A doggy day out in… Walton-on-the-Naze

In January 2020, I became a columnist for Essex Life magazine, writing about doggy days out in and around the county. Here is my article about Walton-on-the-Naze…

Ernie on the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze
Ernie on the beach at Walton-on-the-Naze

What to see

Head straight for the wonderful sandy beach, which is predominantly dog-friendly all year round – my kind of place! The two-mile walk along the waterfront to Frinton-on-Sea is a lovely one, and you won’t be able to miss Walton’s colourful beach huts on the way. Dogs are welcome in many of the huts you’ll pass, and they can be hired for as little as £25 per day. For ones with cool, retro interiors, check out Alice Beach Huts and Daisy Beach Huts.

Walton Pier – the third longest in the UK – is also very pet-friendly. A stroll along the pier, which stretches for more than half a mile, is free of charge. Dogs are also allowed inside its entertainment complex, which is home to a bowling alley, arcades and funfair rides.

While in Walton, make time to visit the Naze Tower, too. This clifftop navigation tower was built in the 18th century to help guide ships along the coastline. Today, it costs £3 to climb the 111 steps to the viewing platform at the top. The tower itself is not dog-friendly but it is located at the gateway to The Naze Nature Reserve, which has numerous walking trails.

Pawfection dog groomers and cafe, Walton-on-the-Naze
Pawfection dog groomers and cafe

Where to eat

If you’re the proud owner of a pampered pooch, head straight to Pawfection, in Walton High Street. This recently-opened dog café also doubles up as a grooming parlour and is a great place to grab a bite to eat and treat your four-legged friend to a puppuccino. Dogs are also guaranteed a warm welcome at The Victory, in Suffolk Street, where there’s always a gravy bone or two behind the bar.

The traditional seaside takeaway kiosks are great places for pets, too. Many of them – including The Colonnade Kiosk, The Last Fisherman Café and The Beach Hut Kiosk – have fresh bowls of water outside and during the summer months, sell Frozzys frozen yogurt for dogs.

In neighbouring Frinton, which is a little more upmarket, the most dog-friendly street is Connaught Avenue. Here, you’ll find Connaught’s Coffee House and fish restaurant Pier One, which all allow pets inside. It’s well worth visiting The Ship in nearby Kirby le Soken, too. Dogs are welcome in both the pub garden and bar, and the food is delicious.

Ernie's Essex Life column about Walton-on-the-Naze
The column in the October 2020 edition of Essex Life magazine

While you’re in the area

Check out Hamford Water. This nature reserve consists of mud flats, salt marshes and creeks and is an important site for migrating birds. It’s also close to Titchmarsh Marina, where you can enjoy a meal at the dog-friendly Harbour Lights restaurant.

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