Updated: Mar 1
They say that living by the sea significantly improves your well-being, well for me it definitely does, it is my therapy.
I live just a few minutes walk from Hastings Old Town, a picturesque jumble of weather-boarded cottages, townhouses and narrow 'twittens' (passageways). It is home to a thriving artsy community, with plenty of cafés, restaurants and independent shops selling art and antiques, flowers, artisan bread and much more.
Then down along the bustling seafront is the Stade with it's historic fishing beach alongside the Jerwood Gallery of modern art.
Just a 10 minute drive away is Winchelsea Beach, situated between Hastings and Rye which I call "my peace of heaven". This peaceful beach is never crowded and is one of the few remaining undeveloped beaches around. There is such a great combination of sea and land where sheep can be seen grazing in the rolling fields alongside beautiful swans gliding down the beautiful stream with their cygnets in tow, on the opposite side of this coastal line.
This beach has been a favourite of mine for many years even before I moved down to Hastings, my daughter and I would come and visit my parents during the holidays, who had also moved from London to set up home in Pett, a quaint country village just a couple of miles away, back in 2004.
Renée was just a little girl back then and spending the school holidays by the sea was always an exciting adventure for her. We would pack a little picnic, blanket and flask of tea and set up camp on this beach spending hours paddling in the sea or seeking shells and fancy pebbles. There have been many happy memories made here.
It is a great escape from the fast pace of city life and you can generally find me most mornings, before I start my working day, either jogging or taking a long brisk walk along the 4 mile stretch of this unspoilt beach.
Spending time by the sea is good for the soul, it is where I come to relax and erase any tension or stress that daily life can sometimes throw at us. It is a place where I can sit by the waters edge and just stare out to sea, gathering my thoughts and inspirations and giving my mind, time to unwind.
If only this could be bottled and delivered to our doorstep each morning, so everyone can have a little drop of calmness in their life.