A trip to the beach

Cuil Bay itself is a perfect arc of shingle and sand with views south to the islands of Balnagowan, Shuna and Lismore.

I love a thrillingly bracing swim at low tide, when the sand is exposed. And followed by roasting some sausages over a fire built of the plentiful driftwood brought in by wild winter storms.

Even better, a short walk along the shore westwards takes you to two smaller bays, away from the people and where you can collect mussels at low tide. On one of our trips, my daughter, then 8, threw a handful of small mussels onto an improvised grid over the fire and they cooked almost instantly. When they had popped open it was just like eating pistachios: tasty, salty and very moreish.

Sometimes we spend a whole day exploring rocks and pools, foraging wild edibles from the shore and collecting interesting flotsam and jetsam. A bit of natural childhood for the kids and an escape for us adults from the buzz of city life.

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