Tag: poppy

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.

Dog Walks in Oxfordshire – Dry Sandford Pit

We’ve been taking advantage of the good weather we’ve been having lately and exploring new places. First on our list was Dry Sandford Pit, which is a BBOWT reserve. There are a number of walks you can around Dry Sandford and we had planned to do a bigger one, but the weather turned and we decided to call it a day. Hail really can spoil a walk!

silver birch

We started our walk in the sun, in the village of Wootton. We parked by the shops (where the parking is limited to 2/3 hours). We walked along the bridleway and through the beautiful village of Dry Sandford, which is worth a visit in itself, especially if you walk past Cothill House school students, on their way to church, looking adorable in their uniforms, as we did. Both ways, in fact! There is limited parking at the reserve, but initially wanted to do the circular walk so parked in Wootton.

the view

Dogs must be kept on leads around the reserve, but they are allowed. Poppy loved it, especially as there’s loads of little holes where creatures must live!

The pit

As it was such a sunny day, the insects that live in the cliff face were out and about and we saw quite a few bees, which was a very welcome sight. There are information boards around, which explain the different types of rock in the cliff, including some of the things they’ve found there.

Poppy at Dry Sandford

We took a long our trusty Thermos and some homemade cake and sat in the sun watching the bugs flying around. Poppy enjoyed a pizzle before continuing sniffing about and exploring.


The walk at Dry Sandford Pit isn’t massive but it’s lovely and quiet. When we went on a Sunday morning, we didn’t see anyone else. It was a lovely walk, with lots of lovely things to see and a fair few birds about. We had planned to walk to Parsonage Moor, but it got very dark, very quickly so we returned to the car park in Wootton the same way.

Dry Sandford walk

The Walk: While the walk at Dry Sandford Pit isn’t particularly long, it is very enjoyable. Plus, you can add bits on to extend the walk. See the map on the BBOWT website.
Cost: Completely free. Just get out there and enjoy!
Car Park: There’s a small car park at the Pit and parking is free.
Refreshments: There’s nothing available at the Pit or nearby but they do have benches around and you could easily bring a picnic blanket and a thermos if the weather was nice enough!
Toilets: None.

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.