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Winter walk on a West Cork beach

There's nothing quite so good for the soul as a bracing walk on the beach. It's one of the things I miss most about Scotland - the stunning East Lothian beaches we regularly visited on the weekends and on summer evenings after work.

In the middle of the Christmas holidays we visited our friends down in West Cork - the most idyllic setting by the wild Atlantic ocean with beautiful beaches and scenic coastal views. After a lovely evening spent catching up, the next day we donned our winter woollies and took a trip to their local beach in Kilbrittain before driving back home to Kildare.

With the tide far out, we strolled across the great expanse of rippled sand peppered with little rock pools and it was great to see the kids race across the sand giggling and laughing with their faithful family dog in tow, writing their names in the sand and splashing thorugh the little puddles of sea water.

It was a glorious seascape to take in, with so much natural texture all around. The white winter sun broke through the dappled grey clouds in long rays glistening and almost dancing on the surface of the water making the whole scene so breathtakingly beautiful. To top it all off like and make the entire scene like a Tourism Ireland ad, I spotted a couple of riders galloping their horses along the edge of the surf. There is something so free about seeing horses stride across a beach and I felt a little envious of the riders and the sheer exhilaration they must have felt on that lovely December day facing into the ocean's breeze.

After a lovely walk, we headed back to the cars and said our goodbyes and left our hosts, the Christmas cobwebs well blown away and lovely memories made. The only regret was not having more time to spend there.

West Cork is a wonderful escape from the daily hustle and bustle of urban living. It has a relaxed vibe yet is invigorating for the mind and body with its clear sea air, bracing oceanic scenes and lush landscapes. It's a perfect place for a family holiday where you can rent a house or cottage locally or a weekend away where you can digitally detox and exchange surfing the web for surfing the waves (though the WI-FI is good there if need be!)More visits in 2017 are definitely on my list of resolutions.

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