Sand, sea…. snow? That’s right.
The British seaside is the perfect spot to enjoy the very best of winter. Here, Heather Blemings of Gipping Homes talks through the perks of having a coastal retreat off-season.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a summer getaway as much as the next person.
Tanned bodies, sangria in the sun, ice creams, salty skin and a dip in the surf get the endorphins buzzing and make you feel alive.
But when the leaves change colour and start to crunch under my feet I am not the type to go into hibernation and shiver until the start of spring.
Instead I head to the very place most frequented in summer months – the beach.
It’s the nation’s favourite ice-breaker isn’t it?
So much so that a recent study found that the average Brit whines about the weather for four months of their life.
It’s too cold. Too dark. Dismal. Drizzly.
And yet the winter is possibly the most beautiful of all the seasons – especially for those lucky enough to live on the coast.
After all, nature is big and bold and can't always be a perfect wavelapped paradise.
Here in East Anglia, the colder months bring with them high winds, high waves and high drama.
Wrapped up in an Arctic coat and sheepskin-lined boots you can blow away the cobwebs on a blustery walk, take in the dramatic scenery and the retreat to one of many pubs off the promenade to enjoy a pint and a roaring log fire.
In short, the Suffolk coast is a wild, untamed landscape off-season and its deserted beaches are a frosty delight to refresh the spirits.
Coastal Christmas cheer
It’s true that when most people think of Santa, they do not think of the seaside.
But actually Christmas provides a wealth of festive fun wherever you are.
In Felixstowe, there is the annual light switch on, a craft market and a children’s candlelit parade.
The pubs serve mulled wine, the beach huts get festooned with lights and baubles – there is even the annual Christmas morning dip in the North Sea if you are brave enough.
Be part of it
Of course, the seaside always attracts tourists.
But there are an increasing number of people choosing to move lock, stock and barrel to the coast to enjoy its delights rain or shine.
One of the most popular developments on offer – providing a sea view and a short hop and a skip to the surf – is the The Bartlet in Felixstowe.
Founded in 1926 as a convalescent home using a bequest of £250,000 from Dr John Bartlet, a local surgeon, the building overlooks the beach and its rows of brightly coloured beach huts.
It was closed in 2006 and then lay derelict for some time but it has now been given a new lease of life, developed into prestigious apartments and town houses.
This is providing many with a wonderful opportunity to embrace the idea of living beside the sea.
What’s on offer?
The Bartlet is a impressive development of one, two and three bedroom apartments set in and around a unique Grade II * listed building.
The three floors of the magnificent red-brick building have been meticulously designed around original architecture, which dates back to the 1920s and incorporates the foundations of a Martello Tower which protected England from invasion during the time of Napoleon.
The historical significance of the building has not been lost on Gipping Homes, which has developed the scheme, who have retained and restored everything from beautiful tiles, cornicing and fireplaces to bay windows, original flooring and intricate brickwork.
Move in for Christmas
This exclusive landmark development is attracting plenty of interest from those who want to indulge in the fresh air, beautiful views and the sights and sounds of the water.
But if you get a wriggle on, you too could be moving into a dream home just before Santa arrives on his sleigh.
Ho, ho, hope you love it as much as I do.