|Sand Patterns on Cranfield Beach, with the Cooley Mountains on the left, and the Mourne Mountains on the right.
It isn’t just my dog that gets the benefit from the sea air, though. I love that feeling of getting away from it all, where often the only sound is from the water (OK, and I admit, usually the wind!) But what is a bit of wind, when you’re wrapped up warm. Have you ever noticed how you feel happier after being at the beach? Apparently it is to do with the sea air being charged with negative ions. These accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen, whilst helping to balance levels of serotonin, a body chemical linked with mood and stress. This means you finish your walk feeling more alert, relaxed, and energised.
|Dog Friendly Beach, Cranfield.
If I have the time, I head further on around the coast to Murlough Sand Dunes, just outside the seaside town of Newcastle. This Nature Reserve has a beautiful network of boardwalks that wind through the Dunes before bringing you out onto Murlough Beach. A fantastic vista of the Mourne Mountains sweeping down to the sea, really make this a spectacular walk.
|Murlough Sand Dunes. Photo taken from Northern Ireland Photography www.facebook.com/northernirelandphotography
Arriving back to my car, I’m relieved when I’ve remembered the towel for my dog – it’s good to remove the excess water and sand before the journey home. Another item I like to bring is a no-splash water bowl for the dog – all this running about is thirsty work after all!