While many loathe winter for its endless grey skies and the bitter chill of the winter wind, few seasons offer the same dog walking opportunities. From deserted beaches perfect for your pup, to crisp walks in the morning frost and windy walks followed by a cosy afternoon in a dog friendly country pub, it’s time to embrace the darkest and most dismal season of the year. Pull on your wellies, wrap up warm (that means a coat for your dog too!) and venture out onto one of our favourite winter dog walks.
WIDEMOUTH BAY, CORNWALL
Widemouth Bay near Bude in Corwall, is a stunning coastal walk perfect for you and your canine companion this winter. With car packs and cafes at either end, pet owners will love the Widemouth Bay Café which serves tasty dishes and are dog friendly to boot. With both sand and stone and plenty of rock pools, it’s a great spot for your pooch to run wild, and offers owners unbeatable views of the Cornish coastline.
2. WEST WITTERING, EAST SUSSEX
A sizeable beach ideal for furry friends in need of a serious walk, East Sussex’s West Wittering beach has sand-dunes a plenty and is great for the more adventurous hounds wanting to paddle in the shallows and explore the famous East Head Spit.
3. DUNKERY AND HORNER WOOD, EXMOOR
The National Trust’s Dunkery and Horner Wood circular walk is a dog-friendly 3-mile route that will take approximately an hour. The paths can be steep and stony so ensure your canine companion is ready for a work out prior to leaving. Incorporating streams, footbridges, a beaten path and a bridleway, this walk takes in some of Exmoor’s most breathtaking countryside.
4. SEVEN SISTERS, SUSSEX
The chalk cliffs of the famous Seven Sisters in Sussex make for a scenic coastal walk, whatever the weather, but doing the walk in winter will certainly blow away any cobwebs left over from the festive season. Walk the route anti-clockwise, to keep the wind at your back, and be sure to keep your dog on the lead to avoid any chasing of rabbits.
5. RHOSSILI BAY, WALES
Cited by many as one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches, Rhossili Bay in Gower is an area of outstanding beauty and makes for a stunning winter walk with your four legged friend by your side. The sandy beach is backed by dunes, and the 4-mile stretch of beach gives you and your furry friend a scenic back drop to a wild and wintery walk.
6. ROUNDWAY DOWN, WILTSHIRE
The scenic area of Roundway Down near Devizes is a brilliantly invigorating walk for you and your pup during the winter months. Take in the stunning views of the Wiltshire countryside as well as the 1643 battle site; the perfect fusion of history and outdoor activity for both you and your four legged friend.
7. PENROSE BEACH, CORNWALL
For the ambitious among us, the 7-mile walk around Cornwall’s Penrose Estate is hard to beat when it comes to an adventurous dog walks this winter. Taking three to four hours, the walk takes in wide open fields – ideal for your pet pooch to roam – river banks, and a National rust holiday lodge. Have a hot drink to warm your cockles at the National Trust stables café on the Penrose estate.
8. WICKEN FEN, CAMBRIDGESHIRE
An easy trail in the heart of Cambridge, this dog-friendly walk features a varied landscape of reedbeds, open water and wet grassland. Boasting splendid plant life and trees, including ash trees, arrowdowns and water lilies, this is a stunning walk for nature lovers.
9. THE THAMES PATH, LONDON
For anyone located in London, a winter’s walk along the Thames Path is a hard one to beat. A well-trodden path by well-heeled dog owners who live locally, start your walk at Barnes Bridge, and head west towards Chiswick, taking in scenic views of the river and ample townhouses as you go. The path stretches as far as Twickenham, with a number of dog friendly pubs en route.
10. BUSHY PARK, LONDON
The least well known of the capital’s eight royal parks, is Bushy Park. The second largest of the eight parks and with a close proximity to Hampton Court Palace, this scenic landscape is a fabulous spot for a winter walk with your hound. Featuring a mixture of grassland, ponds and gardens, perfect for your pooch to explore, Bushy Park is a prime place for a walk this winter.
Have you done any of these walks with your dog? Do you have some other favourites you would recommend in the winter? Share them in the comments below!