Time for walkies
PUBLISHED: 16:04 10 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:04 10 July 2019
Getting out and about in the fresh air is good for our health and wellbeing and if we've a dog to walk with us, even better. But where can we go?
There are more beaches open to dogs than many of us may realise in the summer, so maybe it's time to explore somewhere different with our four-legged friends.
The busiest part of the beach - near the ice creams and shops - is closed to dogs in the summer, but there is excellent walking with great expanses of sand either side of here.
The main central beach is out of bounds to dogs in the summer, but most dogs are happy sniffing about the marram grass of North Beach and towards the pebbly beaches of Caister-on-Sea, or head south to South Beach and South Denes.
Many walkers have their eyes firmly on the sand here, keeping an eye out for prehistoric remains.
It's part of Norfolk's Deep History Coast and footsteps are in the echoes of the first humans to visit Britain. They arrived via a land spur from Holland, and flint tools more than 800,000 years old have been found here.
Many walkers like to park at Cart Gap and use the concrete slip to get to the beach; it's less strenuous than the sandy slope.
Particularly good for an extra long, leg aching walk, with usually a few runners and other dog walkers to greet too.
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The dunes are a fantastic playground, but watch out for people sunbathing and picnicking in the secluded areas as they don't always appreciate being disturbed by an excited dog.
Head to the western end of the village for a great expanse of sand at low tide, perfect for ball games, and the occasional paraglider pilot pottering about overhead for added interest.
Dogs are not allowed on the main beach between May 1 and September 30 but that only covers about approximately 100m either side of the main beach entrance, so head further north or south for a most pleasant stroll.
We rather like a walk northwards along the cliff top, although there are several paths leading to the beach. There are summer restrictions from May 1 to September 30 at Bacton, California, Gorleston, Great Yarmouth North, Great Yarmouth Pier, Great Yarmouth Power Station, Hemsby, Mundesley, Overstrand, Scratby Beach, Sea Palling and Walcott.
However, most of these beaches have routes leading to the dog-friendly areas.
Looking for a bite to eat where your dog is welcome too?
An increasing number of cafes and pubs are realising that if they want to keep customers happy they need to keep their dogs happy too. Where there are good walks, there is often a dog-friendly café or pub nearby ready with a bowl of fresh water and treats for well behaved animals.
One of the best known in the east is the Gorleston Doggie Diner, at the Harbour Mouth. Dogs eat for free and owner Angela Girling, who has six Schnauzers herself, prioritises affordable tasty food - and dogs. There are doggy parties, organised group walks to join and customers can chat about their dogs as much as they like!
Also try venues such as The Swan in Loddon, the Beach Hut Café in Mundesley, or the Sugar and Spice café and Poacher's Pocket at nearby Bacton. The Fisherman's Return and the Winterton Dunes Beach Café at Winterton on Sea are dog owners' favourites, along with Munchies and Sara's Tearooms in Great Yarmouth.