With the days getting longer and the weather getting warmer, the ever-increasing population of 9m dogs and their owners will be looking to make the most of the English countryside with their furry friends over the coming months.
From the Cornish coast to the breathtaking beauty of The Peak District and everywhere in between, YuMOVE has identified which English counties are the most popular for dog walking.
Barking for beaches
YuMOVE can reveal that the most popular county for dog walking is Devon. Boasting both sandy beaches and rugged coastline, five national parks and the fossil-rich Jurassic Coast, it’s no wonder it tops the list. Heading north, Lincolnshire was the second most popular county when it came to walkies with its mighty Walds, Fens and 50 miles of coastline proving to be incredibly popular. Heading back to the south west, Cornwall, which boasts hundreds of beautiful beaches, coves and towering cliffs, was third on the list. Criss-crossing back across the country, Northumberland in the far north was fifth, while heading back to the south coast saw Dorset, with its UNESCO World Heritage beaches ranked in sixth place.
Country life and rolling hills
Dog walkers found themselves rambling across the great English countryside, with Derbyshire ranking highly on the list in fourth place. With the prestigious Peak District and picturesque Pennines, the East Midlands is full of landmarks or landbarks that dogs love.Surrey is our magnificent seventh most popular county. If you’re looking for variety, Surrey’s countryside has it all – rolling chalk downs, rich grasslands and a mosaic of woodland, rivers and heath. Don’t forget to visit the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), which is a specially protected landscape. In at number eight, Norfolk, which boasts beautiful coasts too, has incredible green landscapes. This picture postcard county has some of the finest woodlands in England and the majestic Broads National Park. Lancashire, which is also a AONB, is 80% rural. Lancashire’s rambling countryside, challenging moorland and extensive waterways make it a pooch paradise and its ranked at number nine. Staying in the north west and completing the round-up is Cheshire. This beautiful county is a doggie delight with wild moorlands, rocky ridges and magnificent meadows.
YuMOVE ambassador and national treasure, Peter Purves, 82, is as intrepid as they come. The veteran broadcaster who has graced our screens for over 50 years has travelled around the world – from the Fjords of Norway through to the Pyramids of Ancient Egypt – and just about everywhere in between during a glittering broadcast career. The legendary voice of Crufts states that when it comes to dog walking, England is the best place in the world.
Peter said: “England is full of stunning landscapes and countryside; whether it’s the rugged coast of Northumberland to the north east or the picture perfect Cornish peninsula in the south west, our diverse country is a dog walkers paradise.”
1. Thurlestone Beach, Devon
A National Trust beach that allows dogs access all year round. With shallow waters and lovely coves, this is a doggy delight. Distance: 1 miles Time: 40 minutes
2. Sandilands to Chapel St Leonards, Lincolnshire
The six-mile stretch of beach has been designated a Coastal Country Park. Take your pooch for a stroll through the nature reserve, but remember to keep your dog on a lead at all times.
Distance: 1 miles Time: 2 hours
3. Tintagel King Arthur Walk, Cornwall
A wonderful dog walk that takes in the atmospheric ruins of ‘King Arthur’s castle’ on Tintagel Island. Perfect at any time of the year but especially the summer.
Distance: 3.4 miles Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
4. Win Hill, The Peak District, Derbyshire
Take the straight route from the bottom of the valley to the top of the hill. The hillside is quite steep and it is not a casual walk, but the view from the top makes it well worth the effort.
Distance: 2.7 miles Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes
5. Beadnell to Craster, Northumberland
This walk takes in the magnificent Dunstable Castle, dramatic cliffs and wonderful sandy beaches. You’ll have to keep your dog on a lead as cattle graze along the route.
Distance: 7 miles Time: 3 hours
6. Studland Beach, Dorset
A stunning beach that stretches for three miles. Enjoy the Dorset Wildlife and views as you meander by Old Harry Rocks. The beach can be accessed by the chain ferry from Sandbanks, Poole, or by car from Swanage.
Distance: 3 miles Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
7. Farnham Park, Surrey
Perfect for a picnic and a longer, leisurely stroll, Farnham Park is inhabited by wild deer. There are 320 acres to explore here with plenty of streams, mighty oaks and vast green open spaces.
Distance: TBC Time: Make a day of it
8. Whitlingham Country Park, Norfolk
Situated on the outskirts of Norwich, this is a park that is popular with dog walkers due to its hilly landscape and lovely 3 mile lake, The Great Broad.
Distance: 3 miles to circle the lake, Time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
9. Pendle Hill, Lancashire
Famous for witch trials, but don’t let that spook you or your pooch. Make your way to the top of the hill with your dog and take in some of the best views over the county.
Distance: 5.8 miles Time: 3 hours
10. Delamere Forest, Cheshire
There are plenty of trails within the forest that dogs love. For the more adventurous, take one of the off-road walks and find yourself deep in the forest.
Distance: TBC Time: TBC