The sand dunes of Camber beach

It’s August Bank Holiday weekend.  We are avoiding going out today.  The traffic report on Friday was enough to convince us that this is the biggest travel weekend.  Of course, the 35-mile traffic back-up outside Bristol was not related to an accident, but to a man on a bridge, yet the amount of traffic speaks volumes.

Nevertheless, we opted to head for the beach yesterday.  This time, it was to Camber.  We figured it wouldn’t be as packed as more popular places, like Brighton or Eastbourne.  And, we were right.  The traffic was pretty bad in a few spots on our way down, but it was very clear on our way back.  We wanted to stop first in Rye, but couldn’t find a parking spot, so we went on into Camber instead.  It would have been nice to stop and look around.  Maybe next time.

Camber is located just to the east of Rye, a small medieval town.  It is in the Walland Marshes and very nearby are “Danger Areas” that are fenced off.  From what I understand, it is where they did some testing during WWII and there may be landmines still in there.  But, Camber itself is just a small seaside village.  There is a Pontins there.  To those Americans who may not know what that is, it’s like a chain holiday resort.

Camber is the first beach we’ve been to with sand dunes.  I’ve seen images of beaches with sand dunes and I’ve been to some with one or two dunes, but this is the first one I’ve experienced with dunes stretching the entire length, with a golf course on the dunes at the very end.  It was also very low tide, so the beach stretched out very far.  We went wading in the water and found lots of shells.  Even in the small shallow pools in the sands, my husband and kids spotted little fishes.  And, guess what?  The water was lukewarm.  On the opposite end to the golf courses was a shingle beach and the people there were engaged in parasurfing.  It seems to be a very popular sport along the southern coast of England, but there were many more people doing it in Camber than we have seen at the other beaches.

The kids played horse and camel in the sand dunes.  They had crawled up the dune and down to the beach.  They did not change into their bathing suits and got their clothes very wet while they went wading (they wore capris).  Afterwards, when they got down on all fours again to play in the dunes, they were extremely filthy.  But they had fun doing so.

They have a parking lot at the beach, though there really are no marked parking bays.  Pretty much, you park somewhere on the grass and try to keep some order.  It is gated, you pay at the front, and they lock up after hours.  Considering that you have to pay everyday, including Sundays and Bank Holidays, we were surprised to find that the entrance was closed before closing time, which is 6:00pm.  We didn’t park there, objecting to having to pay to park everywhere we go.  We parked on the street outside Pontins and walked down.  I don’t understand why the area had to be gated.  Do they not allow anyone in after 6?

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