Category: Poppy

Dog Walks in Pembrokeshire – Manorbier Beach

I always like finding somewhere new to walk Poppy. Not only because it keeps things interesting for me, but her reaction whenever we go somewhere new, is priceless. So last time we were in Pembrokeshire, we headed to Manorbier beach, which is dog friendly all year round. It’s not the biggest of beaches in the area, but access to the Pembrokeshire Coastal path is really easy to get to, so if you wanted something bigger, head up to the path.

Beach Dog


Manobier Beach

Rock Pool Dog

Pembrokeshire Pembrokeshire Coast

Manobier Castle

After a little stroll on the beach, which was packed due to the beautiful weather, we headed over the to the rock pools. Poppy isn’t keen on swimming in the sea, but she does love a good snuffle around rock pools. Fortunately, there are plenty to explore and she had us chasing after her, clambering over rocks, like the best of them!

Then, we headed up onto the coastal path. We hadn’t planned to go onto the path, so we just walked a bit and then turned around and walked back. However, there are a couple of circular walks encompassing Manorbier bay, which can be found on the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park website and I’d love to do one of these one day. It is a popular little spot and well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The Walk: The beach isn’t very wide so if you’re interested in a long walk, then head up on to the coastal path, where you can walk for as long as you like!
Cost: There’s no entry charge, but you will need to pay for parking. We did consider heading to the Castle as well, but you do have to pay for entry there. More info here.
Car Park: Parking is pay and display in all Pembrokeshire Coast Car Parks, but it is pretty reasonable and transferable between Pembrokeshire Coast car parks.
Refreshments: While there’s no where to buy refreshments, there was an ice cream van in the car park and there is a cafe in Manorbier itself.
Toilets: There are some just inside the car park.

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 Pembrokeshire – Pembroke Castle

Over the Easter weekend, which seems like years ago now, we went on a lovely walk around Pembroke Castle and the Mill Pond. It’s one of my favourite walks in Pembrokeshire for a number of reasons. It’s all on tarmac so it’s perfect in the rain, it’s pretty quiet and you get to walk around an incredibly historic building. Sunny Pembroke Pembroke Castle is the birthplace of Henry VII and the original part of the castle was built in 1093. It is one of the most breathtaking buildings I have ever seen and to think it’s been around since 1093, it makes it even more impressive. I can remember growing up, just being completely overwhelmed by it. As you walk along the Mill Pond, you can see some of the original town walls too. Mill Pond There’s lots of interesting wildlife to spot along the Mill Pond, including herons and otters, though we only spotted a heron! Better luck next time. We parked on the Mill Pond and headed out along the Mill Pond Walk. When you get to the end you can carry on your walk around Pembroke Main Street or head left towards the lime kiln. We head up onto Main Street and head past the shops and cafes, back towards the Mill Pond car park. From there we walk alongside the castle. The Castle I love looking up at the castle and imagining it in days gone by and how it was a battleground for many years. I can just imagine it in Game of Thrones episode and can only imagine the plotting that took place in the castle!Mill Pond WalkThe walk around the estuary is really lovely, with hidden gems like this one. The council have done a lot of work on the walk and there’s plenty of room for dogs to run around and explore the wildlife. Pembroke CastleThere are lots of great walks all around this part of Pembrokeshire, but this area is steeped in history and well worth visiting. Not that I’m biased or anything, I grew up here (well, near here – Pembroke Dock to be exact!) Plus, it definitely gets the Poppy seal of approval! Pembroke Poppy The Walk: The walk around the Mill Pond and Pembroke Castle can be short or long, depending on whether or not you want to include Main Street.
Cost: While the walk is free, you will need to pay and display in any of the car parks in Pembroke but it won’t be more than a few pounds.
Car Park: We parked in the small car park on the Mill Pond bridge, but there’s more parking on the Commons. Both are Pay & Display parking.
Refreshments: There are a number of little cafes on the Main Street in Pembroke. We usually get a take away tea from Lunch @ Number 40. It’s only a £1 and it helps to keep you going!
Toilets: There are some public toilets on Main Street.

*Part of the #BEDM series, this is my post on Local History.

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Pinsley Woods, Long Hanborough, Witney

The weather this bank holiday Sunday has been lovely here in Oxfordshire and we wanted to head out and make the most of it. During the week, hicksleigh posted a gorgeous picture of bluebells over on Instagram. It was a picture of Pinsley Woods and I knew straight away that it would be perfect for a Sunday morning dog walk. I wasn’t wrong! (You’re going to have to bear with me here – I got a little picture happy and took loads! Don’t worry, I’ve not posted them all below. To see the others, check out my flickr page.) Bluebells We parked in the layby just in front of the cemetery as you head out of Church Hanborough towards Long Hanborough and took the path along the allotments. You can see the woods straight ahead and it’s a circular walk around the edge of the woods. It was a little boggy in places, thanks to the rain last weekend, but it wasn’t too bad. You definitely need to wear walking boots or wellies though. While the walk is pretty flat, there are a few ridges to walk along and tree roots to step over. Woods The woods are enchanting, with paths leading off all over the place. There are fallen trees and little holes for burrows, which make it completely adorable. Poppy loved it. There were so many smells for her to follow that she didn’t know which way to go first! Poppy in the woods At one point, there was something in the middle of the bluebells that really got her attention and she kept walking on her hind legs to get a better view! We also passed fields full of sheep, lambs and gloriously yellow oilseed rape. Poppy and the bluebells Bluebell Bluebell woods trees After a while, we came across a clearing and the remnants of a paved path. We took a little detour and let Poppy off the lead for a little while. She was really well behaved until she noticed that I was distracted, taking *another* photo, and decided to roll around in a huge pile of fresh fox poo. She was covered! It was all over her neck, her side, her harness and she even managed to get some on the inside of her ears! So very gross! We washed some of it off in the woods and then again when we got back to the car. She’s had one bath and another one is on the cards as she still stinks! She loved it and thought it was the best thing ever. Poppy on the run I’ll definitely go back to Pinsley Woods, again and again. It’s such a great spot and there are a number of different walks you can do around it and through it. Next time, though, I’ll be keeping a close eye on Poppy and her tell tale signs that she’s found some poo! I don’t know how long the bluebells will be out for, but if you do get a chance to see them, they are really beautiful.

PS. This is my #BEDM post for today. The topic is sci-fi, which isn’t really my bag, so this is what I’m writing about today instead! Enjoy 🙂

The Walk: If you walk around the woods using the path that runs around the edge, it should be about a mile and take 45 minutes to an hour, but there are lots of paths crisscrossing through the woods so you can be as quick or as slow as you like.
Cost: Completely free. Just get out there and enjoy!
Car Park: We parked  in the layby in front of the cemetery just between Church Hanborough and Long Hanborough. It’s free, but it’s not very big. There are a few other laybys on the other side of the woods which you can also park in.
Refreshments: There’s no little cafe nearby but there is a pub in Church Hanborough called the Hand and Shears. We didn’t venture in, due to Poppy being covered in poo, but it looks okay. We didn’t explore Long Hanborough either, so if you know if somewhere perfect for putting your paws up, let me know!
Toilets: None.