A doggy day out in… Mersea Island
PUBLISHED: 11:23 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 11:23 17 March 2020
Gulp down the sea air – and maybe an oyster or two – on this unspoilt isle
WHAT TO SEE
To get a feel for the island, park in West Mersea – the hub of the island – and follow the coast path round to Monkey Beach.
Admire the waterfront homes as you stroll along, passing scores of bobbing sailboats, and walk until you find a seafood shack or pub you like the look of. Pets are allowed in the bar areas of both the stylish Coast Inn and The Victory at Mersea.
Go fossil-hunting on the beach at Cudmore Grove Country Park, where the remains of a 300,000-year-old mammoth were recently found.
This peaceful nature reserve is also home to several World War II pillboxes and has acres of meadows and marshland, as well as a popular children’s play area.
To see Mersea from a different perspective, take a boat ride on Lady Grace. Skipper Stacey offers short 20-minute trips for just £3 and dogs are welcome onboard.
Sailings take place seven days a week, weather depending, and you can simply turn up at the end of the jetty in West Mersea.
Remember to check the tide times before you visit the island as the Strood causeway – the only road on and off Mersea – is impassable at high tide.
WHERE TO EAT
Mersea is renowned for its oysters and seafood fans flock to the world-famous Company Shed. Although pets are not allowed inside the rustic restaurant, dog owners don’t have to miss out.
You can try the local delicacy at the West Mersea Oyster Bar, which has a number of outside tables where your pooch can join you for a meal.
Dogs are also welcome at many of the island’s many pubs, including The Fox Inn, which serves fantastic breakfasts seven days a week and has a big jar of treats on the bar.
Mersea Island Vineyard is well worth a visit too, from where you can take home some of its beer, wine or gin as a souvenir.
One of the latest additions to the island food scene is Mersea Barns, which is home to a lovely little café and shop. Dogs are allowed on the outdoor deck of the café, which is renowned for its Sunday lunches, but is also a great place to stop for coffee and cake.
WHILE YOU’RE IN THE AREA
Enjoy a walk at the National Trust-owned Copt Hall Marshes in Little Wigborough.
Be sure to check out the nearby St Nicholas’ Church, which in 1916 saw a German zeppelin shot down right next to it and parts of the airship are on display inside.
Look out for the memorial plaque to the lady who was born on the night of the event and Christened Zeppelina.
For more dog-friendly days out and holiday inspiration, visit ernies-adventures.com.