I went for a drive on Saturday, leaving the confines of Edinburgh for the first time in four months to take my daughter to the beach. It had been so long since I’d filled up the car that I’d forgotten how to open the fuel door. With that embarrassing hurdle cleared, we headed out to the bypass and drove twice as fast as we had done in, again, four months, stopping only for the inevitable traffic jam at every roundabout and exit on the way to North Berwick. We didn’t exit there, but headed on to Dunbar, to have a look at John Muir Country Park. The entrance is right next to East Links Family Park, which was heaving with people.
Even the Country Park carpark was almost full, but we found a spot and walked along a path behind the dunes to Whitesands Beach, a vast expanse at low tide, where even the high numbers of visitors were swallowed up by the space. It was virtually impossible to do anything except socially distance, so as far as infection risk went, it felt safer than doing the shopping or walking along our street. While my daughter ran in and out of the waves and buried herself in sand, I took a few photos, which look even emptier than the place did in person—the opposite of all those newspaper telephoto shots designed to make Britain’s beaches look packed. Here they are.