Mental Health and Seaside Air
Everyone is susceptible to mental illness, just as we are to a broken arm or a twisted ankle. We are living in a time which is growing in its understanding of mental health; celebrities and online influencers are spreading the message it is okay to not be okay, and there is a whole network of support waiting in the device in our pockets. The atmosphere seems to be electric with emotional, mental and technological development, but this in itself can feel incredibly overwhelming. The same device that endorses wellbeing apps, encouraging calmness and anxiety cures, also brings us fear-mongering headlines and snapshots of unattainable lives, screaming from perfectly edited grids. They say don’t bite the hand that feeds you, but what if that hand is feeding you poison and charging you for its antidote?
Okay, that was a bit heavy for a mini-travel blog, but, I want to be honest in my writing; life isn’t always fun and adventures. Last week I was really beginning to feel that familiar discomfort, I had spent days on end chained to my laptop writing essays trying to get them in on time (I’m sure almost every student knows what I’m talking about) and it really got me down. Sometimes it’s easy to forget there’s a life outside of the library and my flat. So, when it came to Sunday and I had a day off from work and my deadlines were all submitted, I needed to get out, desperately. I’m not suggesting that the cure for anxiety and depression is going to the beach, but for me getting out into nature, away from technology and the (sometimes) claustrophobic city, is a necessity to keep me from feeling ‘a bit off’. So, me and Charley set out for
Wembury, armed in as many layers I could fit under my coat (I felt like Joey when he puts on all of Chandler’s clothes - if you know, you know).
Obviously, the beach is not a typical ‘hot spot’ for the winter months, but it is honestly my favourite time to visit the beach, especially Wembury. As we drove into the car park and saw the few derelict cars being gently rocked by the force of the wind, we knew this was not going to be a serene walk - I was so excited. There is something almost exclusive about coming to the beach in winter, it's as though there is an unspoken agreement between the beach and the winter visitor. The conditions are abrasive, and the sea appears foreboding and treacherous, but if you’re brave enough, you get to experience the beauty of the beach in its wild, natural state. The beach feels like yours; there was only the occasional sturdy dog walker striding across the sand and one or two families donned in bobble hats and wellies as they chased and ran from the waves, while their children’s laughter carried by the wind. In the untamed and blustering environment, I finally felt completely calm.
Charley’s attention was almost instantly drawn to climbing the rocks on a hunt for any creatures he could discover. I, on the other hand, am a terrible climber with no balance even at the best of times. So, while I waited for him to help me manoeuvre over the jagged, mossy terrain, I took the opportunity to take in the scene around me… until I nearly got blown over (while Charley was occupied with one of the rock pools). Despite that ordeal, which he found hilarious, it was so much fun clambering over the rocks and exploring what the beach had to offer. We ended the trip by attempting to defrost with a hot chocolate each in the lovely, cosy cafe that is located just a few steps up from the beach. We were only at Wembury for an hour or so, but as we ran (it had started raining, typical British weather) back to the car I couldn’t stop smiling. Wembury is such a beautiful little spot, only thirty minutes from Plymouth City Centre and is perfect for a little break from reality, especially when everything starts to become a little bit much.
For this particular trip, me and Charley decided to take a car; the drive is easy, except for the last few minutes (the road is very narrow with a lot of bends), but the journey overall only takes around thirty minutes and once you're through the narrow part of the journey, the scenery you're faced with is so rewarding it's definitely worth it.
However, if you don't have access to a car, the bus is just as easy! So, you will need to get the number 48 bus from Plymouth City Centre, the journey takes approx. thirty minutes, and you will need to get off at Sea View Drive, Wembury bus stop. From there, it is only a short fifteen minute walk to the beach!
Car park ticket (if driving): £3 for Winter months £4 Spring and Summer months.
Bus ticket: I couldn't find the exact price for the City Centre to Wembury ticket, however, you can get a Zone 2 day rider ticket for only £6.
Hot Chocolate (optional): £3-£4.
Of course I always recommend bringing a packed lunch with you for any trips, if you are wanting to save money!