A man whose house overlooks the estuary just stopped me in the street and asked what time high tide will be. By no means an uncommon event. The high tide, I mean. They come twice a day, and are never more than an hour later than yesterday, so it shouldn't be too hard to get a handle on the situation.
But difficult it clearly is, and especially so if you have just arrived somewhere new or perhaps haven't thought about the sea for a while. So there are at least three tried and tested ways of knowing where the water lies.
1. Tide table - you can purchase them in most seaside newsagents.
Looks confusing, really isn't. The only think you need to know is whether it's compensated for daylight saving time or not. And nowadays they usually are.
2. Tide clock
Set it once at high tide and it will be right for ever more. Clever, huh? Because the tides aren't at weird random times. Who knew?
3. Tide app - obviously only gonna work if you have an internet connection.
4. Look out of the window and switch on your brain.
Personally, I think we should set our clocks to the tidal cycle instead of a 24hr one, and then people could come around asking me what time it's going to get dark, instead... Just a thought...