Tag: dog walk

Dog Walks in Cornwall – Cadgwith to Kennack Sands

On the first proper day of half term, that didn’t involve driving for hours, Poppy and I headed out onto the coast path. Despite the previous day being ruled by Storm Brian, Sunday turned out to be a lovely day. I didn’t want to drive anywhere, so Poppy and I went for a walk from Cadgwith to Kennack Sands. We had previously done the first part of the walk, to the Serpentine Works at Poltesco, but I really wanted to get to the beach. After checking the tide times, we headed out.Cadgwith to Kennack Sands Cornish coast path Poppydog on the Cornish coast path

It’s not an easy walk, especially as the path was incredibly muddy and there were a few places where I needed to lean on rocks to get down. Poppy is really good on these kind of paths. She now waits for me and will stop walking ahead if we’re on a particularly slippy path. The views along the walk were spectacular, which was lucky because the weather the next few days was foggy and we couldn’t see a thing!

We headed down to the old serpentine works and had a look around. The ruins there are amazing and it’s a lovely place to walk around. Then we headed on to Kennack Sands. The rest of the walk included going through a mini golf course by some static caravans and along part of the road leading down to the sands. The beach was packed and both cafes were open. There was a fair bit of surfing going on and there are plenty of rock pools to explore, much to Poppy’s delight!

Serpentine Works Serpentine mill Kennack Sands Poppydog at Kennack Sands

This walk also ticks off another part of the coast path around the Lizard, which is good as I’d like to walk around the whole of the Lizard, bit by bit. After a walk along Kennack Sands, and a sit watching the waves, we headed back to Cadgwith. Poppy and I enjoyed an afternoon of vegging on the sofa, watching Gilmore Girls. Perfection!

The Walk: As its part of the South West Coast Path, it isn’t easy. There are times when the path is muddy and very thin, but then there are parts which are flat and open. If you’re leaning on things to help you get down, be careful not to lean on any gorse. It can draw blood!
Cost: Completely free.
Car Park: As we were staying in Cadgwith, we had a parking spot with the cottage. There is a car park in Cadgwith and there’s a car park at Kennack Sands, which you have to pay to use. There are a number of parking spots on the road down to Kennack Sands too.
Refreshments: There are two cafes at Kennack Sands, one of which selling Ann’s Pasties. I haven’t eaten from either but they were pretty busy when I was there.
Toilets: There are some public loos at Kennack Sands.

Walking from St Davids to Abereiddy… Kind of.

One of the things I wanted to achieve this summer from the #summerassignment, was to walk further than I’d ever walked before and considering the fact that there’s no end of coastal paths in Pembrokeshire, I thought that would be an excellent challenge. I decided on walking from St David’s to Porthgain, though by the time we set off from St David’s I thought walking to Porthgain might be a bit of a stretch so decided Poppy and I would walk to Abereiddy. Though this didn’t come to pass either!

St Davids Cathedral Bishops Palace St Davids St Davids walkI parked at Oriel y Parc (though there are car parks closer to the cathedral) and bought a map from the shop. In order to get to the coastal path, I needed to head towards St Justinian’s, but also wanted to have a look at the Bishop’s Palace, as I’d never really seen it. We headed towards the cathedral and had a quick look at the palace (I didn’t realise it was in ruins!) and then headed out on the road towards St Justinian’s. After about ten minutes, there’s a pathway through some fields that eventually leads down towards Whitesands Bay. (We may have gone the wrong way, once or twice at this time!). One of the fields we went through had sheep in it, so if you’re going this way with your dog, make sure they’re on the lead. There are also a few stiles, so Poppy enjoyed a few awkward lifts over them!

Whitesands Bay St Davids Head Pembrokeshire coastal pathWalking Pembrokeshire coastal pathWhitesands Bay is absolutely gorgeous, though has dog restrictions during the summer, so we couldn’t enjoy it this time. (About a mile on the coast path is a smaller dog friendly bay, which is worth a visit, especially on a hot day). Poppy and I had been walking for about an hour by this point so we stopped for a snack and a drink. They have a drinking water tap there, by the toilets, which was very welcome, and outside seating in the shade, which was perfect for Poppy to rest her warm paws. The toilets cost 20p to use (cheek!) so make sure you have change for that, and there is a cafe that serves hot food, though as I had Poppy with me, I didn’t have anything there. We then headed up to the coast path, up on St David’s Head and round towards Abereiddy.

Walking with Poppydog Walking the Pembrokeshire coastal path Pembrokeshire coast Resting Poppydog Coastal flower Sunny PembrokeshireThe views were amazing. Despite having grown up in Pembrokeshire, I never explored the county quite like this. There were bees and butterflies all around and birds constantly flying about. Because I was on my own with Poppy, I couldn’t take any close up pictures, as I was terrified that Poppy would try to track something and pull us both hurtling into the sea! All the pictures were taken on my phone and despite carrying the binoculars, it wasn’t really easy to get them out of my bag so I can’t tell you what the birds were! I had planned for us to walk to Abereiddy, as there’s a dog friendly beach there and I wanted to see the Blue Lagoon. Poppy, however, had other ideas! When we’d set out from St David’s it was cool and overcast. However, by about 11.30/12 o’clock, the sun was out and it was getting really hot. At one point, Poppy saw a bit of shade and lay down it. That was when I knew we weren’t going to Abereiddy! We stopped, rested, had something to eat and lots of water before heading back. By my calculations, we were only half way, which is a real shame, but we’d walked six miles so thought we’d better get back.

Coastal walk Pembrokeshire pony St Davids cathedral in the sun Poppydog paddling in the fordBy the time we arrived back in St Davids, after a pit stop and water bottle refill at Whitesands, Poppy and I headed straight for the ford by the Bishops Palace. Perfect for cooling off hot paws! This was the first time Poppy and I had done a walk like this on our own. I’d never mapped out a walk for us before either and there were times when it was quite scary walking along the coast path on our own, as there can be some sharp drops down to the sea. Having said that, it was loads of fun! There were a few other walkers about, which was nice, especially when they pointed out seals in the sea. I was completely surprised by the terrain, as it kept changing and I hadn’t expected that. Despite not reaching the destination I wanted, I still walked further than I ever had. Poppy was really well behaved and took everything in her stride. I can’t wait to go back and maybe tackle the coast path from the other direction!

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Bank Holiday at Stowe Gardens

After many weeks of being busy with school work and sorting out the redecorating of our bedroom, we were finally able to leave all of that behind and head out into the spring sunshine for a much needed breath of fresh air. We decided to head back to Stowe Gardens, as we really enjoyed our last visit there but wanted to see it in spring.  We packed our bag, forgetting much needed binoculars and camera, and headed off towards Stowe Gardens.

We arrived early, while there was still a chill in the air but that soon disappeared. It was fairly quiet, though busy enough for Poppy to enjoy a few rubs from other people. You could hear the sheep and their little lambs bleating away in the sunshine. They were so cute!

Sheep at Stowe GardensThe gardens were really gorgeous in the spring sunshine. Everything looked so bright and fresh, what a change from the misery of winter!

Spring at Stowe Gardens Stowe Gardens in the sun Memorial at Stowe GardensPrimroses at Stowe GardensThe gardens were packed by the time we were coming to the end of our walk. We tried to head in directions and along paths we didn’t go down last time. It was so busy that we couldn’t get into the cafe for lunch as they were queueing out the door! Next time, I think we’ll pack a picnic, as there are so many great areas to sit and watch the world go by.

We did over 10,000 steps and were thoroughly pooped by the time we got home. It’s a great place to go for walks, as you can do as much or as little as you like. I like it because while you’re looking around at the flowers, the buildings and statues and the wildlife,you don’t really notice the length of the walk. It was the perfect way to relax over the bank holiday weekend.

Dog Walks in Buckinghamshire – Stowe Gardens

My sister and her partner visited us last weekend with their very energetic puppy, Jasper. We knew we needed somewhere good to go to walk the dogs so we decided on Stowe Gardens. It’s about a 40 minute drive from us, but it’s fairly straight forward. We’d not been before, but after a lovely time there, it’s definitely somewhere where I’ll be going back to.

The gardens are the grounds of Stowe House and Stowe School and are like nothing I’ve ever seen before. There are a number of amazing and beautiful buildings, temples and statues, all linked to Greek mythology or politics. There’s even a cave and a grotto! While there are three mapped walks you can do, by following the path of vice, virtue or liberty, you can ramble about on your own as much as you like. You could easily pack a picnic and spend the day there.

Eleven acre lake Rotunda at Stowe Gardens Statue of Venus Temple of VenusDido's caveQueen's temple at Stowe Gardens Stowe House Temple of Ancient VirtuePoppy at the temple of friendship Stowe Garden sheepThe Grotto at Stowe GardensInside the grotto at Stowe Gardens

We headed along the path of vice when we arrived at the gardens and followed it round until we got to Dido’s Cave. Then we headed up to Stowe House, which was closed, but still incredibly impressive from the outside. We then picked up the path of virtue and headed to the Grotto, which was incredible! I can’t imagine what it must have been like for the gardens to be your garden. Can you imagine playing in the grotto as a child?! Amazing! We then headed to the gothic temple, via the queen’s temple and picked up the path of liberty from there. We headed back to the New Inn for lunch, where Phil and I had the leek and potato soup and Diana and Adam had the risotto. They were okay, not massive portions, but that left room for cake later!

Leek and potato soup

Both the dogs loved the walk we did. They were very tired by the time we got home! Dogs must be kept on the lead, as there are grazing sheep in the gardens, and there are lots of dog poo bins around the gardens, which is always helpful! We didn’t go into the shop, but according the Stowe Gardens website, they have dog treats and dog ice cream available! This is brilliant, as not all National Trust properties are as dog friendly as Stowe Gardens. We all thought that the £11 entry fee (with gift aid) was a little steep, but if you spent the day there, you’d probably consider it money well spent. However, it only costs £99 to become a member (for two people) so it wouldn’t take long for you to cover the cost of membership. This is something I’m thinking of doing, as it means you can also park for free in National Trust properties too.

The Walk: There are three different walks you can do, but you can mix them up and do as much or as little as you like.
Cost: As it’s run by the National Trust, it’s not free. It’s £11 for adults for the gardens if you’re not a member of the National Trust.
Car Park: There’s quite a decent car park at the gardens, but you have to pay £2 if you’re a non-member. It’s free for National Trust members.
Refreshments: There is a lovely little cafe, which has seating outdoors with an undercover section where dogs are welcome.
Toilets: There are toilets at the New Inn, which is the entrance to the gardens.