The English coastline is one of the most exciting in the world; more than 185 million years old, and one of the most varied – rich in maritime port cities, smuggling villages, family resorts, nature and unique sea life.
It’s official – feeding your mind with fresh sea air is good for your health! England’s Coast sheds light on the mental benefits of being by the sea.
With the pace of day-to-day life constantly increasing, the value in taking time out to recentre and reconnect to the mind, body and soul should not be overlooked. From improved sleep to reduced stress, spending time parked up by the coast has abundant science-backed benefits that will leave you feeling rebooted and recharged.
In this 2023 Year of the Coast and mindful of the need for cost-saving breaks, booking a seaside escape has never been easier. With more than 2,000 coastal businesses suitable for all budgets, from places to stay and eat to water sports and immersive experiences, England’s Coast is a one-stop shop allowing you to plan and book your blue health space easily and direct.
The health-giving benefits of a bolt to the beach have been well documented:
Dr Lewis Elliot, of the University of Exeter, said: “The coast has long been used as an environment for holidays, convalescence, and physical activity. Our research has found that approximately 271 million recreational visits are made to coasts and beaches in England each year and multiple studies indicate that these environments hold significant benefits for supporting physical activity, increasing social contact, reducing stress, improving mental health, and potentially reducing health inequalities.”
“Our findings demonstrate that even short walks by the coast can improve psychological health. This weight of evidence is important as it is influencing how policy makers view, plan and protect blue environments, with The Chief Medical Officer highlighting our work in his latest report and urging that these health benefits must not be taken for granted. We’ve also shown that even virtual representations of coastal environments can confer meaningful effects on positive mood and a sense of connectedness with the natural world.”
From beautiful beaches, top venues for seafood wildlife hotspots, superb cycling trails, coastal walks, kite-surfing to star-gazing, England’s Coast’s offers a line-up of the best stress busters to seek out, whatever the weather.
Look after your physical health
When it’s complete, at more than 2,700 miles long, the England Coast Path will offer the longest marked coastal trail in the world. Physical activity is proven to boost mood, self-esteem, and energy levels. What better way to connect with the body than drinking in the coastal landscapes on offer around the country? Discover one of the many new stretches on a jog or tune into the tranquillity of nature on a relaxing walk.
Put your endurance to the test. Enjoy an adrenaline-fuelled adventure with Yorkshire based, Bay Watersports, who offer a personalised experience to suit your ability and needs. Take to the waves and spend the day kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, sailing or even raft building!
Spend time connecting to nature
The British coast is bursting with sealife. Hear the heartbeat of the natural world by heading to the Farne Islands, famously a habitat for seals, with more than 2,000 pups born every autumn, and more than 23 species of seabirds. Take the chance to see the wildlife up- close-and-personal on a catamaran boat trip with Serenity Farne Island Boat Tours with onboard guides to answer all your burning questions.
Find enjoyable outlets to prime your creativity
Creativity is widely seen to help focus the mind and has even been compared to meditation due to its calming effects on the brain. We’re never too old to get the creative juices flowing. Uncover the secrets of Yorkshire’s unique natural history by immersing yourself in one of the many wildlife and nature experiences. Embark on a rock pooling trip or join a local expert to discover hidden gems on a birdwatching and wildlife photography tour around North York Moors National Park.
Switch off and sack the stress
Relax and reconnect with the mind, body and soul. Set your emails to “out of office” and switch your mobile off to enjoy the fresh air and sweeping views of the South West Coast Path in all their glory.
Known for its display of freely roaming mountain goats, unique caves and cliff formations, the Valley of Rocks in North Devon offers an unrivalled place to spend some time living in harmony with nature. Located just half a mile to the west of Lynton, escape to this dramatic geological display solo, or enjoy the serenity with family and friends.
Treat your taste buds
Life feels a little incomplete without enjoying the simple pleasure of indulging in good food. Essex’s Mersea Island is world-famous for its oysters. At just eight square miles, this little island is a wonderful escape. The way of life in West Mersea is sublimely slow and simple with ample time for taking in the dramatic, wide skies and estuary views, and, of course, feasting on fresh native oysters.
Reinvigorate through quality sleep – Mr Sandman Bring Me a Dream!
The cleaner and fresher coastal air with higher levels of oxygen can have profound effects of your quality of sleep. Leading a more active lifestyle, coupled with the benefits of the coastal calmness and serenity at night, will mean laying your head down will have never felt easier.
Fall asleep to the waves at Coastguard Cottage in Saltburn-by-the-sea, on the North Yorkshire coast, the perfect holiday hideaway situated in a peaceful location with breath-taking views of sea and countryside, this little haven sleeps up to four in a double and twin room and welcomes all furry friends.
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