Tag: berkshire

Dog Walks in Berkshire – Snelsmore Common Country Park

We’re very lucky to have so many places locally to walk Poppy. While they may not be sandy beaches or coastal paths, the countryside of Oxfordshire and Berkshire is still pretty impressive. A few weeks ago, we headed to Snelsmore Common Country Park to walk Poppy one Saturday afternoon.

Snelsmore Common

There are endless walks you could go on within the park, with lots to see around the area. Be aware, it’s also used for cycling and horse riding, so you need to keep your wits about you. If you’re taking the dog, then you need to keep them on their lead, as there might be cattle grazing and you don’t want to set them off. It’s also great for picnics and there are picnic tables around the park

Snelsmore Fungus Trees Wigwam Walks

Poppy loved it there as there’s plenty for her to snuffle about in. We walked all over and didn’t keep to one specific walk. The walk is a bit rough and ready at times, so you need to be sure footed to get around. Walking boots are a must though, especially with the Great British weather keeping the ground nice and moist at the moment!

The site is managed by BBOWT and they work to help wildlife now and for the future. So it’s important to follow the advice given on the map as you go on and on their website. The Common will change so much throughout the seasons, so I’d quite like to make it a habit of going there a few times throughout the year so we can see how it’s different.

The Walk: There are a few different paths leading out from the car park and you can go on a number of different walks, criss crossing the common so there’s plenty to go back for again and again.
Cost: Completely free! Though, it wouldn’t hurt to make a donation to BBOWT, as they do such a great job for wildlife and for users of the places they manage 😉
Car Park: Completely free! 
Refreshments: While there’s no where to buy refreshments at Snelsmore, there are plenty of picnic facilities. We swooped to Saddleback Farm Shop for a cheeky slice of cake instead, though next time, we’ll probably pack fill the Thermos and bring some cake with us.
Toilets: There are some just inside the car park, including a disabled loo.

Dog Walks in Berkshire ~ Welford Park

This one’s a bit of a cheat, as it’s only open for a few weeks and won’t be open again until January next year. That being said, it’s well worth a visit as it’s got lovely walks around the snowdrops, perfect for photographers, and they do great food. Dogs are required to be on leads on at all times, which is no issue for Poppy, as we wouldn’t walk her there without it. There are lots of great smells for her to enjoy and something got her attention a lot, which involved lots of air sniffing, pulling and refusal to move!

We visited Welford Park on the last weekend, so some of the snowdrops were a little weary after all the rain and wind we’d had. It was a bright, sunny day so we made the most of it and walked all the way around the snowdrops and anywhere else we could find. Welford Park is well equipped for visitors, as there’s plenty of parking in the field opposite (free) and there’s always someone checking the road so you can have safe passage across to the park.

welford parkThe River Lambourn runs through the park and is so clear. There were a few remaining signs of how high the water had been and one or two sections of the walk were closed off. But it didn’t spoil the visit. I’m just pleased that so much of it was open after all the rain.

snowdropsThere really are loads and loads of snowdrops to admire, with a few varieties on show. Some had weathered the storms better than others but there were also quite a few crocuses around to brighten up the day even more. The snowdrop section is fenced off in order to protect them, but you can still enjoy them.

welford waterI really like coming here, as it’s such a beautiful place. I wish it was open more, later on in the year, as I’d love to see it in different seasons. We’re definitely going to make it an annual visit.

spring poppyPoppy was very good all along the walk. There are a few bins around the property and the food tent, but there aren’t any along the walk so be sure you’re equipped to carry full poo bags around with you for a bit. Poppy has an uncanny ability of going when you’re furthest from a bin. She’s got skills! (I love this picture of her, even though her face is in shadow. She looks so small!)

soup at welfordThey do really good food at Welford Park, but it’s not fancy. My OH ordered a sausage bap and that’s exactly what he got. A bap (unbuttered) with a couple of sausages in. I opted for a bowl of carrot soup and it was lush. There is a food tent, where dogs are welcome, as most of the time, you need to order your food indoors. However, on the day we went, everyone was eating in the tent. We didn’t want to put Poppy through that, so we sat outside on a picnic table.

dewey poppyWe have a little pack of things we take when we go out with Poppy. We’ve learnt to include at least one towel, as she often gets really wet! Love the little bits of dew on her nose! She generally walks, led by her nose, which means her ears get soaked too because they’re so huge!

The Walk: While the walk isn’t the longest one around, if you explore the Wild Garden, the Rose Garden and the Bamboo Forest, it all adds up. Plus, it’s an incredibly beautiful place to walk, with lots of gorgeous plants and wildlife to see.
Cost: There is a small fee to pay when you arrive, but it isn’t much. (Can’t remember and the snowdrop section has been removed from their website until next year.)
Car Park: There’s an ample car park in a field opposite, which is manned during opening hours. There’s also a disabled parking section closer to the park. Parking is free.
Refreshments: There’s a lovely tea rooms, serving tea, coffee, light lunches and cakes. Well worth a visit. They also have picnic tables outside and you could easily bring a picnic blanket and a thermos if the weather was nice enough!
Toilets: There are toilets close to the Old Laundry tea rooms.