From solitary dips to teenage trysts, Irvine Welsh, Sebastian Barry, Kamila Shamsie, Cerys Matthews and Emma Jane Unsworth tell the stories behind the beaches they love
I’m very fortunate to reside in Miami Beach. I’m five minutes’ walk from that golden-sanded paradise of the same name, habitually strolling down the street right on to the front of that shimmering blue Atlantic Ocean. Above, the only blemish on the azure sky is the white slash of a jumbo jet’s trail as it brings another set of already tanned and buffed tourists to those shores. They stride the beach, those implausibly fit birds and muscled and cut geezers, their ruthless gym-and-diet regime undertaken for months simply to look the part for this fortnight under the tropical rays. I love living here, and I love beaches in general.