TV presenter DAVINA McCALL shares her love for Camber Sands in East Sussex and reveals why everyone should take on a physical challenge at least once a year
Interview by Alex Reece
I am obsessed by the sea. In my ideal life, I’d like to have a house on the coast. There’s something about the water that makes me feel calm. I particularly love it when it’s windy and grey and you’ve got a ﬁre and you’re snuggling up with your slippers on.
It’s funny, because my husband is a mountains man, and I’m a sea creature. I just love being by the beach. I don’t know whether any of this is shaped by the fact that the ﬁrst ever beach I visited when I was little was Tenby. All our holidays when we were younger were in Devon, Cornwall and Wales.
My favourite part of the British coast now is Camber in East Sussex. I go quite often. It’s probably about half an hour from my children’s school, so, after a school run, it’s nice to go down there.
My fondest memory of Camber is one October time, when my sister was still alive, and we thought we’d go for a big old walk on Camber Sands and then all have lunch at The George in Rye. The kids went feral – they were in their pants running into the water and they didn’t have any dry clothes for the restaurant – but they were all in the sea, happy as Larry. It was really harking back to fond memories of my childhood.
I’d never really swum before the Sport Relief challenge. And swimming in the sea is so different from swimming in a pool, with the waves, getting your breathing right and making sure you don’t swallow half the ocean. I’m just having my eyes opened to a whole range of new sports that I’ve never known about before.
Every year, I support the Big Sussex Bike Ride for Action Medical Research (the UK charity that helps sick babies and children). Seeing the sense of achievement on people’s faces makes me think everybody should do a challenge at least once a year. Not only are you raising money for a good cause, but you feel great about yourself at the end of it. You achieve things you didn’t think were possible, and that makes you feel good – it’s a no-brainer.
The next Big Sussex Bike Ride takes place on 13 June 2021. For more on Action Medical Research, visit action.org.uk.
"It’s funny, because my husband is a mountains man, and I’m a sea creature. I just love being by the beach. I don’t know whether any of this is shaped by the fact that the ﬁrst ever beach I visited when I was little was Tenby. All our holidays when we were younger were in Devon, Cornwall and Wales."