Mini Review of Camber Sands

Well, our holiday at Camber has finished, and we both survived. We had a nice routine, with me working (inefficiently) for the morning, then meeting for lunch. We then ‘did our own thing’ until 4pm, when we went to the beach, followed by tea, then Netflix until bedtime. All very civilised and relaxing. It was also nice to spend time with just Mum, to properly listen to her stories about the past, without having to rush off to do things. Camber Sands, out of season, is ideal for this.

We stayed in a holiday cottage on the White Sands estate, and this was ideal. Mum called it ‘Toy Town’ and with all the little houses, I know what she meant. We walked around, guessing which ones were rental homes and which ones were lived in. I’m assuming that most people don’t, by choice, have ornaments of sea-gulls and anchors in their normal homes. Many of the gardens were full of lavender, and it’s all very pretty.

There are a few places to eat in Camber, even out of season, though some were closed until July or working limited hours. So the fish and chip shop was only open in the evenings (though you can get very good fish and chips from the friendly man with a ponytail, in the cafe on the grass carpark, near beach C). We ate a couple of times in Dunes Bar (5* hygiene rating and friendly staff) and sometimes drove to The King’s Head in Playden (which has the above plus the best food, I think).

I prefer Camber in the winter, when you can walk the dog along the whole beach, but it’s cold. Even in the summer, it always seems to be windy.

We had very good weather. It was always windy, but it was dry, and warm in the sand dunes. On Friday, the main road was quite busy, which gave a taste of how it must be in high season, when I imagine it would be fairly difficult to cross the road if you’re a slow walker (which one of us was).

The beach is flat and sandy – so great for kids wanting to build sandcastles or old ladies who like to paddle, or dogs who want to dig and bounce through waves. The east end of the beach is where all the water sports enthusiasts are allowed, and when the wind is right, you can see lots of coloured kites with mad people attached. (I did offer to pay for Mum to rent one, but she made lots of excuses.) The carparks all seem to have toilets, and there are plenty of bins to put your bags of dog mess (so no excuses for cleaning up after them people!)

However, the tide comes in unevenly, so you have to watch out so you don’t get cut-off. This can be dangerous for non-swimmers. And there are rip tides, which are dangerous for swimmers. They now have life-guards on duty (which I’ve never seen before) and signs telling you the tide times and where is safe to swim. One day there were jellyfish in the water, but I have come to Camber many times, and never seen them before, so perhaps we were just unlucky. Another hazard is towards the Rye end of the beach, where at low tide some of the sand is oily. It is the wet sand, and your feet sink into the sand and then come out black, which is very unpleasant, and bit of a worry with the dog, who was most unhelpful about being taken into the sea to be washed. I still maintain that wellies are the best footwear for a beach (see last week’s post).

The marshes around Camber are beautiful, and there are paths and cycle routes through them. You can hire bikes in Rye and Camber ( 07960 587482). While we were there, the fields were full of poppies and chubby lambs and water birds.

So that’s it, a quick review of Camber Sands. If you would like to also borrow my mother to take for company, I’m sure that can be arranged.

Have a good week.
Take care,

Love, Anne x

Thank you for reading. You can follow my blog at:
Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in book shops and Amazon. Why not buy one today?
(I think the best one is CLARA – A Good Psychopath? which shows how someone very bad, can achieve something amazing…

Camber continues…

Well, you’ll be pleased to know I have managed to not murder my mother, so far… In fact, we’re having a rather nice time, here at Camber Sands. The little cottage we’ve rented is turning out very well, everything works, and there are a few novelties. I am enjoying the Nespresso machine, Mum was unexpectedly taken by the spy-hole in the front door. I haven’t liked to ask how often she stands there spying on the neighbours. Even the dog is happy, as she simply adores the beach.

The beach is great, though we did have a near-disaster yesterday, as we hadn’t realised the tide was coming in, and we were walking along a sandbank, completely oblivious to the water rushing in between us and the beach. It wasn’t dangerous, just annoying, as I had to get my jeans wet wading across to the beach. Not helped by a particularly bouncy dog who thought it was great that I was finally joining her in the sea.

Today we had another disaster – not our fault – as we decided to go to Rye for the day. I hate driving, and find it particularly stressful driving through towns I don’t know, trying to find a carpark. And I know Rye has lots of one-way streets. There is a map in the cottage, but it doesn’t show the one-way streets AND it has South at the top. So it’s all backwards. (I find this completely irritating – who would draw a map with South at the top???)

Anyway, when Mum suggested that we could catch a bus into town, it seemed like an excellent plan. I took the dog for an early walk (ignoring her when she pulled desperately towards the beach path, as I didn’t want her to get wet, so she had to settle for the fields) and checked the timetable at the bus-stop. There are buses every hour, so we planned to catch the 11:13 bus, wander around Rye, have lunch, and catch a bus home early afternoon. Perfect – or so we thought.

We allowed plenty of time to walk to the bus-stop, so were there about 11:05. We stood at the shelter, and I worried they might not take notes or cards and I didn’t have enough change. At 11:13, there was no bus, but Mum, who catches a lot of buses, assured me they are often a few minutes late.

At 11:30, we made friends with the other lady waiting at the stop, who said the buses are often very late, and sometimes don’t arrive until about 50 minutes after their due time. She had been there before us, and had a very cute little dog, called Benjie. She said it was a new timetable, it began at the beginning of June, and previously there had been buses every 30 minutes rather than every hour. Mum then chatted to her (about the weather/her dog/what it’s like living in Camber/her political views/religion/her sex life, etc, you know what elderly ladies are like) and I moved slightly away and hid behind my sunglasses.

At 11:50 the bus arrived. Happy days. Chatty lady got on first, and was told: “You can’t bring the dog on, there are already 3 other dogs on, I’m not taking any more.”

Chatty lady said she’d been waiting nearly an hour, but the bus driver was adamant, he wasn’t taking any more dogs. Chatty lady got off the bus.

Mum and I stepped onto the bus. The driver said, “I can only take one of you.”

We stared at him. (I nearly asked which one – but decided it wouldn’t be polite.) Mum asked why. Driver said the bus was too full already (it was) and passengers weren’t allowed to stand beyond the blue line (a line – blue- painted on the floor). There were people standing almost up to it, though they could have all squashed back a bit. But Mum said she needed a seat, and I could see that there weren’t any, and I really couldn’t face the conversation with random strangers about which one was going to give up their seat for her, so we too got off. Bus then sped away, and we walked back to cottage. The dog was pleased to see us.

We ate in a pub in Camber instead, and had a nice time, and will take the dog on the beach later. But it was a bit of a shame, especially as until recently there had been more buses, so we’d have got a seat. It must be infuriating for chatty lady, who was local, to have the bus to Rye full of holiday-makers so she doesn’t fit on it. Perhaps the bus company will reconsider the cuts for the summer months. I hope so.

Thank you for reading.

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Thank you for reading. You can follow my blog at:
Anne E. Thompson has written several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in book shops and Amazon. Why not buy one today?
(I think the best one is CLARA – A Good Psychopath? which shows how someone very bad, can achieve something amazing…

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I have always written a diary on holiday, so last Christmas, I decided to find all my old diaries and blogs, and make a book for my children. However, several other people also asked for a copy, so I have written a public version – it’s available on Amazon and has been described as “The Durrells meet Bill Bryson”!

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Camber Sands with Mother

Mum said she wanted a week by the sea, and I can write anywhere, so I told her that if she didn’t mind being ignored until midday each day, I would take her to Camber Sands. Am hoping we don’t murder each other.

Other people’s reactions to the news were telling. My children all declined to join us, citing work/parties/washing their hair as plausible excuses. My siblings all advised I take lots of alcohol. My friends all said, “A whole week? Gosh!” I expect they were jealous.

We set off on Saturday. The dog filled the whole boot, so I told Mum we could only take what would fit behind her seat. I packed the dog, my stuff (one tiny bag) and the food (quite a lot of bags) and went to collect Mum. Her stuff was already packed, and in a long line down the front path and round the corner and half way to the next town. But we managed to fit it all in. And I quite like eating bruised apples and crushed crisps, so it’s fine.

Arrived at the cottage in one piece, despite my dodgy driving and fairly useless brain and completely useless SatNav. We have rented a two-bedroomed house from ‘Beside the Sea’ cottages. It’s on a little estate of pastel coloured houses, and is 3 minutes walk from the beach. The house is pretty small (Mum suggested we could empty a cupboard for big smelly dog to live in) but it’s very pretty. It also – most importantly – has a shower with decent water pressure, an outside hose (for rinsing big smelly dog) and two washrooms. There are also a few luxuries, like a Nespresso machine (am on my 4th coffee this morning and the world is buzzing) and Netflix. The owners have included helpful things like capsules for the dishwasher and hand soap for all the sinks, and we arrived to cake and biscuits and a bottle of wine. All very nice.

After a quick cup of tea, we walked to the beach. I don’t know if you know Camber Sands, but in the summer months, the only part of the beach where dogs are allowed is accessed via sand dunes. Dragged Mum over one the height of Snowdon but we made it to the beach. Tried to take selfies – realised neither of us were very good at this, and we now have several photos of our feet, and the sky, and the dunes. Both dog and mother went completely nuts and insisted on paddling. Mother told me she thought I was completely ridiculous to be wearing wellies on the beach in June. But I have lived with Husband for too long. And I hate sandy feet.

Sunday: I took the dog for an early run. The tide in Camber goes out for miles and miles, so we had a good walk. The only other people out there were fishermen digging for lugworms. I worried a little that the tide might come in and we’d get cut-off, but there were no warning signs (only about riptides for swimmers) so we walked 27 miles out to the sea and back. Kia chased seagulls and brought me dead crabs and stones to throw. (I didn’t throw the dead crabs, in case you’re wondering.)

Met Mum and we walked to the little wood and brick church on the main road, next to Pontins. People seemed friendly, and there was coffee and cake afterwards, which Mum stayed for as she likes chatting to strangers, and I didn’t, as I don’t.

We had lunch at The King’s Head in Playden. I’ve been there before, and it never disappoints. It’s pretty and cosy and the food is lovely. Spent the rest of the day walking and reading and watching Netflix.

This morning I walked along a footpath towards Rye (I couldn’t face even more sand and wet dog, I figured one trip to the beach a day would be fine.) The path went past fields of chubby lambs and great pools of deep water with fishermen next to them, and was lined with poppies. Camber seems to have lots of poppies in June. Came back to write this, and will now do some work. So far the week is going well, and we are both still alive. I’ll give you an update next week.

Thank you for reading. Have a good week.

Take care.
Love, Anne x

Anne E. Thompson is an author of several novels and one non-fiction book. You can find her work in bookshops and on Amazon.
Thank you for reading.

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