This is one of the gems of South Devon, but no-one who knows Wonwell Beach wants anyone else to know about it. I know. I'm one of them. I hate it when people tell me how wonderful it is, because I want to keep it a secret, like all the hundreds of other people who know about it. Or it's probably thousands. But Wonwell Beach is so big that if everyone who knew it went there to picnic, there would still be plenty of room to swing lots of cats. It's only because it's raining and I'm busy, and I can't get there today that I'm writing about it.
Now, if you want easy parking, ice cream vans, toilets and dog poo bins, go to Bigbury up the road, or Bognor, or somewhere else. Don't go to Wonwell. There's nothing like that there. Well, of course there's stuff there, but none of that sort of stuff. For starters, dogs run free on Wonwell Beach, all year, all the time, and run they do. And splash, and race through the water, and wee on picnics and poo on the sand, and do all the things that dogs do when they are out having fun. And nobody minds because Wonwell Beach is for NORMAL people who live NORMAL lives and don't want the world covered in tarmac, and signs, and policed by health and safety nerds.
Now, if you're normal. you train your dog, and if it does wee on picnics, you rush up to the picnickers with big apologies and perhaps a glass of wine. If it poos on the sand, you use your hands and your wits, and bury it terribly deep so it will be reabsorbed by nature and not stored forever in a polythene bag hanging from a tree. And you will stop your dog rushing up to small children and bowling them over in the river, although that is quite good fun for everyone concerned. And even if you don't have a dog, you will revel in the wide beauty of the estuary, the exquisite line of trees and sloping fields and huge expanse of sand at low tide, and giant pool of blue, or green, or grey at high tide. And you will listen to the owls, and drink from the streams running in through the woods, and watch the paddle boarders and the babies paddling for the first time, and the old ladies walking their herds of dogs, and you will think how lucky you are to be alive and at Wonwell Beach.
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