The Seaside

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How important were the natural features of the sea and sand in creating and maintaining the popularity of the seaside resorts?

Whilst sitting on a huge boulder that was on the beach, looking out at the sea with the sunrise glistening off of it, the crest of the waves turning white and finally crashing on to the beach and fizzling out where we sat, I turned to my then girlfriend and said “I want to live here, by the sea”. Within two months we had moved, lock stock and barrel and were living by the sea. After another few months by the sea, and with winter coming, we packed up again and went off to some of the best beaches in the world, backpacking for a year. This is a true event in my life, so have been drawn to the sea and sand myself. Is the sea by the side of land or is land by the side of the sea? Either way the draw of the beach has been strong throughout history. There are many reasons to be near the sea, a lot of artist and writers have drawn inspiration from the coast lines of the world, there have been lots of films and books that are set in and around the sea, the natural features of a coastline are spectacular enough to look at on its own, but when coupled with sandy beaches and the sound of crashing waves all in the one experience, who could resist that? It is no wonder to me that great artist throughout time would draw inspiration from such a varied subject, ever changing and uncompromising. When asked to think of paradise it invariably throws up a picture of the palm tree lined, white sanded beach and clear blue sea, this is not by accident. It has long been most people’s idea of paradise, since the eighteenth century people who could, holidayed by the sea. Some of the most desirable properties and land in the world are by the sea. To me the coming together of land and sea is one of the most therapeutic things to look at and hear in some cases. The spectacular cliffs with their sheer drops and crashing waves on the rocks below...
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