I think it's a combination of my British upbringing and my parents' love of the outdoors, but I absolutely adore going to the beach during the off season, when it's cold and windy and the wind cuts right through you like a sheet of ice. A few years ago we were in Devon in October, and we went to a beach which lies straight as an arrow for a good 3km or so, with a long ridge of sand dunes running all the way along parallel to the sea. Even at high tide there's a band of flat, perfect sand between the sea and the foot of the dunes. You can only access the beach by car right at the far end; otherwise you have to walk about 2km through sand dunes and grass to get to the beach. When we went it was deserted because of the low clouds that skulked low over the sea, and the wind blew sand everywhere and whipped your hair in your face and stung your eyes.
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