After a hard day’s work, a trip to the beach, dog and all, will revive your lust for life
Work driving you stir crazy? Plonking yourself in front of the TV and vegging out isn’t going to heal the wounds inflicted by the daily grind. There are many better ways to wind down, and a quick trip to the beach is one of our favourites. The separation from work, and home, is a relaxing way to end the day, and one that pooch will appreciate too.
Old Hunstanton beach, a little over an hour away from the Shake Paws’ household, is our favourite. Over the years, with the promise of glorious sunshine when our working day ended – that doesn’t happen often, by the way – we’ve piled into the car from time to time, with Roma and a few essentials (see ‘What to take’), and headed out in search of the great well known.
Old Hunstanton beach is dog friendly all year round, unlike the beach in kiss-me-quick central Hunstanton, which is only dog friendly during the winter months. Backed by undulating dunes, the soft golden sands of Old Hunstanton are perfect for dog walkers. You can walk for miles and miles along the Peddars Way – and we have – but on our occasional evening excursions, a short walk and an opportunity for Roma to romp through the waves of the receding tide are all we have in mind.
The facilities at Old Hunstanton beach are sparse, but more than adequate. The Old Boathouse cafe, which serves hot and cold drinks and food, ice creams and the like, is dog friendly, popular with beach-goers, and open all year round. Outside, you’ll also find a tap and bowl so pooch can quench his thirst, even after the cafe shuts for the evening. There is also access to toilets, both public and at the cafe.
Beyond, there’s the accommodating Le Strange Arms Hotel, which serves restaurant food and pub grub. The new part of the hotel also accepts dogs, for a small fee, if you plan on stopping over. Car parking is at the Strange and in the adjacent field. At £2.50 for an all-day stay, it’s cheap, which, of course, means it’s also popular. Either get there early or arrive late, like we have done, when it’s empty save for a handful of ‘surf sailors’, and free.
Old Hunstanton and central Hunstanton are like chalk and cheese. While Old Hunstanton is relaxed and easy-going, central Hunstanton is your typical British seaside town, with its bustling crowds, towel-to-towel beach, rock and pop shops, and penny arcades. But there’s one thing central Hunstanton does have going for it, Fishers Fish and Chip Shop, with its chunky chips and crispy, battered cod.
We rarely resist, drive into town briefly, land our catch, and head back out along the front towards Old Hunstanton where we park up for a bite to eat, watch the tide recede and the sun go down, Roma snoring contentedly in the background. It’s always the perfect end to a perfect evening.
What to take
A short, spur-of-the-moment trip, like our evening at Old Hunstanton, requires very little forethought. Our dog first aid kit is always in the car. The only other things we need are a bottle of water, a collapsible dog bowl, some dog treats and poo bags – never forget the poo bags.
Give a dog a bone? No, give a dog a beach and everyone wins.
Shake Paws would love to hear about your favourite place(s). There’s a link to this post on our Facebook page, where comment is free.