If you’re planning to take your canine companion on tour with you, John Sootheran is on hand to share six top doggie destinations.
- Mlaham, Skipton, BD23 4DJ
Park in the pretty village of Malham and you can walk to stunning Malham Cove in about 20 minutes; make that 50 if you stop for tea and cake at the village cafe! The spectacular 80m-high and 300m-wide curved limestone cliff is a great spot for a dog-walk, and your furry friend will most likely beat you up the ‘limestone staircase’ to the top of the cove, from where the views are exceptional. A good destination for children, too, with many fascinating geographical features. Nearby Gordale Scar and Janet’s Foss, a stunning waterfall and fairy glen, make equally good dog-walking destinations. Dogs are welcome, but should be kept on a lead.
Stay at Gordale Scar Campsite
Ferry Meadows Country Park
- Ham Lane, Peterborough, PE2 5UU
Ferry Meadows is a vast country park on the edge of the city of Peterborough. There are loads of open spaces for dogs to run, Tarmac paths if it’s wet, lakes to walk around, and even a steam railway line. The park also has a leisure lake, where you can hire canoes and pedals to take out on the water, or bicycles for a two-wheeled jaunt around the grounds, and there’s a fabulous new cafe with an extensive outside deck. Peterborough’s historic centre, with its 900-year-old cathedral, is a pleasant two-mile walk from Ferry Meadows Caravan and Motorhome Club Site. Cycling, walking, eating, drinking, waterspouts, even tree planting… this place has it all.
Stay at Ferry Meadows C&MC Site
- Nr Braunton, Woolacombe, Devon, EX34 7DL
This stunning stretch of north Devon sand is perfect for dogs, especially when the tide is out and the beach is at its widest. The broad and flat strand offers acmes of space to let dogs off the lead to play in the shallows. Local dog-owners tend to park on Marine Drive and walk down to the beach, because it’s cheaper to park ad you’re closer to the quietest stretch of sand. Check online for dates when certain sections of beach are closed to dogs, but don’t miss out on this lovely, safe, friendly bit of coast.
Norfolk Coast Seal Trips
- Blakeney, North Norfolk
These brilliant boat trips to visit the region’s characterful seal populations last about an hour and are dog-friendly. The boats depart daily from Morston Quay (NR25 7BH), and large dogs can sit on the floor of the vessel, while smaller animals travel on their owner’s lap. They are not allowed seat space.
Children love these expeditions, too, because they bring you near the seals in the water and on the sandbanks. Take a cabers with a zoom lens if you want to obtain really close-up shots. Boat trips run all year.
Stay at Sandringham C&CC Site
- Alnmouth, Northumberland, NE66 3NU
This is probably my favourite coastline in Britain, especially since we became dog-owners. Clean, wide and empty, it’s perfect for windswept winter walks or summer sunbathing… and whatever the season, you’ll find that you always have a huge swathe of beach to yourself. We love Alnmouth, where there are cafes in the village, but we always collect dry wood from above the tide line and have a campfire with wine or coffee. Park in the beachside car park, off Marine Drive. All the beaches along this Northumberland coast are incredible places for dogs, walkers and photographers, with castles, great pubs and restaurants sprinkled liberally along the shore.
Stay at Walkmill Campsite
- Rutland (South shore LE15 8HD, North shore LE15 8AB)
This impressive reservoir, one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, is surrounded by 4200 acmes of stunning countryside, in a valley that’s perfect for outdoor types and dog-lovers. There are dog-walks and cycle trails aplenty, and the small town of Oakham is close by.
If you prefer a more leisurely pace, head just eight miles in the other direction, and you’ll be in stunning, historic Stamford, considered one of the finest Georgian towns in England. While you’re there, don’t miss a visit to the spectacular Elizabethan stately home, Burghley House, where the beautiful parkland (originally laid out by Capability Brown) is ideal for (on-lead) dog-walking.
Stay at Rutland Caravan & Camping
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