Friday, 29 May 2009

Life's a beach

The sun has finally decided to put his hat on and with rumours of a hot summer many of us will be planning a trip to the coast with our four legged friends this year.

Milo and I took an early trip to Southend – on –sea at the end of April and I have to say there is something quite liberating about letting your furry friend run freely on an open shore. Milo didn’t quite appreciate sliding into the huge pebbles under his miniature paw pads but he still enjoyed discovering a new coastal territory even if I couldn’t persuade him to take a dip!

Taking your dog to the beach for the first time requires a bit of planning. The most important thing to remember is that cool ocean water will be tempting to your dog on a hot sunny day so don’t allow your dog to drink any sea water. The result will be a sick dog. If this happens you can try introducing Bionic Biotic to his daily diet to ease any upset stomachs. Make sure you carry some fresh clean water in a portable water bottle and if they have never had contact with open water before read here about how to introduce your dog to the water.

We managed to get onto Southend beach before it closed to dogs for the summer and the harsh reality is that many more beaches will now be closed to dogs between May and October. The good news however, is that many will also stay open for the season.

We have plucked out just a few of the fabulous and scenic hotspots you should be considering for a great seaside walk this spring and summer.

Thurlestone/South Milton Sands, South Devon

Owned by the National Trust and within what’s known as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty” this beach has plenty of rock pools to sniff out during low tide. The area is the famous for the Thurlestone Rock which was painted by Turner and is best seen at high tide. Dogs are welcome all year round here so no need to worry about restrictions. Visit www.visitsouthdevon.co.uk for more dog friendly beaches in South Devon.


Holkham Beach, Norfolk

Known as one of England’s most unspoilt stretches of sand, Holkham Beach is part of one of the largest Nature Reserves in the UK. The Holkham National Nature Reserve is home to many rare species of flora and fauna to make it more exciting for your dog. Holkham beach is also where a team of Huskies fed on Mobile Bones set the 100m Guinness World Record for the fastest 100m dog sled. Dogs on leads are welcome on Holkham Beach but there are some restrictions for dogs on Wells Beach. Visit www.holkham.co.uk for more information.


Filey, Yorkshire

A five mile stretch of soft sandy (paw friendly) beaches set in a wide bay makes a great patch for quick and easy beach treks with your dog. Filey also offers a historical promenade and plenty of facilities. Although there are some 'dog restrictions' during the summer there is still a huge amount of beach ground available to walk dogs on. Scarborough and Whitby are also close-by and offer similar splendid beaches for dog walks. Check out www.discoveryorkshirecoast.com.


Holywell Bay, Cornwall

Without a doubt Cornwall offers some of the UK’s most breathtaking beach locations. Holywell is a huge sandy beach with extensive sand dunes to run amongst. The area is popular with families and surfers making it a nice spot for a holiday with the kids. The list of dog friendly beaches in the South West coast is endless but don’t forget to check the tides. Look up www.cornwall-beaches.co.uk for a full list of dog friendly beaches many welcome mutts all year round.

Three Cliffs Bay, Wales

Enjoy the beautiful golden sands of this welsh beach offering some 52 acres of cliff-land ideal for exercising more active dogs. The Three Cliffs Bay also offers a stunning campsite ideal for longer weekend breaks. Beyond Three Cliffs Bay, you have Tor Bay and Crawley Woods, also, the sandy beach of Oxwich Bay all allowing access to dogs 365 days a year. A place attracting many water sports and nature enthusiasts will appreciate Three Cliff’s 540 acre National Nature reserve. Visit www.visitswanseabay.com.

For more information on the best coastal spots to visit with your dogs this year check out the Marine Conservation Society’s website www.goodbeachguide.co.uk or sign yourself up to the Dog Friendly Britain Forum and talk to other dog owners about the best beaches to visit.

In the meantime click here to get you into the mood for some surfing dogs.

Enter Pooch and Mutt’s monthly prize draw here to win a bag of Bionic Biotic.

1 comment:

Mina said...

There are plenty of beaches at Southend you can walk your dog on all year round.

1) Thorpe Bay Yacht Club west to point where loading jetty used to be - near Sealife Centre. Jetty now gone, but the concrete platform remains at the top - at the sea it looks a bit 'scruffy' with bits of wood sticking up from the sand.

2) West of Three Shells Beach to Crowstone Avenue in Chalkwell.

3) Chalkwell Station west to Old Leigh Beach

4) Whole of small beach at Old Leigh which is technically a slipway.

Unfortunately Southend has got some dog control order consultation going on to ban dogs on all beaches, but the council haven't heard anything (as from about 5 mins ago as I rang them so dogs are still allowed).

I walk on Southend beach a lot, and have done for the past 15 years. Sadly my Greyhound is finding it painful to walk there now because of the stones, but I still take my terrier.