“I’ve spun yarns to far flung friends about waves that break in the shadows of ancient castles, about Scottish waves that do perfect impressions of a freezing cold Nias, of polluted, dark water waves in the shadow of container ships. It takes dedication, knowledge and patience to be a surfer on this coast. It’s the opposite of Bali, but when it’s on, I’d take home any day.

I’d never wish away summer but I look back on each winter and feel that nervous excitement in the pit of my stomach. Pulling up in to the car park and spotting the right cars or vans already there, a sure sign it must be firing. Getting changed in the elements, feet frozen; cold, wet wetsuit going back on, the feeling of pain as it clings freezing to my kidneys as I put it on, already shivering. The icy fresh mornings and powerful North swells that roll in past Scotland and down into Northumberland or North Yorkshire, hitting the reefs with a cold familiar fury. When it all lines up here, I wouldn’t be anywhere else on the planet.” Sally McGee, Yonder