by: Kyrsty Hazell
The seaside. It's been a British obsession for centuries, with thousands of 'staycation' holidaymakers flocking to their nearest cobbled beach for some sea air (bucket and space optional.. ice cream, not so much).
Why? Because visiting the seaside makes us feel good, claim scientists.
According to recent research by the European Centre for Environment and Human Health in Truro, Cornwall, a simple walk along the beach is enough to perk up a persons' is enough to perk us up and boost our emotional wellbeing.
The two-year study of over 2,750 participants discovered a coastal view is more beneficial for the mind, and has a biggest impact on our health, than a stroll in the local park.
And for the aficionado - the sun doesn't even have to shine because it's the engagement with the natural environment that excites the mind.
Participants cited breezy, outdoor locations as the best antidotes for feeling positive, calm and refreshed instead of more obvious examples such as sunshine and warm climates.
So even if the sea is too cold, even for a tentative paddle, chances are it'll make you feel more energised and happy than a casual walk around the local urban park.
"The reason people feel better after being by the sea in comparison to an urban park, is because of the energy. The energy around an urban park is very dense because of the cars and volume of people.
"The sea environment is a totally different ball game because in addition to the fact that water is obviously very cleansing, it is also combined with the elements of the air, the sun and the earth which are all extremely healing and powerful," Davis told HuffPost Lifestyle.
Mathew White, lead researcher from the study, said: "There is a lot of work on the beneficial effects of visiting natural environments, but our findings suggest it is time to move beyond a simple 'urban versus rural' debate and start looking at the effect that different natural environments have on people's health and wellbeing."