Monday, 28 January 2013

Leap Loop & Dark Water

January, February, what’s a family meant to do?

Cold winds bluster, wet rain tumbles from the doom laden skies, reedy sunshine fails to warm the sodden ground. We decided a day at the seaside would be perfect.

Leap beach is always a favourite and so we headed off down through the New Forest to see if the Isle of Wight had blown away yet.
Fortunately, the Island was still visible through the mist and thin sun; talk  camping there in the Summer helped to warm our chilled hearts. As the tide was high, we wandered Westward along the beach, spotting boats, sea birds, shells and various interesting stones.
Behind Leap beach there is a tidal, saltwater marsh ominously named Dark Water. Despite its unpromising name Dark Water is actually a beautiful nature reserve, many interesting birds and wildlife can be seen here. Children can also be entertained by catching crabs near the entrance.
A quick visit to the shop/café by the car park will furnish you with a guided walk around the 5 mile Leap Loop. Of course, the more adventurous among might want to wander off piste, just be sure to wear your wellies.
Alternatively, you can walk along the beach in an Easterly direction, where you eventually end up on Calshot Spit. This strip along the edge of the Solent can be a bracing walk, all of its own, if you are feeling energetic.
There is also a suitably challenging children’s adventure playground on top of the bluffs by the café – just in case anyone has any residual energy left, before heading for home.

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