27 /07/16

Walkies! Country walking with your dog


ity living getting you down? All the hot concrete making you crave a bit of nature? How about taking your pooch for a stroll in the country – and open up a whole new world of sights, smells, and exploration for them to enjoy. It’s easy to get boxed in in the big city, but there are many great walks just a train ride away, and taking your pet means double the fun.

The benefits of regular dog walking are well documented, but a good walk in the countryside provides an extra boost. With a bit of planning, you can easily include a bit of history, exploring country museums, and maybe a pub lunch. If the thought of being outside the M25 fills you with dread, have no fear: there’s a host of online resources available to help you find great day trips for you and Fido to enjoy.

"And not a cat for miles.."

We start with the National Trust. Most of their walks are based around their properties and land in the UK, and explore areas of natural beauty and historical significance. Their Clent Hills walk in Worcestershire takes in fields and woodland, as well as fantastic panoramic views.

Where To Walkies is a great site that will help you find walks of varying length and environment all around the country. You can search their walks by location, distance, and environment, and each walk is well detailed – such as their Seven Spring walk in Staffordshire, which features crystal clear springs, and an epic amount of forest and woodland for you to stroll through.

"If you squint, you can see the pub we're going to for lunch."

Walkiees is another great resource and also has a directory of dog friendly businesses. Their listings tell you a lot about the sort of terrain you’re likely to come across, so you know whether to pack wellies or flip flops, and where to have your picnic, such as this walk at Chobham Common in Surrey.

Yorkshire is such a dog-lovin’ county that it gets a site all of it’s own; apparently they’re even letting non-whippet canines in these days, although flat caps may still be required. Many of their walks feature pubs and interesting local landmarks, such as this White Horse walk in the Vale of York.

"If I wait here long enough, SOMEBODY will throw a stick in.."

Finally, Countryside Dog Walks provides guide books for dog walking from the Lake District to the South Downs – handy for when you’ve no reception and have wandered off the beaten path. Their books feature not just maps and graded walks, but also list dog-friendly cafes and pubs on the route.

You can get to most of these places quite easily by train. National Rail allows up to two pets per passenger, so long as they're well behaved and on a lead. Otherwise you could drive or even cycle - check out our article on how to make your pet more portable here.