Is there anything better than a day at the beach? The fresh sea air, the crunch of sand beneath your feet and a delicious seafood lunch, preferably washed down with a glass of wine. I can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny spring Sunday. It’s not just me that loves it either, the beach is Fletcher’s happy place.
The squeals of excitement start in the car when we’re at least 10 minutes away. It’s like he can smell the sea air from a distance. He gets louder the closer we get and he won’t be satisfied until he is off lead and leaping into the sea.
His enthusiasm means a day at the beach is no plain sailing. Fletcher’s inability to walk on a lead and instead pull with all his might, makes the blissful sandy strolls I imagine impossible. His behaviour on a lead is embarrassing. He sounds like a dragon as he pulls and pants. I sound like a terrible dog owner but I’ve tried training him, however this dog will not walk normally on a lead. I’ve now accepted that he’ll forever take me for a walk. That’s just how it is, and I’m ok with that. Kind of.
One of our favourite beaches is West Mersea on the Essex coast. Earlier this month, on a sunny Sunday, Fletcher, my husband and I spent a lovely afternoon walking along the shore. We start at Coast Road, head across the jetty to the water and head left towards the pretty pastel beach huts.
The beach was filled with dogs enjoying the large expanse of sand and shallow water. Fletcher insisted on leaping into the water after every stone skimmed by a child, and kept families amused with his antics.
When we reached the beach huts we turned back and finished the afternoon with a seafood lunch at the West Mersea Oyster Shed. Dogs are not allowed inside, but if you’re willing to wait you’ll be able to squeeze onto one of the outside benches overlooking the estuary. We tactfully positioned ourselves in the middle of the crowds so Fletcher couldn’t see the water. Nobody needs to hear a spaniel squeal alongside their seafood!
It’s not long before the summer ban comes into play so beach time is limited, however the good news is a section of West Mersea is dog friendly year round!