Looking for those unique travel experiences? Me too! Here’s a goodie that I love and I’ve done on my trips to Cornwall.
Creating beach art was one of the most fulfilling and fun things I’ve done and what makes it even better is that it’s completely sustainable as all you need is a rake, a broom and some string.
I joined Bill at North Cornwall Beach Art for an afternoon experiencing one of the best and most unique experiences you’ll find in Cornwall…
Bill hosts his session mostly on Polzeath’s beaches but I’ve also seen him on the beaches between Polzeath and Rock.
These are all a short walk from central Polzeath and most of time you’ll start from Bill’s base on the top of the hill and help carry the equipment down to the beach.
On the beach
We took to the beach for an afternoon creating, and you’ll often meet Bill at an odd time as it depends on when the tide is out because obviously the beach is your canvas!
This was a surprise from my boyfriend Henry, and it was a great thing to do as a couple but it would be equally fun with friends, family or on your own.
Bill provided all the tools and went through the basics, how to make certain shapes, styles and patterns. One or two of the spirals involve a little maths but thankfully Bill’s a pro, and aids the less mathematically minded of us. Henry and Bill were fine, me on the other hand, maths isn’t my strong point! 😂
It really depends what you want to design really as a lot of it is measured in ‘broom’ lengths! 😂 😂 😂
When I say tools, it’s an interesting selections of rakes, brooms, extendable poles, sticks and string. It’s a weird assortment of things from Bill’s shed and items he’s accumulated over time to create wonderful pieces of art.
Once you’ve gone through the basics and chatted through some ideas it’s time to create!
Bill’s great at setting you on a path and letting you just go for it, he’ll give you a bit of guidance and show you how to build the patterns out as you go. He gives you the tools and techniques to unleash your creation on the sands.
We did lots of ying yangs and Fibonnacci spirals, also known as the golden spiral, which look weird when you’re doing them up close. But, as soon as you view it from further away or above it looks great.
In fact the same applies to lines, I was getting really hung up about not being able to rake in a straight line when Bill told me not to worry. Turns out that as soon as you view the design from further away it looks really straight.
Every now and then we’d run up the cliff to take a look at how our masterpiece was coming together. The first time I did that I couldn’t believe how effective it looked, and the bigger it became the more it transformed the landscape and attracted an audience.
It was a real sense of achievement and there was something so satisfying about seeing a pattern emerge and the design grow.
The artwork also attracted a lot of interest from fellow beach goers which isn’t surprising when you’re running around with a rake and changing the look of a landscape that’s so familiar.
While we admired our artwork I did realise that it wouldn’t be long until the tide came in to wash our creation away.
There’s something so freeing knowing that the art won’t be there for long, it makes you appreciate it more and you worry less about mistakes. It has a positive effect on and changes how you create allowing you to be less constricted by yourself. There’s something really beautiful about that, removing barriers from your own mind – I know, this got deep quick! 😂
The best bit is that it leaves no trace, it doesn’t hurt anyone or anything and the next day you can start again.
It’s nature’s equivalent of an Etch A Sketch!
Unique travel experience
I feel this experience allowed me to embrace all my favourite things – being creative, sustainable, outside, on the beach and quality spending time with my boyfriend doing something totally unique.
In the UK, a travel experience like this is pretty hard to find. Bill’s a one man band so it makes the whole thing really special as it’s not available on a big scale, not only does it mean you’re doing something really cool with minimal environmental impact but you’re supporting the local community too.
It’s a brilliant way to get a totally different perspective of the popular beach and experience it in an entirely different way.
As you can tell I could talk about this for ages, it worked for me on so many levels. I came away from it excited but relaxed and my mind was very clear from focusing on one thing as well as stretching my limbs and using my brain in a different way.
If you like the sound of this and want to book Bill, head to his North Cornwall Beach Art Facebook page and send him a message. He’s not available on other channels and he doesn’t have a website, so Facebook is your best chance of contacting him.