Tag Archives: beach

Release your inner mermaid at 10 awesome Melbourne beaches | Australia

15747862_10154056897662617_3367207312712882158_n-2Some people swear by snowy skiing holidays, some people can’t live without fresh mountain air – for me it’s beachy bliss and ocean dreams that fuel my travels. I’ve been a total water baby since I was a kid and I can’t stand being far from the ocean – I’ve always lived no further than 20 minutes from the sea and it’s always been the one thing to soothe me. From winter beach walks to summers running along the seafront and charing the waves, I just love the peace and simplicity of a life with sandy feet and salty hair. My farm work was possibly the hardest time of my travels – and some of that I put down to being the furthest away from the ocean I have ever been. 800km west of Brisbane, I was pretty much in the centre of Australia and a minimum of 12 hour driving away from the sea. It sounds silly, but we humans are 80% water and it seems crazy that being near or far from water cannot affect our mood.10475462_10153314611377617_6987772805095941001_n-2Since being back in Melbourne, I’ve been working like crazy sometimes 50/60 hour weeks and so it’s become more important than every that I make the most of my time off by going to new places I haven’t yet explored. For me, that means venturing in different directions to explore the best beaches and most beautiful places I haven’t yet seen in this amazing city. I love Melbourne and there is so much more for me to discover so I’ve been on the buses, trains and trams to find my favourite new beachy destinations in the area. I’ve come up with my top 10 list of my favourite beaches I’ve been to in the area – all within easy reach of Melbourne CBD and well worth visiting if you fancy a change.

My top 10 beaches in Melbourne

St Kilda Beach

It goes without saying that St Kilda Beach is a lot of fun – it’s far from the prettiest beach in Melbourne but it’s the place to be if you want to enjoy beers in the sunshine, the odd festival or to warm up for a night out. I spent Christmas Day here with my nearest and dearest – we enjoyed a full Aussie Xmas Day from beers in the sunshine to water fights in the sea and a full rave on the beach – so much fun and always a good place to head to meet people. Plus, penguins… need I say more?!10600585_10153380769872617_5013501189314184811_n-2

Sandringham Beach

My new favourite after visiting the other day, this one is perfect for escaping the city. Just 30 minutes on the train from Flinders, this beautiful untouched beach promises crystal clear waters and gorgeous golden sandy beaches. Endless rock pools and nature to explore, or you can just relax in your own little cove.17264832_10154270651237617_3044248189885802026_n

Half Moon Bay

Last time I was in Melbourne, I went on a lovely date with a guy to Half Moon Bay. It was a beautiful little cove attached to Sandringham Beach but also completely separate. We had the whole beach to ourselves and went swimming at sunset, it was beautiful to watch the sun hit the water and watch the ships sailing past. A perfect spot to romance anyone special in your life.12728940_10153314616307617_2135933775195956825_n

Brighton Beach

A home away from home, this little gem comes complete with an amazing view of the city from across the water and cute little beach reminiscent of those you’ll find on quaint English beaches like those near my home. Plus, it’s only 20 minutes by train! A lovely chilled beach and great for swimming as there isn’t too many rocks in the water and it isn’t quite as shallow as some of the beaches. While you’re in the area you can also check out Elwood and Hampton beaches.16996157_10154229226972617_4915799084566740125_n

Port Melbourne

This has become my local beach of late -just 5 minutes on the tram from my apartment, it’s my perfect escape for a sunny morning before work. on the same stretch of Port Phillip Bay as St Kilda, it couldn’t be more different. Usually empty of people and very peaceful, this is more of a family beach and less party. It’s a perfect place to take a book and relax for a few hours.16603094_10154195515547617_7048427845693070214_n

Mount Martha

Halfway between a beach and a cliff face – this one is definitely worth a visit. The water was ice cold when I went but you couldn’t miss the beauty of the place. Come here for cliff jumping and a good swim in crystal clear deep waters. On hot days the place turns into a party for the Mornington crowd!15230827_10153986113157617_8100843845037770067_n

Williamstown Beach

Take a 25 minute train ride and a step back in time to Williamstown, a small seaside town with all the cuteness of a British seaside resort. I went on a windy day when it was perfect for sandy beach walks instead of sunbathing but still saw the beauty in the simple, untouched beach. Perfect if you fancy escaping the busy sands of St Kilda.16832185_10154214948637617_6379463003513546934_n

Bells Beach

Escape the city for a day or overnight like I did, I went to visit a friend who lived down in Torquay, near the start of Great Ocean Road. This was a perfect excuse to head down to the gorgeous surfing beaches like Bells Beach to walk the dogs and catch up for a few days. While you’re at it, why not hire a car for a few days and do the whole Great Ocean Road? Check out my posts for planning your trip here and here.15319029_10153978729872617_8726140641782645268_n15319070_10153978729842617_4618403670014633404_n

Mornington

I just spent a few hours on one of the many Mornington Peninsula beaches during a stormy day, but it was very beautiful and the whole area is covered with gorgeous beaches to explore. Easy to get to in a day, they’re worth exploring and if you have more time then Sorrento and the beaches down at Wilson’s Promontory are also worth a visit.15241265_10153986113162617_8413323955103607956_n

Frankston

Pretty far out of the city but worth a visit if you have more time, Frankston is full of lovely beaches to explore, most of them I saw during windy days so I enjoyed walks rather than sunbathing but they’d be beautiful on a hot day!13178557_10153502015042617_9220132387357246480_n-1


There’s something so soothing about the ocean isn’t there? If you love it as much as I do, why don’t you check out Celebrity Cruises by Bolsover Cruise Club for their take on modern luxury while you explore the globe.

What’s your favourite Melbourne beach? Can you recommend any others?

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Saying goodbye to the UK

sun 3As I’m sure you can imagine, last week flew by in a blur of family time, catching up with friends and saying my goodbyes, packing and a constant battle between eating my fill of British food to last me the next year and working it off at the gym to get my body even remotely bikini ready. As you read this, I’ll be somewhere in Bangkok – hopefully wandering around a market eating delicious food and taking in the sights. I’ll be spending the first couple of days in a hotel, getting my bearings and making a firmer plan for the upcoming weeks and meeting up with friends. I’m sure it will only just be starting to register that this is how my life will be for the next year – no more getting up at the crack of dawn to go to work in cold, raining England – but finally what I have been working for and planning for over 12 months is finally a reality! I can’t quite believe it myself. sun 2sun 1I have to be honest, I’ve had the worst possible run of news stories since booking my flights – it seems there’s pretty much been a murder on a Thai beach, a shark attack in Australia, or a plane going missing every bloody week! Great for reassuring my mother I’m going to survive my trip, and great for reassuring me that I’m going to survive my flight. It’s okay though, I’ve never been much of a worrier so I’m putting all these news stories to the back of my mind and just doing everything I can to avoid being mugged, raped, murdered or involved in some horrible incident. In the meantime though, I have been doing my utmost to make sure I have some very special memories of home, my family and my friends. I’m sure there will come a time when homesickness strikes and I am very glad of them! As you guys will have already read by now – I’ve got some pretty good ones in the bag after a perfect Christmas with the family, my Mexican-themed New Year’s, my Nineties-themed Leaving Party, and a couple of lovely dates with the boyfriend.IMG_7416sunrise 1This post is just a quick one to show you what else I got up to in the week between Christmas and flying out. My week started with a bracing, windy walk on the beach with my parents at Sunny Hunny – we have a beach hut there and it was a chance for me to say goodbye to the hut as I won’t be seeing it for over a year. It was a beautiful day, very frosty and the coldest morning yet of 2014, but perfectly fresh at the same time. I love walking at the beach on cold, sunny days – the air is so clean and it really does blow away all the cobwebs. It was great to get some serious fresh air and some colour in my cheeks – plus with that and a few workouts, it was great to get past feeling so stuffed with all the delicious Christmas food. We covered about six miles and it was good to spend some time back by the sea – my inner mermaid was satisfied. As you can see scattered around this post there are a few pics I captured while by the sea – it’s such a pretty place.spa paniniI also had a lovely day at the spa with my mum where we were treated to a lovely facial and full body massage, plus lots of lovely steam rooms, Prosecco and cake. A pretty perfect mummy and daughter day – it was really lovely to have a day just the two of us before I go. This was followed by New Year celebrations, catch-up’s with the boyfriend’s family and other friends and then my long-awaited Leaving Party! The week finished with a lovely family meal with my parents and grandad – then some sad goodbyes with my best friends and the boyfriend. Then before I knew it, my parents were driving me down to Heathrow and I was on a plane, and whoaa now I’m in Bangkok. Life is pretty crazy sometimes, but crazy good. After a really rubbish start to the year, I couldn’t have ended it on a better note.relax

What have you guys been up to? Are you sad to say goodbye to 2014, or are you already head-first into making 2015 the best yet?

Ab Lucy sign off

Releasing my inner mermaid on the stunning Irish beaches

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Tramore

In all these posts, and all these months I’ve been writing at Absolutely Lucy, there’s one thing I’ve never got round to telling you. For a very long time, I was utterly convinced I was a mermaid, and actually, to this very day, I’m still not completely convinced otherwise. Why you ask? Because I love the sea, I love the rivers and I love the lakes. I even love the pond up the road. I think I must have got this from my mother, I just love to be around open water, but particularly near the coast. Much as I love trips to cities and more built up areas, for me you just can’t beat the wide open beaches and the brisk, fresh, clean air rushing in off the ocean – I crave it. There’s just something so simple, soothing and pure about being by the ocean, no matter how much is going on if your life it all just seems to float away on the endless sea.

“Because there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.”
Sarah Kay

tramore

Tramore

I used to stretch out bath-time like you wouldn’t believe as a kid, and even when I was older, I was always the last to get out of the swimming pool. Whether at swimming lessons or on holiday, I’d stay in until I was forced out and my hands were wrinkled. I just loved diving under the water, where things all became muffled and voices became faint, where all the problems of the surface seemed a million miles away. To this day, I still find swimming one of the most soothing things, it still helps me more than yoga, pilates and meditation combined. But even just the feeling of being by the sea is enough these days. As some of you will know, this year has been particularly stressful for me for various reasons and in times of stress I have found that a walk at the beach has done wonders.

Woodstown

Woodstown

So with that in mind, it seemed only right and proper that my final Ireland post of the week is all about the stunning beaches we visited the day after the wedding. Amazingly, after the rubbish weather the day before, the sun was beaming down all day long, leaving us with a glorious Saturday. Slightly hungover and desperate for some fresh air to blow away the cobwebs, we headed out to visit two of our favourite beaches and another one that blew me away. We started our trip by heading to Woodstown Beach, somewhere I had never visited before, but I was astounded by the beauty of this wide open sandy beach, dotted here and there with dog walkers, runners and the odd walker like ourselves. Enclosed in a huge bay, the beach felt completely exposed and unpopulated, and yet sheltered from the harsher elements – you could see how many happy summers were spent with local kids playing in the sand. We walked the entire length of the beach, watching the waves, nudging driftwood with our feet and collecting sea shells.

Woodstown

Woodstown

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Woodstown

Our next destination took us to one of my favourite places in Ireland, Dunmore East, where last year I attended a wedding in a hotel overlooking the sea. It was a beautiful wedding, and a stunning setting for the occasion, and again we were so lucky with the weather! The sun shone throughout the weekend and gave us plenty of time to walk the beaches, the coastal walks and to eat out by the sea. It was perfect and I was so excited to return and see all of those gorgeous sights again. I wasn’t disappointed and had a lovely wander around the village, before popping into The Strand, a pub over looking the stunning view below, for an amazing seafood lunch. One thing I really love about this place is that it is so unpretentious, so unassuming, and so untouched. There are no “touristy” or tacky amusements, no arcades, no greasy chip shops, none of that nonsense. This place has been allowed to remain as naturally beautiful as possible, like time has stood still, and that is what makes me want to keep coming back.

Dunmore East

Dunmore East

We finished the afternoon by popping to Tramore, just a bit further along the coast from Waterford, for an ice cream and a walk along the prom. Slightly more touristy, this is where you get the fun fair rides and the chip shops, but turn towards the sea and you’d never know it. Surfers making their way into the swell, choppy wave washing towards the shore, where families with young children play, run and build sandcastles. Further along, on a concrete slop into the waves, a group of old couples sit along the wall, the men enjoying an ice cream while the women brave the waves for a swim! It may have been sunny, but it wasn’t very warm and you wouldn’t have caught me in there! Further along the slope, with mummy and daddy not far behind her, a little girl is all trussed up in her coat with bare feet as she runs into the sea giggles and runs away as the waves chase her up the slope. Facing the sea, you could have stepped back in time 50 years, and that is the charm of the place, not the shiny bright colours of the fair, but the quaint tradition of the town. Check out the photos from the top of this post for more of Tramore.

Tramore

Tramore

Just as I’m sure there are those out there who couldn’t understand how I could cope living in a rural Norfolk town for so many years, I cannot understand for a second how people can cope without every visiting the sea. I love living so close, and make it my business to get even closer as often as possible. Watching the waves is the best therapy for me and after my Mindfulness post from last week, I think it is the one thing that will always help me to gain perspective.

Have you visited any Irish beaches – which is your favourite? Do you love the sea like I do? What helps soothe you when life gets tough?

Ab Lucy sign off

Photography and a lovely day out on the North-Norfolk coast

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No bank holiday is complete without a visit to the seaside. I’m a lucky girl and live right on one of the most beautiful UK coastlines, in North Norfolk, so a visit to the seaside is a pretty regular thing for me – just try and keep me away from the sea! My inner mermaid always draws me back to the water and loves the feeling of the sand between her toes. This bank holiday, I took a trip to a coastal town I haven’t visited in years – Wells is a mere 40 minutes away from my home and is just lovely, it’s like stepping back in time with all of the families crabbing along the harbour, bunting strung from the rooftops and a little train to take you between the beach and the town. It’s like something out of an Enid Blyton novel and that traditional look and feel that vintage-lovers lust after is something that I feel totally at home in – I love the way the old seaside towns feel, like nothing has changed or had time to be spoilt by plastic rubbish, arcades and all the rest.imageimage

This trip also gave me a perfect opportunity to try out my new Nikon Coolpix AW110 and spend an afternoon photographing the town. I love photography, but sadly have never had an opportunity to study it, have never really had the time to perfect mine, nor have I had the equipment to really take good quality photographs. I love my new camera and it was about time I replaced my old one so I wasn’t limited just to my iPhone, but I do find myself wondering if I ought to invest in a DSLR or a Go Pro camera ready for travelling next year – I will finally have the time to get into photography and will constantly have incredible subjects on hand to practice on – it could be the perfect opportunity but there is also the expense to consider and the way this will affect my savings for travelling. Any experienced or professional photographers out there want to offer me some advice?

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Wells town is beautiful, so picturesque with the harbour filled with boats of all shapes and sizes, little cafes and sweet shops along the front, marshes either side of this tidal river from the beach and a gorgeous walk alongside it to the main beach. I love the way the lobster pots are stored along the harbour and there is huge boat with a pirate flag where you can listen to live music and have drinks. When you walk further into the town, there are countless craft and cute little seaside shops waiting for you to dive into their depths and discover what treasures they hold, plus lots of little restaurants, pubs and cafes line the streets with huge cakes in the windows and a lovely selection of seafood on sale. My favourite part, and what will always stay in my memories of the town, is the image of families sitting along the harbour and trying to catch crabs. We even spotted a few buckets full of shrimps and large crabs next to the more successful families.image

It was a great excuse to spend some time with my mum and dad, who I haven’t seen a huge amount over the last two months – I’ve been at festivals and away most weekends, and they’ve been away holidaying in the Greek Islands for three weeks. So it was nice to have a chilled day with them to catch up properly over a nice lunch and a big walk. For those who haven’t met my dad, he is probably one of the funniest men in the world and my mum isn’t far behind him, so it was a day full of lots of laughs.image

Of course, we headed out of the town and, skipping the train, we walked down to the beach, unfortunately getting caught in a quick shower of rain but soon drying off with a hot chocolate with marshmallows – which burnt my tongue – at the cafe. We headed down on to the beach, and that is when I captured the top photo of the beautiful rainbow over the lifeboat station. Wells beach is lovely, it is very exposed and you can see right out across the water on a sunny day with a clear view of the wind farm over on the Lincolnshire coast. The beach huts line the beach, all painted in stunning bright colours and looking like something from years gone by. Those of you who have been reading for a while will know I have a beach hut of my own at Old Hunstanton and that I took great care in painting it up so it was the cutest beach hut on the beach! Check it out here. So you’ll know that I’m always looking for a little beach hut appreciation and inspiration for our next paint job – check these out for some serious beachy beauties:imageimage

This cutie in particular really caught my eye – I love the detailing on the sign and the ship’s wheels used in the handrails – such a great detail and they really make this one stand out, even if it is one of the smaller ones. After a good stroll along the beach, tripping over sandcastles and watching the kites soaring in the sky above us, we decided to start heading back before the clouds rolled in again. We spotted some boats out at sea on our way back to the path and couldn’t resist a few more photographs.image

I also forgot to mention that earlier in the day, we popped to Wells Deli for a bite to eat, and a great choice it was. The food was fantastic and the cafe was cosy with a great design, I would definitely head back there again. We shared some folded pizzas – not quite calzones but along the same lines – with fillings of barbecue chicken and ham with sweet peppers, and chorizo and olive -all really tasty! And of course, we had to have a cake after seeing the amazing display – I chose a slice of the bourbon and maple pecan pie which looked and tasted delicious. I will definitely be trying to make this one at home!

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Love Norfolk? Have you been to Wells – what’s your favourite part? Love another seaside town – which is your favourite and why?

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The beauty of Norfolk in the sunshine

hunny 1For those who have been reading AbsolutelyLucy for a little while, you may remember a post I wrote back in January about the difficulties of high-school students and graduates living in small towns vs. cities – I looked at both the good and the bad points and came to a mixed conclusion. Check it out here. But I wanted to make sure that my readers understood quite how much I really do love Norfolk and how I actually think that growing up and living here has really helped me, both personally and career-wise.

I’m not going to go into loads of detail because I would be repeating much of the previous post. I just wanted to share some of the things I really love about this area because with the sun showing its face the last few weekends, I have really rediscovered the beauty of this wonderful county.

hunny 2 hunny 4If you’ve ever read my About page, you’ll have spotted the picture of my gorgeous little beach hut and will have read about how much I love it. With it comes a huge love of the beach, particularly, Old Hunstanton, which I believe is one of the most beautiful I have found in Norfolk. I know, I know, Holkham this and that, but as beautiful as it is, Holkham is a stunning landscape. It is not a beautiful beach with rolling sand dunes, miles of rock pools and beach huts scattered across the hills. That is my kind of beach – one that as a kid you could run about in all day and not run out of things to discover.

Have you got a favourite beach in Norfolk?

hunny 3If the beach is not for you, we’ve also got acres and acres of beautiful, rolling countryside and wide open spaces. Endless fields and beautiful villages filled with stone cottages and thatched roofs. There’s a castle just a few minute’s drive from my house and animals of all kinds filling the fields around us. Tell me that is not any child’s dream when growing up? I certainly loved growing up here and even now, although I love the cities as well, I couldn’t cope living too far away from Norfolk or somewhere similar. I made a few friends at the weekend when walking in the fields nearby my home.

rising 2 rising 1It’s just so beautiful here and you really do feel so free – I understand those who love the buzz of the city, but I prefer a little of both worlds. And I always find myself craving fresh air and plenty of space.

What’s your favourite part of Norfolk? Are you more of a a city-lover or country-retreat kind of person?

Continuing the makeover – Dolphins

On Sunday, I went back to my stunner of a beach hut, up at Old Hunstanton, to finish some of the painting. After working on the doors last weekend (see post), and much of the larger sections outside the hut, it was time to work on some of the smaller and more fiddly inside sections.

One of these sections was the sign for the beach hut, which we named ‘Dolphins’. Originally stencilled, we were unsure of how to repaint it without still having the original stencils – my parents suggested painting over the design and starting from scratch. However, I really liked the old sign and just felt it needed freshening up – so I decided to attempt to repaint in keeping with the original stencils, but freehand.

This was the result, and I am pretty proud of it! I unfortunately do not have a picture of the original so I cannot let you compare – but I would say that the outlines are actually more precise now that they were in the first place. The sign has now taken pride of place back up on the front of the hut. We also painted several other smaller items such as coffee, tea and sugar wooden pots, the mug tree, the mirror frame and curtain rail among other bits. And the deck had had a coat of black paint, as have the steps. I also used the black varnish to draw a letterbox on the door with the word ‘post’ written on it – just for extra cuteness factor! I don’t have any pics of this but will try to remember next time.