Biking Coast to Coast Family Adventure Capital Journeying

Are you a purist or not bothered?

c2c Whitehaven
Written by Kirstie Pelling

Purist or not bothered?

Our family is divided into two halves; the purists, and the not bothered. The split happens every time we undertake a journey that involves beginning or ending at the sea. Stuart and Matthew feel the need to go swimming while the rest of us are pointing in the direction of the nearest coffee bar.

For Cameron, Hannah and I the journey has already begun. We’re happy to start from the car park. But for Stuart and Matthew, you can only go from C2C if you dip your toes in the foamy stuff. And you can only say you’ve finished if you dip your tootsies in the other end when we get to Sunderland. So here we are, on a beach in mid winter, about to go paddling.

Dip your toes in the Irish sea?

A dredger floats in and out of view as we make our way down to the surf. I decide to get it over with and pull off two pairs of socks as half a dozen fishermen look on. The pebbles grate the underside of my feet. I take a deep breath and splash in; the icy baptism is a shock, my heart beat quickens and I cry out. Cameron looks up from the edge of the surf at my scream. Has his fellow ‘not bothered’ been converted into a purist?

Hannah picks up a small rock and tries to smuggle it into her pocket; she’s having none of the pond dipping. Matthew has other ideas. Going for the purist trophy, he has hauled his bike onto the sand, bumping it over every rock and pebble, feeling the unevenness in his handlebars. He stands at the sea contemplating an idea. But nature gives him no time to make up his mind. It washes in at some force, sending freezing foam over his feet and tyres. He shrieks and withdraws.

Is it cold? Watch and find out…

Cameron knows when he is beaten. He removes a sock and asks his dad for a piggy back to the sea. A whole ankle is dipped.

Dip your toes in the Irish Sea C2C

Help is at hand for the conversion to purism… for those who show the slightest interest.

Dipping is not for everyone though..

Hannah gives her dad a look that says don’t you dare. Her pockets are full of stones.

The mist clears for a second and we see the road. Two newly converted purists, two old faithfuls and one not bothered head for the coast.

Splish, splash, got to dash.

Are you a purist or not bothered? We’d love to hear your thoughts.

See more of our Winter Coast to Coast (C2C) Photo Journals

We did this C2C ride across England, from Workington to Sunderland, as part of our Family Adventure Capital Season. We’re exploring different ways families can adventure together in and around Cumbria, sharing ideas and inspiration to encourage families to get out, get active and adventure together.
Got some ideas for things we should try? Let us know.

About the author

Kirstie Pelling

Kirstie is the Editor of The Family Adventure Project. A professional writer and poet, she's the creative and journalistic force behind many of the stories and features published here. She's a co-founder and co-director of The Family Adventure Project and also works as the #poetinmotion producing and performing poetry for print, video and live performance.


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We're Kirstie & Stuart. We share an adventurous spirit, a passion for indie travel and 3 kids. The Family Adventure Project is our long term experiment in doing active, adventurous things together. Find out more...


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