If there’s one thing that Pembrokeshire has in spades it’s beaches. Plus growing up there means that the sun doesn’t have to be shining for me to enjoy them! However, when I went to Broad Haven over Easter, I was lucky enough to get a few days of sunshine, even if there were gale force winds.
I hadn’t been to Broad Haven before so it was great to see what it was like before all the summer crowds get there. It’s a lovely beach with loads of rock pools at the edges for Poppy to sniff in, though she did try to eat a few sea anemones! That dog will try to eat anything!
If you get the tide right, you can beyond the rocks you see in the picture above. We didn’t when we visited because it was blowing a gale and I also wanted to walk on Newgale beach and had to pace Poppy a bit! Broad Haven is a beautiful beach and well worth a visit, even in winter.
The Walk: Broad Haven beach is gorgeous but to make the most of it, be sure to visit when the tide is out. There are dog restrictions on the northern part of the beach from 1st May to 30th September so be sure to check before heading out for your dog walk.
Car Park: There are two car parks in Broad Haven so make sure you have change for them.
Refreshments: There are a number of places to buy refreshments in Broad Haven itself and it’s just on the beach so you don’t need to go far for a brew.
Toilets: There are loos in the car park.
After our short walk at Lye Valley, we were still keen to enjoy the spring sunshine so we headed to Bury Knowle Park in Headington. I’ve driven past it a number of times, but had never been in. As we were in the area, we parked up and headed in. It’s a wonderful space for everyone as there’s plenty of space and things to do. It has a children’s play area, a zip wire, a sensory garden for the visually impaired and much more.
If there’s one thing that Oxford does well, it’s parks. They’re well maintained with lots of plants and areas to keep all family members entertained. I loved seeing the Storybook tree too. What a lovely way to remember such great authors! Bury Knowle Park is well worth a visit.
The Walk: There’s a path that runs around the outskirts of the park and there are a few other paths running across it.
Car Park: We parked in Waitrose, which you have to pay for. We used the Ringo App, which is brilliant.
Refreshments: There is a kiosk in the park selling ice creams and drinks, but it wasn’t open when we were there. There are lots of cafes close by too.
One thing that constantly amazes me about Oxford is that we are still discovering new places, despite living in or near it for nearly eight years. Lye Valley is one such place. Located in Headington, it’s a hidden gem that is perfect if you’re looking to get out to stretch your legs before heading into Headington for a quick coffee. It’s not a very long walk but it’s really lovely. You’ll easily forget that you’re in a city.
It’s being managed by the Friends of Lye Valley and there’s a walkway over the boggy area, which is essential. Poppy wanted to explore the long reeds and tall grass, as that’s where all the most interesting smells are apparently! I think it’ll be even better in summer, when the trees are in full bloom, as it’ll be lovely and shaded.
As the Lye Valley walk is quite short, we headed into Headington and took Poppy to Bury Knowle Park for a sniff about as well. We might’ve* had a cheeky chai latte from Starbucks too.
The Walk: To get to Lye Valley Reserve you need to go through one of the many entrances. We parked in Lye Valley but you can access it via The Slade.
Car Park: There’s no car park, but there is street parking.
Refreshments: No, but you’re a stones throw from the centre of Headington where you’ll find the usual High Street coffee chains as well as a few independent gems.
A few weekends ago, while the weather wasn’t very appealing, I stumbled across the BBOWT web page for Chimney Meadows. Neither I nor my partner Phil had heard of it before and I was convinced it was the ideal place for a Sunday dog walk. While the weather was a little lack luster, and despite the beginnings of what would turn out to be a three week long cold, we had a brilliant time.
It’s not an easy journey to get to Chimney Meadows – there were a few times when I thought Google Maps wasn’t quite awake but after a time, we arrived at the BBOWT carpark. There’s a map in the carpark and the whole area is well signposted. We wanted to head to the hides and explore some of the bird life. On our way we saw sheep and cows and Poppy definitely smelt a lot more. She loved it there. There was lots of tall grass for her to sniff through and plenty of things for her to try to roll in.
We had a look in both hides. I was so pleased to see that the larger one had a pair of binoculars in. We usually carry one pair, so while Phil was using his, I was able to look through some too. Not only that, there were folders in each, showing what can usually be seen during that time of year and a place to record your own findings. In the first hide, we only saw a few moorhens, coots and a pheasant. However, in the second hide, we spotted a kingfisher! I couldn’t believe it! All of a sudden, I saw a flash of blue and knew straight away what it was. Not only that, but he stopped and preened for a bit, meaning we could really have a look at his glorious colours. Absolutely beautiful!
I thoroughly enjoyed our walk around Chimney Meadows. There was so much to see and I’ll definitely be going back later in the spring when there are more flowers about.
The Walk: There are a few different ways around Chimney Meadows, but be aware that there are some restrictions. Have a look at the BBOWT website for more information. Whatever way you explore Chimney Meadows, be sure to stop at the hides.
Car Park: Yes and it’s free.
Refreshments: No, but there are a few picnic benches dotted around so be sure to pack a flask of chai and some brownies.