A GUIDE TO CORNISH BEACHCOMBING

Senior Creative Designer, Matt Johnson, shares his hand-illustrated beachcombing guide.


Here at Seasalt, we’re forever inspired by the beauty and gentle rhythm of our surroundings in Cornwall. With the promise of summer in the air, we’re reminded of simple pleasures: the feeling of the tide slipping from our toes and watching the sea slowly reveal its briny bounty of mussel shells and mermaid’s purses, fragments of frosted sea glass and smooth, wave-worn pebbles.  

Looking forward to long, light-filled days spent on quiet stretches of sand, our Senior Creative Designer, Matt Johnson, used pencil to capture the tactile collection of treasures he found hiding in rock pools and resting amid tangles of seaweed. Swept by the wind and carried by currents, the ebb and flow of water washes up an ever-changing reward for the curious. 

But beachcombing isn’t just for calm, sunny days. In the blustery aftermath of storms and squalls, you can often find people out ‘wrecking’, a Cornish tradition of searching for ocean offerings that have been blown into coves by strong winds and rough seas. These riches can be anything from wood to buoys, fishing gear and other strange finds from far-flung shores. 

Next time you get the chance to stroll the tideline, why not use Matt’s illustration as a beachcombing and wrecking guide? It’s the perfect way to while away a few blissful hours discovering coastal gems like cowrie shells and sea glass on the sand. To make it extra rewarding, you can help look after the ocean by picking up any plastic as you go. Just don’t forget the unwritten law that any wreckage left above the high water mark belongs to the person who put it there. 

Remember to be choosy about the treasures you take home – some shells might be sheltering small sea creatures that will be happier left where you found them.

Download a PDF of Matt’s illustration to use as a beachcombing guide.