The weekend sunshine saw us craving sun, sea and sand so it was off to Southport for a return visit to Marshside, and the long sandy "road" leading out through the marshes
Having fought our way on to the busy car park next to the sand works the dog was in fine voice, barking wildly at the prospect of a walk along the beach. Leaving the car park, we walked through the gate and joined the stone road that leads from the works out to the distant sand banks. Disappointingly, the early stretch of the walk was littered with rubbish, some no doubt washed up by the occasional spring tides, but most probably dumped by irresponsible visitors. After a few hundred yards though the walk took on a more respectable quality and the dog enjoyed some energetic games of fetch, hunting for his ball in the adjacent marshland shrubs.
Despite the recent short spell of dry and sunny weather, some large puddles remained scattered about. Unfortunately,(for me at least) these seemingly insignificant puddles held the thickest, blackest, smelliest mud that the dog has ever encountered. Black smelly mud and sand was though a happy combination for the dog, who sought out every opportunity to wallow in the stinking mess.
Hoping to find some genuine seawater we continued out towards the sands but, as usual at Southport, the sea proved elusive. We returned to the car with the dog on the lead for the final stretch in a vain attempt to avoid undertaking a major valet once we got home.
Despite the obvious disadvantages, Marshside was still worth a visit, and was clearly very popular with other dog owners. Many dogs were on leads, and it's worth remembering that some owners with less sociable dogs probably like this walk because of the clear views ahead and behind and the natural boundary provided by the adjacent marshes. Make sure that you don't let your dog distract these less sociable four legged friends, and keep close control if it's clear that other dogs don't want to make friends!
Overall, still worth a trip.
Click here for a Google map. The "sand" road is the obvious track leading out towards the sea.
Doggy rating 5/10