Dunwich has always been one of mine and Dan's favourite places. We visited many times, before Alfred was born and used to sit among the heather, talking about our future children - how many we'd have, how we'd school them, how we would take them on adventures. Once we found out we were expecting a baby, we vowed to bring him/her to Dunwich with us.
We decided this Summer would be the perfect time to bring Alfred for the first time. He is now much more aware of the places that we take him and really takes everything in. It was so sweet seeing him try to touch the plants and pick up stones on the beach.
There were so many photo opportunities there! Everything was so pretty. I was constantly switching between my phone and DSLR, as everywhere I looked, there was something to capture.
After we had sorted ourselves out for food and toilets and the like, we relaxed for a bit at the cafe and park, that was on a cliff. It overlooked the sea and the views were amazing!
There were these giant deckchairs there. Dan and I loved them, but as you can see in the photo above, Alfred was less than impressed! All he wanted to do was play with the wheels on his pushchair and was really mad that I had interrupted his activity.
We then decided to go down to the beach and Alfred cheered up a lot. It was his first time at a beach and he couldn't believe his eyes! He had never seen so many stones and pebbles before and was enraptured by the sea. He kept squealing and chucking stones everywhere. He also loved trying to walk on the stones, which he got the hang of after a while.
I had such a proud mama moment, watching him go off and explore by himself. It was so strange, seeing him walking and running on the beach... a little person, not a baby, getting to know the world that he lives in.
One of Alfred's favourite activities, at the beach, was handing me stones as presents. All I had to say was "thank you Alfred!" and his face would light up. Such a sweet age.
Alfred is always very content outside, so it was lovely to lie down on the blanket and relax. Alfred stayed next to us, playing with stones and occasionally jumping on us!
I think I may have caught the moment that Alfred bit Dan's nipple!!!
These two have the closest bond. Alfred can be a bit attached to me sometimes, but there is no doubt that he loves his daddy and thinks the world of him.
It was an amazing moment for me, taking Alfred down to the sea for the first time. I grew up around the water and have always had an affinity for it. I had butterflies as we walked towards the water and Alfred kept pointing at it.
A lot of time was spent at the water's edge, until Alfred spotted a couple of people getting out of the water. I don't know what he thought they were, but it freaked him and we we stayed further inland after that point!
Always trying to steal Dan's sunglasses!
Alfred was teething pretty badly that day, so he was quite attached to the sun cream bottle!
Once we tired of the beach, we went back up the cliff and had a long walk around the heather. We found the spot where we had talked about our future children and it felt really special to be there with our son. In that moment, I felt completely connected to our surroundings, to Dan and to Alfred.
We gave Alfred his dinner, then played in the park on the cliff until the sun went down.
Alfred didn't sleep as planned on the way home, which meant he didn't go to bed until 10.30pm that night, but it didn't matter. We had a wonderful day out, with experiences and memories to last a lifetime. What's a little late night once in a while?
Photos by Rebecca Raynham and Dan Raynham