Grooming & Wellbeing
Top 10 Winter Walks in the South West
Posted on: December 03 2013
Ellie Garland from Stay in UK, a leading tourist information website, gives her rundown of the top ten winter walks in the South West. Whether you’re looking for a long, rambling cliff top walk or a leisurely woodland stroll, we’ve put together our favourite walks for dog owners.
This Dartmoor walk is perfect for walkers of all abilities and dogs can be off the lead most of the way round. Start off in the car park next to the Fingle Bridge Inn and follow the well signposted six mile route taking in woodland scenery and the legendary Castle Drogo. This is a circular route that brings you back to the pub, perfect for a well-earned lunch!
For a shorter walk, explore this easy trail around Corfe Castle in Dorset. Make sure to keep an eye out for archaeological remains and the abundance of wildlife that call this common home. This circular route is just 1.5 miles long and is almost completely level making it perfect for a stroll with the whole family. For more adventurous dog walkers there is a twelve mile walk from Swanage. You can even get a steam train back to Corfe if your legs get tired!
This is a circular 2 mile walk starting and ending at the Hunter’s Inn in beautiful North Devon. The walk is a gentle stroll taking in ancient woodland, babbling streams and dramatic cliff top views. There are a few ups and downs and the terrain is rugged in places, but this route is perfect for kids who will love exploring the ruined lime kiln and the beach. Dogs are welcome in the Hunter’s Inn so be sure to pop in for a pint at the end point.
From canal to coast, this walk takes in everything the pretty Cornish town of Bude has to offer on a 6 mile circular route. Starting out on the coast path, take in beautiful views of the sea before turning inland across farmland to follow the canal back to the town. There are several beaches and pubs along the route, the majority of which are dog friendly, making it a perfect walk to enjoy with your four legged friends.
Padstow to Harlyn Bay
Explore smugglers caves and old gun points on this 7 mile walk. Start in the boutique harbour town of Padstow before setting out on the South West coast path. The beaches at Harbour Cove and Hawkers Cove are dog friendly all year round and there are several welcoming pubs on route too. Although this walk starts out level it does take in some challenging terrain although it’s perfect for spotting several bird species. There are regular buses between Harlyn Bay and Padstow to save walking back too!
Beer to Branscombe
This is a moderate walk for walkers of all ages and abilities. Although it is mostly level it does have one large set of steps you need to descend, so not suitable for pushchairs or wheelchairs. There’s a lot to spot on this 5 mile route and it is perfect if you’ve an interest in geology and wildlife. Walking back to Beer will extend the walk, otherwise there are bus services available and dogs are welcome.
The Jurassic Coast
This walk starts in the bustling seaside town of Sidmouth and makes its way along the valley of the River Sid until it finally reaches the sea. This route is fairly challenging as it climbs from sea level to 650ft and the top of the flanking ridges. It is a long steady climb but requires a good level of general fitness. Sidmouth has all you need in terms of refreshments and many of the pubs nearby welcome dogs too.
Lulworth Cove and Fossil Forest
This is a shorter walk taking in the petrified remains of a cyrpress forest which once grew around a warm lagoon in the Jurassic period. This is a fantastic walk for children who will be fascinated by the various formations of the Fossil Forest, as well as the shingle beach with its huge boulders and chalk edges. The walk is just 2 miles long and both the beach and the nearby pub are both dog friendly.
This is a lovely circular walk, highly recommended by the rest of the Stay In team too! This 5 mile circular route takes in ancient woodland, fantastic sea views and the chocolate box village of Bucks Mill. The route is very steep in places and includes stiles and gates, so isn’t ideal for everyone, but if some of your group aren’t keen to walk they can meet you at the end in the cosy Hoops Inn. Dogs are welcome here too.
Brixham and Berry Head
This 6 mile walk starts at the William of Orange statue and takes in glorious views of the South Devon coastline. The Tor Bay lighthouse is a perfect place for keen twitchers to look out for migrant birds in autumn and the route also passes through a bustling fishing port. Dogs are welcome all year round on St Mary’s Bay and to the east of Sharkham Point.
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