Beach walks on the Isle of Man


After living in crowded Hanoi for three years, a city of five million, I had thought that the hound might suffer from agoraphobia when she arrived on the Isle of Man with a population of only 85,000. But happily she took to the wide open spaces in no time and was soon learning to go off the footpaths and run further than her 20ft lead had previously allowed… Luckily her recall, reinforced with treats, has been surprisingly good and she still doesn’t want to let us out of her sight.

The Isle of Man has a beautiful coastline with a mix of long sandy beaches and steep cliffs. Luckily, my parent’s house in  Derbyhaven means we are only a few minutes from Castletown beach, a dog friendly beach, with a two kilometer stretch of sand when the tide is low. Unusually, the weather at the end of September was incredibly mild and sunny – perfect for easing the hound into her new cooler climate where temperatures rarely reach the 20s (centigrade) even in the summer!

On the first few walks to the beach there were a few minor problems for the hound with the waves taking her by surprise and peculiar things getting stuck in her paws…

She’s also been up to the north of the Island to visit the even longer stretches of beach up there. Unsure at first, she was soon galloping like a mad dog – loving the sand – which perhaps reminds her of desert trips in Sudan.

Soon she realized she wasn’t the only dog on the beach! Sometimes the best playmates couldn’t be more different like the little Shih Tzu who she has enjoyed playing with the most. Unfortunately, not all dogs are quite so friendly as Tala sadly learned on Sunday when she went to greet two dogs who promptly ganged up on her, chasing her, with one giving her a deep bite on the bottom – a worse bite than the Pit Bull in Vietnam! At least the owner kindly payed her vet bill…

Tala is also just as happy playing with my husband when there aren’t any other dogs about.

Sunset on Castletown Beach