Sandbanks is a beach that I continuously return to. It isn’t the prettiest, nor the most popular with my fellow Dorset folk, but our shared history runs deep. For me it is home.
I am writer based in the south west, currently studying for an MA in Travel and Nature Writing at Bath Spa University.
Down the rusted ladder of the harbour wall, along course concrete and across the sand. When the water bites my toes, I realise. I always forget my shoes. From looking at my sea-frozen feet, I gaze towards the horizon. Old Harry lies to the right, his chalky grin gleams in the gloaming. A tanker makes its steady way east. Another wave curls. I know that beneath the surface, by the rocky groynes, wrasse and blenny are watching. A shoal of sand eels ripples past.
It was here that I learnt to swim and to read the ocean. Introduced my family to the joy of sea submersion and watched them revel in it. Returned year, after year, after year with friends, reminiscing and repeating memories of days now frayed at the edges.
Most know this as the tourist beach. A smooth expanse backed by glass façades. I don’t mind. Our history is as permeable as the sea and sand.