For more than 15 years, I lived in Ottawa completely oblivious to Britannia Beach. I’d visited Mooney’s Bay, Lac Phillip, Meech Lake and scores of others, but none came close to the Lake Huron beaches of my childhood growing up in London. Then one happy summer, we discovered Britannia Beach, and it’s just not summer without at least a few easy trips out to enjoy its wide sandy beach and surprisingly clean water.
For all the times we’d visited Britannia Beach during the day, though, it never occured to me until this summer that it would make a spectacular spot to watch the sun set. It’s free, it’s close, and it’s a perfect end to a pretty summer day.
Saturday night we checked it out ourselves. The evening was so perfectly clear, there was nothing to inhibit our view as the sun slowly dipped toward the horizon directly across the river from us.
Boys being boys, they didn’t have quite the attention span for the setting sun that I did. Lucas led the chase after some feathered friends.
The big boys were more interested in climbing the boulders on the breakwater.
There were huge boulders and gravel, but not a lot of skipping-sized stones. That didn’t stop the boys from enjoying the timeless pastime of throwing rocks into the water, though.
(I love how his feet are clear off the ground!)
I don’t think we could have chosen a more perfect night to watch the sun set. There were a few other families out there, but not nearly so many as you might expect, had you known that you’d get to watch this.
It didn’t take long for the sun to disappear almost entirely, leaving one last kiss of sunshine on the horizon.
(Tip: to make sure your camera registers the tones and saturated colours of a gorgeous sunset or sunrise, meter for the sky just to the right or left of the sun.)
After considerable debate, I chose this one as the picture of the day.
This is one little adventure we’ll be adding to our regular repetoire of local favourites. Matter of fact, I can see making a full-day adventure out of a hike around Mud Lake, a picnic dinner, and then sunset on the beach. Who needs a cottage or camping, anyway, when you can have all this and still sleep in your own comfy bed?
Related posts (automatically generated):
- Ottawa’s Hidden Treasures: Crysler Beach Looking for a perfect “stay-cation” adventure near Ottawa? How about a miniature train ride and a day on the water at Crysler Beach? It’s a lovely hour’s drive through the charming small towns along highway 31 to the St Lawrence Seaway — totally worth the drive on a sunny summer...
- Friday Family Fun: The summer fun we didn’t have You know how you set out at the beginning of summer with a kind of a checklist in your mind called “fun things we must achieve as a family in order to consider this summer a success”? What, it’s only me that sees summer fun as a project to be...
- A perfect summer night in Ottawa Looking for family fun in Ottawa tonight? Looks like it will be a perfect night for BOB FM’s movies on the beach, featuring WALL-E. Added bonus? The sunset hot-air balloon launch just down the river as part of the Gatineau Hot Air Balloon festival. What a lovely night out!...
- The kiddie “bucket list” – 50 things kids should do before age 12, with an Ottawa-centric twist Okay, this? Best parenting advice I’ve read in a long time, and very in line with my ever-strengthening philosophy of giving kids room to be kids. Thank you to my friend and longtime reader Kim for sharing this article in the weekend Globe and Mail: Bucket list for kids: 50...
- Another excellent Ottawa family adventure: Mud Lake I don’t know how the weather was in your neck of the woods this Labour Day weekend, but here in Ottawa we got the sun and mild temperatures that July forgot. This means that the mile-long to-do list was promptly abandoned in favour of some end-of-summer outdoor family fun. So...