Another hard choice this afternoon...Trafford Centre or walk the dog? Obviously at this time of year walk the dog won the day so after dropping off the brave shoppers the dog and I headed for the relative peace of Dunham Massey near Altrincham.
Dunham Massey has 250 acres of parkland, much of which offers sanctuary to over 100 fallow deer, as well as a historic mansion and winter gardens. The site is owned and managed by the National Trust and unsurprisingly has a dogs on leads policy throughout the parkland.
Our visit began at the visitors car park (£4 per car or free for NT members) from which we took a route of about 4 or 5 miles along the towpath of the Bridgewater Canal, Dunham Forest Golf and Country Club and returning through the woodland deerpark. The towpath offered some off lead walking but it was on the lead for most of our route. The dog didn't seem to mind though. He was happy to sniff trees and bushes at every opportunity before eying up the hoards of visitors eating icecreams (yes, icecream in December)and, more aptly, soup and rolls at the Pavillion. Santa was paying an early visit to the park so he was equally happy to be admired by the many young visitors waiting their turn to pass on their christmas wish lists.
There are loads of footpaths and bridleways round here so you should be able to find a walk to suit all abilities. Well worth a visit!
Click here for the National Trust site
Doggy rating 7/10