Sand is just sand-coloured, right?

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Poltesco sand
Poltesco sand
Well, no. Sand varies from beach to beach. And it’s not just the colour, but the texture and size of the grains as well.

Sometimes it’s a question of whether there’s any sand at all, especially on the north coast of Cornwall after a storm! When I first lived near Bude I was surprised at how much the profile of a beach would alter from one tide to another. Duckpool was sometimes a wide sandy beach and other times just rock.

Some years ago I was lucky enough to go to Bermuda which is fabled for its pink beaches and they were a spectacle. Some of the sand was made up of fine, delicate fragments of the skeletons of marine organisms and not only was it pink but it seemed to shimmer. Quite magical.

Here in Cornwall we have a wide variety of different sands and I enjoy finding out what each beach and cove has to offer.

This image is of the dark, almost forbidding sand at Carleon Cove, Poltesco on the Lizard. There’s usually a stream that runs down the beach across large stones and pebbles coloured black, red, pink, grey, white and green. In between the rocks lies the sand that is quite coarse and made up, not surprisingly, of the same colours with even the odd bit of bright yellow.

It’s the dramatic black and blood-red colour of the pebbles and sand that really give this beach it’s special character. Not a bit of sand-coloured sand to be seen!

Images of minerals like this make a wonderful design for a unique splashback or worktop or coffee table top.