Keep safe!

Keep safe!
You are responsible for your own safety and that of your dog. The walks listed in this blog are not detailed guides. Plan your route! Click the landrover image for safety advice from Bowland Pennine MRT.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Red Nab to High Wray Bay, Windermere

Woods, fields and water combine to make doggy heaven on this short walk along the banks of lake Windermere. The walk is one of the Lake District National Parks "Miles without Stiles" series. The Miles Without Stiles routes are perfect for those in wheelchairs, buggies or who find walking a challenge. We've also found that some of these routes are perfect for a short dog walk, but with plenty of opportunities for the dog to run for miles chasing his ball, or swim to his hearts content.

We parked up at Red Nab, near to Wray Castle, and joined the well made path which led through the woodland lining the shores of lake Windermere. Great views across the lake, and over to the Fairfield range, kept us entertained whilst the dog explored every rocky outcrop and beach along our route. After a mile or so we reached High Wray Bay where the large field and gently shelving beach allowed the dog a chance to cool off in the the clear lake water, and us to enjoy the wonderful sunshine, before retracing our steps to the car.

The walk can be extended by walking south to Ferry Nab, a route we took on Saturday whilst watching some of the spectacular displays from the Windermere Air Show.

Whilst most of this walk can be done off-lead you do need to keep a careful watch out for cyclists and of course be mindful of others who might be finding the walk enough of a challenge without having to worry about playful dogs in their path!

Doggy rating 8/10

Click here for the Miles without Stiles pages

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Lost in Middle-earth

I'm told that Tolkein was so inspired by the misty landscape of the Ribble Valley that it formed the basis of Middle-earth in the Lord of the Rings. We've been planning to walk the Tolkein Trail, which takes in Hurst Green, the banks of the Ribble and Hodder, and the impressive Stoneyhurst College, since Ciara posted a comment on the blog recommending a trip. Yesterday afternoon seemed like a good time to pay a vist.

Our walk began in Hurst Green and, following the path past the Shireburn Arms, we made our way through the muddy fields to the banks of the Ribble. The route from there was simple enough, following the river for a few miles next to open farmland and passing a few isolated farms and barns. As the river was high, and crops were growing in the fields, the dog was on the lead throughout, but he didn't seem to care.

Eventually we hit the road, near to Mitton and Cromwell's Bridge, and continued alongside the banks of the Hodder, getting a little soggy in the passing showers. After a mile or so we reached a small footbridge crossing a stream, at which point our trusty guidebook helpfully told us to take the long flight of wooden steps leading up through the woods. This we did, with the dog leaping two steps at a time, before the path became narrower and narrower, with overgrown vegetation making our path increasingly difficult. Undeterred, and trusting our guide, we continued onwards until the dog agreed that we could go no further. Looking around, we spotted several other wooden flights of steps, heading in different directions, and equally overgrown. The dog selected one at random and I was happy to follow, hoping to find our way to civilisation. The dog was clearly enjoying this game of snakes and ladders, but I was ecstatic to finally reach the footbridge where we'd begun our aimless wanderings a good half our beforehand. Disappointingly, we didn't spot any hobbits en-route.

Following a different path, we soon reached another flight of steps which fortunately led us back to civilisation and onwards to Stoneyhurst College and to our start. Hot, moddy, wet and tired (for once, me not the dog) just about summed it up.

Overall, perhaps not the best walk for large dogs, given the 10+ stiles we crossed, but a good walk all the same and one we'll repeat. Thanks Ciara and I hope your new addition has settled in well!

If you want a slightly shorter version of our walk, which misses out the woods of Middle-earth, have a look at the BBC Lancashire site

Doggy rating 7/10

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cornish holidays again

If you thought that the dog had been denied his walkies lately you can rest easy. The last month or so has seen a return to Cornwall for two weeks as well as plenty of trips to Cuerden and our other favourite haunts.

Cornwall was, once again, a great place to visit with the dog. We stayed on a farm near to Polzeath in North Cornwall, just a short drive away from miles of golden dog friendly beaches between Daymar Bay and Rock. The coast around here is spectacular and a trip around the Rumps, with the dog on the lead given the steep cliffs, is also worth doing.

Of course the dog joined us in some great pubs and eating places, eyeing up every crumb of pasty he saw. He also took a liking to waitress' feet on at least one occasion - licking just to see what they tasted like of course. The Blue Peter in Polperro is well worth a visit, as is the fantastic Old Inn at St Breward on Bodmin Moor. Both are happy for your dog to join you in the bar. The Old Inn is really close to the Camel Trail, voted one of the UKs best dog walks last year, and the wilds of Bodmin Moor, so there should be plenty to keep you and your dog entertained.

Roll on next time!