research

Location scouting

I need a UK location. A beach, preferably a bit uncivilized, preferably one with good prevailing winds for sailing or kite-flying or looking handsomely windblown. Somewhere within a couple hours' drive of Bath. Not sure how far is considered "a day's drive" in the UK, or what distances are driven without much thought. (I'd drive a hundred miles one way without worrying much, for instance. I'm a Californian.) My characters would be a bit determined, and seeking out the beach for a specific purpose, and therefore willing to make a special trip.

Exmoor seems like a possibility, but I dunno. Cliffier than I had been visualizing. Maybe there's something suitably scenic near Bristol?

I don't need to know tons about this place. Just enough to set a small scene there. Just a plausible name would do it, almost.

In exchange, I can offer advice on California state beaches and parks, including the many lovely ones on the awesome coast to the north of Sunnydale/Santa Barbara. Or I can solve a programming problem for you or something.
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Curiously, the only beach I can think of off hand that fits your description is in California. Clearly a no go.
Heh. Most of the California coastline is windy. And foggy. And not so warm. And gorgeous. Where Sunnydale is located is a notable exception, because it's on a place where the coastline faces south, and is sheltered from the Pacific's none-too-peaceful weather.
I personally don't much about that side of England (most of my time has been spent on the east coast), but I would say anywhere on the moors would be suitably windswept. Or somewhere along the southern coast.
I will forever think of Weston Super-Mare as "birthplace of John Cleese". But Mish-expertise would be most welcome!
Cornwall.
Totally. The beach you want, the EXACT beach you want, is the one below Minack theater. There is a wonderful hexagonal WWII stone gun emplacement above it, the waters are crystalline teal as though off the Bahamas, and blessedly warm from the Gulf Stream. It's a short drive from Penzance. meegat can give you more details mileage.

We are talking Delicious Wind, with Cliffs Above, hectares of clean sand, sun-warmed tidal pools, seals on the rocks offshore, a history of pirates and smuggling outposts, nearly tropical temperatures in the summer, exquisite sunsets. And early in the season, e.g. early July, still deserted for the most part. Excellent swimming, and for kites? WOW.

I will send pictures.
Awesome! You & Black Mare have got me covered here. And frankly tantalized me: I'd be keen to visit a museum with telegraphy history like that. Not to mention the coastal fortifications, which are a bit of a family thing with Mr Pedia. (His dad was a big expert on American coastal fortifications.)

Thanks!
Ahh but THIS is what draws me to Porthcurno (which is thankfully only about a 10-20 minute drive from where I live):

http://www.minack.com/

The best experience was watching a production of Dracula there - with the wind howling etc. Superb.