Vet charity, PDSA shares their top dog-friendly walks in England, perfect for the summer
As lockdown rules slowly ease and the summer holiday period is here, now might be a good time to explore the great outdoors with your dog.
Walking helps to keep your dog healthy and happy and gives them a good chance to sniff around. It’s also a great opportunity for us to get outdoors too, and can be the perfect way to bond.
PDSA vet Anna Ewers Clark says: “Before taking on mountains with your Chihuahua, have a chat with your vet if you don’t already know what your dog is able to handle. They’ll be able to give you a good idea of the sort of exercise your pooch should be getting according to their current fitness levels, age and breed.
“Remember to keep your dog on the lead, take plenty of water and poo bags, and check for local lockdown restrictions before travelling.”
Anna adds: “Remember to pack the right essentials before you go (including water, a bowl and poo bags), and carry a first aid kit for you and your dog. Always make sure your dog is kept on a lead and under close control, especially during the pandemic or if you’re near livestock.”
PDSA has put together some easy, moderate and hard walks that pet owners and their pooches may enjoy this summer.
Easy walks, ideal for older dogs who can’t go as far, flat-faced breeds and puppies
- Speech House, Coleford – Route info: 2.5 mile circular forest walk with gentle inclines
Speech house is a circular forest walk between Coleford and Cindeford. It’s a fairly level walk with some fantastic forest scenery and only very gentle inclines, so is ideal for stiffer joints that can’t cope with hills anymore. You can also learn a little about local history on your way around.
- Roundham Head, Paignton – Route info: 0.9 mile circular beach walk
This short route around Roundham Head is perfect for exploring the area without going too far. You’ll get to take in some fantastic views with the option to walk along the sandy beachfront. As this is mostly pavements, it might not be so good for older paws that prefer walking on soft ground.
- Cheddar Gorge, Somerset – Route info: 4 mile circular walk with a few steep climbs (it is a gorge after all!)
The Cheddar Gorge walk has the perfect combination of wide open spaces and fantastic views, with a few more sheltered, wooded parts. Perfect for adventurous pups! But beware that there are a few stiles along the route so make sure your dog can cope with those.
- Rosthwaite, Keswick – Route info: 7.5 mile circular walk with some inclines
Explore some of the famous sights of the Lake District with this circular walk. There are no stiles, so you just need an active pup. You’ll pass Watendlath Tarn on this route if you fancy a quick dip (remember to keep your dog safe around water and be aware that other people may also be enjoying the tarn for fishing and rowing).
- The Roaches, Peak District – Route info: 5.5 mile circular walk with inclines
Wide open spaces, amazing views and woodland means you’ll have plenty for you and your pup to explore! It can get a little windy at the top of The Roaches, so be careful. You’ll be walking over paths, through forest and over some rockier parts so make sure your pup’s paws are protected if they need it.
Difficult walks. Ideal for: Very active dogs, such as Collies, Lurchers and Labradors
- Ironbridge and the Wrekin, Telford – Route info: 8.5 mile linear route with some steep inclines
Walk through the scenic town of Ironbridge before making your way up the Wrekin. This is a challenging so your dog will need lots of stamina, and plenty of breaks, which will give you the perfect opportunity to appreciate the beautiful views. This is a linear walk so remember to arrange a lift at the end!
- Baggy Point to Woolacombe, North Devon – Route info: 10 mile circular walk across beaches and through dunes
You can appreciate the North Devon coastline on this walk. You’ll start in Croyde, make your way to Woolacombe and then come back again. It’s a scenic walk, especially along the clifftops, but can be slippery so it’s best to keep dogs on leads. It’s a long one so take plenty of stops – you might find dog-friendly cafes and pubs in Woolacombe.