Tips & Advice
Great summer dog walks in Dorset and Wiltshire
Posted on: June 22 2016
As a West Country person, my dog walking is somewhat biased towards this part of the world, however if you know Dorset, you’ll know that it has some stunning walks to offer!
(Image source: Lulworth Online)
My absolute favourite – Lulworth Cove is part of the world-famous Jurassic coastline. The walk in its entirety is probably around three miles, and can be a little hilly in places (good for keeping you and your pooch fit!).
The ‘aim’ of the walk is to reach Durdle Door by meandering along the coastline which is absolutely stunning. When you get to Durdle Door, there is a lovely shingle beach which is great for picnics. You will also find people coasteering on the rocks – this is entertaining to watch, especially when your dog tries to go and join in!
Located between the villages of Child Okeford and Shroton, Hambledon Hill is an old hillfort that is a good walk for people of all levels of fitness. If you want a less challenging route, then approaching from the Shroton side is easier, as there is a gravel track right to the top. If you park near the Cricket Pitch then you can relax and have a tipple in The Cricketers when you return. The view from the top offers a stunning panorama of the Blackmore Vale and surrounding areas.
Situated just on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, Ashmore boasts some fantastic woods for walking through. Dogs are politely requested to stay on the tracks as there is plenty of wildlife to be chased, including my puppy Holly’s favourite – pheasants!
There are a multitude of walks weaving in and around Ashmore – so much so, that I am still discovering new ones after six months of walking here. You can either start at Washer’s Pit (at the bottom of Ashmore), or park in the main village, next to the picturesque village pond and then head down Green Lane or off on one of the byways that all lead towards the woods.
If you are looking for a picturesque walk, this is not to be missed, especially when the Bluebells are out – it is simply stunning. The only downside to the walk is that there is no immediate watering hole to refresh yourself after a long walk!
During the summer months, I’m at Studland Bay most weekends. It’s both kid and dog friendly and has one of the finest beaches around!
The National Trust owns most of the area around Studland Bay and dogs are allowed on the beach year-round (although during the summer months they need to be kept on a short lead). It is possible to easily walk from the Sandbanks Chain Ferry to Old Harry’s Rock and beyond to Swanage.
The walk is dominated by soft sand and there is no shortage of dogs to make friends with along the route. The water is extremely shallow and safe for dogs - providing they can swim.
If you continue walking past Knoll Beach, you will come to ‘Pig on the Beach’, where it is possible to stop for some tea or perhaps even an early evening cocktail. When you walk beyond the hotel up on to the cliffs, make sure to keep your dog on a lead as the cliffs are dangerous, as my Oscar discovered a few years ago when he made the national press!
Rupert owns and runs MuddyPaws with his wife Emma and cocker spaniel puppy Holly. Based in Dorset, Muddy Paws is one of the UK’s largest online dog stores. Take a look at the blog for more great guides to walks in Devon and Cornwall, plus product reviews, competitions and more.
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