a : a shore of a body of water covered by sand, gravel, or larger rock fragments
I suppose everyone thinks of 'beach' these days in terms of sand, sunbathing and possibly volleyball, following the Olympics!
Perhaps more often it should be called the shore or the coast. I like going to the coast when it's quiet, when it's raining and windy, when there aren't many people around. I can put up with 'beaches' on occasion, usually abroad with an expanse of cool blue sea to the front... who can't?
This lovely piece of shoreline is Cley next the sea of an evening. A few mad swimmers, dog walkers and sea fishermen along with what seemed like hundreds of divebombing swallows (picture 4 shows one skimming the pebbles) and some cheeky seagulls.
Not sure whether the tide was in or out... but it was very clean and the pebbles were most attractive in their uniformity. No shells to speak of, just bits of crab claw every so often.
Cley has a converted windmill that does B&B, wouldn't that be a perfect place to stay...