Coco de Mer – life’s a beach with the Duchess of Devonshire
I’m Coco. Some might say that I’m Attlee’s Mrs Robinson. I’m slim (I don’t like the word skinny), attractive, flirty and well, rather older than him. I’m nearing double figures now.
I’m known as the 80mph couch potato. Personally, I think it’s good to have balance in one’s life, so yes, whilst I love to run as fast as I possibly can (I might even indulge occasionally in a bit of showing off), my all time favourite activity is having a snooze in the sunshine. There really is nothing better than that sunny spot on the floor (or preferably on the sofa).
So Attlee got on the dog and bone, and asked me to share with you some of the fabulous places that I’ve sniffed out over the years from my home in South Devon. There are so many good places for dogs round here that I’ll start my career as rover reporter with my local beach walks…
I do love a good trip to the seaside, and occasionally I might like to dip my paws in, but to be honest, I’d rather swim in fresh water – I don’t really do waves. But plenty of other canines and their owners seem to love splashing around in the sea.
My humans like it at Beesands because it’s easy to park, and never crowded. You can take a stroll along the pebbly (despite its name) beach, or trot past the houses and head up onto the South West coast path to nearby Hallsands. People seem fascinated by Hallsands because most of the village was washed away in a big storm many years ago. I’m more interested in what’s being washed up onto the beach – like bits of tasty old crab! There’s a nice little cafe in a hut called Britannia@The Beach at Beesands. Britannia is a local shellfish company but the cafe does great cakes and ice cream too! I like the fact they have a bowl of water out the front for us dogs, as the beach can be thirsty work.
Relaxing on the Pebbles – all right, it’s actually not that comfy!
If you walk right to the other end of Beesands beach and take the coastal path, you will be heading for Torcross and Slapton Sands. Or if you’re not feeling quite so active, you can drive straight there and park in one of the car parks. I particularly like hanging round outside the Torcross Boat House as there are usually some yummy bits of fish and chips on the floor. Beware of the pebbles here though – they’re even bigger than at Beesands!
A game old bird?
Another good walk is at Slapton Ley, which is a big lake close to the beach. It can be a bit annoying because dogs are supposed to be kept on leads to stop us from chasing birds. But surely ducks are fair game? (Only kidding! I just couldn’t resist a little game-bird joke). It’s not so bad if you’re on an extendi-lead.
Slapton Ley is really tranquil, and I like to have a paddle in the water (no big waves here). The walk up to the village of Slapton village and back takes about an hour, and goes up a huge hill. It only bothers me if it’s a really hot day, but usually I skip straight up it.
Phileas Fact Box: South Devon
- Britannia@the Beach, TQ7 2EH
Tel: 0845 0550 711 Website: www.britanniashellfish.co.uk
- Torcross Boat House, The Old Watch House, Torcross, Kingsbridge, Devon TQ7 2TQ
Tel: 01548 580747