Things to do

Half a Dozen Great Ways to Get Wet

Like most creatures, our bodies love water. And like the planet, we are mostly made up of it (two-thirds on a good day). It hydrates us, cleans us and floats us into the world. Our moods ebb and flow with the tides, while the sound of a stream refreshes the parts even masseurs cannot reach. And we all still go gaga at the flurry of snow. Our fascination with the wet stuff is never-ending.


Next dewy morn or eve, head for the lawn or a strip of likely turf.

Angelic upstart, minus her wings

Lie flat on your back on the grass, spread-eagled in the middle of virgin dew. Sweep your arms and legs back and forth to form three fan-shapes, one with each arm and one with the legs.
Stand back and admire the angel, replete in gown and wings. 


Hold the knotted hankie. This is not kiss-me-quick land, but a brilliant way to discover sealife or cool off in the countryside. Roll up the trousers or hitch up the dress and wade. Your temperature will drop the way it does at night and flood your body with peace. Beware silt, sludge and weaver fish at very low tide (their dorsal fin is a local anaesthetic) – if in doubt, wear sandals, Crocs or flip-flops (but stop short of thigh-high wellies).

Pip's lady-like plunge


Ultra rare Portuguese man-of-peace, Creek Stephen, south Cornwall

Salt is a natural buoyancy aid.
Add a wetsuit and you’re almost levitating.
In case you’ve never worn one, the cold water seeps in and after three seconds of ‘wet-yourself shock’ it adjusts to your body warmth.
Then it gets better.
You just float, without treading water.
If you’d rather skip the cold bit, run a foam-strewn bath, ease back and drift.

Bubbles and Bordeaux (back rub to come)


Always pitch up next to a stream.
Lasso a bottle of white wine and immerse it in the free-flowing chiller cabinet.
For beer cans, build a dam.
Wash farm shop salad and veg in ‘the tap’ on tap.
Eat, drink and get schmoozy.
If animals wolf-whistle, make the noise of a gun.

Shane tickles trout and Kate, Puslinch Bridge, south Devon


Two great games: one of patience, one of speed.
Find a quiet spot of sand, pretend to be a stranded starfish, whale, dolphin or Portuguese Man-of-War and wait for the tide to rescue you.
Imagine you are a young turtle hatched from an egg and you have to reach the ocean before gulls get you. Only crawl on your tummy using your knees and elbows. Hands or feet = disqualification.


Sadly, precious few can dive as they do in Acapulco. But there is an easy, yet less graceful alternative. Commonly known as the Belly Flop, it soundsmore like a jelly splat. Unlike a dive, the intention is to make a splash with your arms spread wide, chest/belly out, back arched and chin aloft.
Best to practice leaping over waves. Once you’ve mastered the technique, find a deep and wide rock pool with a sandy bottom and stand at the water’s edge (no height needed*). Cue drum roll…and flop.

* Professional shallow divers can dive from 10m into 30cm of water. Please, please, please
don’t try this on holiday.

Joel perfects the art of splashing at Priests Cove, Cape Cornwall

If these whet your whistle, have a look at the next half-dozen...

More reading

Classic Fodder Foraging for Winter

Classic Fodder Foraging for Winter

A few suggestions for free food in the winter months.

Classic Fodder 12 months ago Katie Chown
The Other Half Dozen Great Ways to Get Wet

The Other Half Dozen Great Ways to Get Wet

Our fascination with the wet stuff is never-ending...

Things to do 7 years ago Peter Kirby
Pictionary for Giants

Pictionary for Giants

It's back. On a giant scale.

Things to do 7 years ago Peter Kirby
Holiday Soundtracks

Holiday Soundtracks

Tune in to nature's jukebox.

Stories & Characters 1 year ago Katie Chown