics that distinguish beaches and may inform the attraction in each place. Long granite headlands feature in Cornwall and West Wales, with the sea often viewed close up from the side, whereas big skies and bird life, including migratory, have a resonant impact in Norfolk and Suffolk. Man’s relationship with nature is starkly visible through the string of lighthouses up the North East coast of Scotland, while the picturesque golf links of East Lothian and Fife, along with North East Scotland, Suffolk, Sussex and Cornwall’s inshore fishing communities and Cornwall’s surfers and wild swimmers highlight the wide diversity of beach use.

The beach is a wonderful place for us all to enjoy. Its ever changing nature, whether on a daily or tidal basis or through the seasons, guarantees an element of anticipation and excitement in any beach visit. You just don’t know what and who you’ll meet there when you go to the beach, meaning that you’ll always have a different answer to the manonabeach question “What does the beach mean to you…?”

www.manonabeach.com/

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